12/05/2015 by militaryphonies
Mark Ransford runs a fishing charter boat service in Florida. He was asked to participate in working with Wounded Warriors. A newspaper article claimed that he was injured while serving in Beirut, Lebanon during his service in the Marine Corps.
While it is true that “injured” is a vague term and does not necessarily mean “wounded”, the article was about working with Wounded Warriors so the choice of words in the article creates an implication.
When asked about his Beirut service, Ransford claimed he was with STA 3/8 which implies he was a sniper, although there are other specialties attached with STA (Surveillance and Target Acquisition).
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Ransford’s FOIA results do show that he was a Marine that served honorably, but his official military records show no indication of wounds received resulting in a Purple Heart. His records list no awards or decorations that show that he deployed to Beirut. Although there were some support elements in and around Beirut after the MNF pulled out in 1984, Ransford himself stated that he was with STA 3/8. There is no record of sniper school or any other specialty that would indicate an attachment with STA, and nothing to support this claim that he was with STA Platoon H&S 3/8.
In addition to the FOIA request and results, a member of STA 3/8 was consulted about the possibility of Ransford being in the unit around the same time frame of 1980-1981. The person contacted said there was no Mark Ransford in the unit. The contact then supplied a list of all members of STA 3/8 at that time which supported his claim that there was no Mark Ransford in STA 3/8. Although conceivable that Ransford could have joined the unit later, his official military records do not support that possibility.
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SUMMARY AND DISCUSSION
Cpl Ransford had an honorable stint in the U.S. Marine Corps. Some time was even as a recruiter. Recruiters are considered ambassadors for the services.
Mark Ransford is no doubt proud to work with Wounded Warriors as demonstrated by his support of the program with associated shirts displaying the Wounded Warrior logo.
The question is — why would he feel the need to say he was injured/wounded in Beirut?
Someone reached out to Mark and asked about all of this inconsistency. During that conversation Ransford stated that he was not wounded nor was he in Beirut in 1983. He claimed that he did not know why the reporter printed those statements in the article.
Also, Ransford did not contact the reporter/newspaper in an effort to correct the statements in the article after it was printed.
Was this all a harmless oversight or was Ransford a victim of a reporter that choose to embellish the story to fit the narrative of wounded veterans helping wounded veterans?
Why post this blog about him at all? Embellished posts online, a news story making false statements, misleading claims about an injury, and claims to be in a unit he never served with have a cumulative effect. Any one of those taken by themselves could be easily dismissed as a moment of over-exuberance on his part. However, their totality raises a red flag.
This is hardly a case of Stolen Valor under the new act. He doesn’t even rate a Phony stamp. Ransford served honorably. He provides his fishing services to other veterans that appreciate what he offers. We hope that he continues to do exactly that… without the embellishments.
Ransford has no reason to embellish a perfectly honorable service record that any Marine should be proud of.
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SOCIAL MEDIA AND PHOTOS
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This Ain’t Hell: http://thisainthell.us/blog/?p=63097