BACKGROUND & CLAIMS
Allen S. Downing (aka ‘Man of Justice’) lives in Philadelphia and tells those around him that he served in the U.S. Army.
He also tells people that he was a 2nd LT with the 75th Special Forces, having served in Somalia in 1993.
Oddly, the profile description above says that he has worked for the University of Pennsylvania since 1989, which casts some doubt about him being in Somalia in 1993. The U.S. military involvement in Somalia was part of Operation Restore Hope.
As we understand it, Downing also claims he was awarded the Purple Heart. He prominently displays one on his Facebook page.
Although one could certainly make the case that merely displaying a photo of a Purple Heart on one’s Facebook page does not amount to a claim of being awarded one, it certainly creates the implication. As displayed by the comments, Downing also does not correct anyone’s perception or direct statement that he has a Purple Heart.
Some of the people that Downing has told these stories to sensed some inconsistencies. This lead to them contacting some others who then contacted the folks at MilitaryPhony.com which in turn lead to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for Allen Downing’s official military records.
SUMMARY AND DISCUSSION
Really, not much to say here. The National Personnel Records Center, which archives all individual records related to military service, states that they can find no official record that supports Allen S. Downing serving in the United States armed forces.
Therefore, the claim of the Purple Heart, especially if used to obtain tangible benefits, could be a case of Stolen Valor Act of 2013.
What would drive a man to make these claims? Many don’t start out being this calculated. Maybe it was just a simple matter of Downing’s preference to wear hats. He seems to really like the cowboy hat (see photos below) so when asked why he wore it maybe the story of being an Army Ranger sounded better than him being from Texas?
Also, it should be pointed out that before author Mark Bowden’s “Black Hawk Down” was made into a popular film, it was carried chapter by chapter in The Philadelphia Inquirer. This story covers the action packed adventures surrounding the Battle of Mogadishu in 1993. The 75th Rangers were involved in this conflict. This serial story carried in the Philadelphia Inquirer was highly popular in Philadelphia and created quite a buzz.
Could this had been an influence and subsequent motivation? Who knows?
The Purple Heart is awarded to military members, both living and dead, that have sustained wounds in combat. It is not honorable to steal their valor. Isn’t it not the intent of State and Federal stolen valor laws to hold people accountable for this very thing?
PHOTOS and SOCIAL MEDIA
This Ain’t Hell: http://thisainthell.us/blog/?p=64318
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