08/24/2016 by militaryphonies
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UPDATE: Recently, there have been posts claiming that Military Phony issued an apology to Mr. Hudson. There was even a domain name registered in support of this fabrication. Why would a need exist to go to these extremes? No apology has been given to Mr. Hudson nor will one be made. Posers, scammers, valor vultures and the like will go to great lengths to divert the attention away from being accountable for their actions. We stand behind our posting as published. We understand things are being posted to the contrary.
We have better things to do than engage with Mr. Hudson or those who try to defend him.
Background and Claims
Thomas Wayne Hudson ( The walking Veteran ) started a venture this past spring. He decided that he would walk from Las Vegas Nevada to Washington DC in order to bring awareness to Veterans Administration (VA) abuse. His goal is to arrive in Washington DC on Veterans day – November 11, 2016.
Mr Hudson started his walk on May 2, 2016. He has used a southerly route which takes him through Arizona, New Mexico,Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina as of this date (August 24, 2016). Does this mean he has covered ten states in 113 days? This is to include the many press stops and opportunities to speak at different locations along his way.
Several news agencies have picked up on his story from the beginning and have published different news articles pertaining to his walk.
They have reported everything from Thomas Hudson being a Marine Corps Vietnam Veteran, to him being a Air Force Vietnam Veteran and of him being a Disabled Veteran.
Mr. Hudson was also able to talk to Arkansas Congressman French Hill and Rep. Hill endorsed Hudson officially on the House Floor. We are 100% certain that Rep. Hill did not know the complete story behind Thomas Wayne Hudson.
Transcript of Congressional Record: https://www.congress.gov/congressional-record/2016/07/11/house-section/article/H4580-6
[NOTE: Military Phony has reached out to Congressman French Hill via his website contact form and signaled our intent to publish our findings on Mr. Hudson. We have not received a response.]
In the above video, Represenative Hill refers to Hudson as a ‘disabled veteran’. Hudson has used this term himself and many newspapers carry this distinction. As we understand it Hudson had medical issues after he left military service. Therefore he is a veteran and later became disabled, but they are not connected. In other words, his disability is not service connected.
EXAMPLE: Somebody serves on active duty for four years. He did not serve during a time of war. Fifteen years after serving he falls off a ladder and breaks his leg and it does not heal properly. He becomes classified as disabled. Now, he a veteran and he is disabled. When he then uses the term ‘disabled veteran’ it creates certain assumptions. Perhaps not illegal and maybe not a slight of hand, but when you are raising money and presenting yourself a certain way, isn’t it your responsibility to make these distinctions? To the civilian public, the nuances of these choices of words are not so clear.
Stated another way — Hudson is a veteran, but he is not disabled due to his service. His disability is not service connected. Why he is being seen in the VA if his medical condition is not related to his service? Also, he claims he is a victim of VA abuse so why is he complaining about not being seen for these conditions if the VA would not treat them anyway due to him not being qualified?
Perhaps the VA wait times would be less for service connected vets if Mr. Hudson did not contribute to the problem by clogging up the system with non-service connected issues… then complain about that very same thing citing he is a victim of VA abuse.
There are many veterans with legitimate complaints about the VA. Mr. Hudson appears to be folding himself into their concerns with his own. Is this truly about them or does Mr. Hudson want to get special treatment due to drumming up media attention? Who can truly know a man’s heart? The patterns he displays invites legitimate scrutiny, however.
Is there something else Hudson is being seen for that is service connected? If so, his condition has not been given that distinction by the VA. Hudson has changed his statement on his website based on our criticism but he has certainly got some mileage out of it already.
[NOTE: Military Phony is not associated with the Veterans Administration.]
Hudson has been capturing video of himself with mayors and governors along his trip, all giving Hudson their endorsement. Among them are Governor Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas and Govenor Bill Haslam of Tennessee. This list includes numerous mayors.
After seeing different discrepancies in the claims, we filed and received his Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) from the National Personal Records Center (NPRC). With these records in hand, Hudson was approached on Social Media (FaceBook) and asked to vett himself. He gave the following replies.
We felt that the questions that we asked him were respectful and not insulting in any form. Why he wouldn’t properly vett himself remains a mystery. Could it be that he was caught with his pants down?
Please take note that throughout Hudson’s journey he is depicted in multiple photos and videos wearing two different ball caps. Both of those ball caps clearly say ‘US Air Force Vietnam Veteran’. They also display the Vietnam Service Medal (VSM). Wearing these ball caps while promoting his walk gives everyone the impression that Mr. Hudson is a ” US Air Force Vietnam Veteran.”
In a video posted to the Walking Veteran page on August 21 2016, Hudson starts the video with a closeup of the hat. We believe the purpose is to further reinforce the notion that he is a Vietnam veteran.
The Walking Veteran’s coordinator, Alice Sue Davis, also claims that Hudson is a ‘disabled Vietnam veteran’.
Once that Thomas Hudson was questioned on Facebook, he made the following post.
Palace Chase is a program for Airmen who are interested in leaving the active duty AF but do not have a separation date. The approval process for Palace Chase is determined by manning levels of specific AF career fields. The rule of thumb is that a member must have completed at least half of their enlistment contract by the time of their separation date. There is nothing classified about ” Palace Chase “.
Eight hours in Vietnam does not classify one as being a Vietnam Veteran if that statement is in fact true. It certainly would not rate the Vietnam Service Medal (VSM).
FORMER TEAM MEMBERS
Continuing the investigation into Thomas W. Hudson’s claims, contact was made with his former director of operations Brian Berg and former Public Relations Manager Kathy Owen. They’ve had plenty to say and none of it is of a positive nature.
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Freedom of Information Act Results
Active duty in the US Air Force for two years and two months. He was discharged as an Airmen First Class (E-3). The National Defense Service Medal is his only award. Thomas Wayne Hudson did not deploy off of the Continental United States while he was enlisted on active duty in the United States Air Force.
A search of publicly available information reveals that Thomas Wayne Hudson was convicted of larceny in May of 1972, just a few months before he entered the US Air Force. This would have affected any possible security clearance that he would need to participate in any classified operations that he may be claiming.
We believe in second chances and the larceny conviction was many years ago – but should someone that has displayed a tendency to commit larceny be the best candidate to both solicit donations for a charity and be the spokesman for veteran issues in regard to the VA? If you are a veteran, would you want someone like this speaking on your behalf? If anything else, wouldn’t it be a distraction? Is there not anyone else more qualified to get out in front of veteran issues that doesn’t have such a checkered past?
By checkered past, we mean there are many criminal acts he was charged with that are relevant to what he is attempting to do with the charity walk and the VA. These should cause great concern.
He even spent some time in the State Mental Institution due to some of his criminal behavior.
If you are a Mayor, Governor, State Representative or Congressman — is it wise to be so quick to lend your endorsement to Hudson’s efforts without knowing all of the facts of his military and criminal background? Articles, photos and video last forever on the internet.
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Summary and Discussion
From the evidence collected from multiple sources, it appears that Thomas Wayne Hudson may have deceived the General Public into believing that he is a disabled US Air Force Vietnam Veteran. One or two media mishaps are understandable. Multiple media outlet mishaps without any retractions can only mean one thing — that the media has been misinformed about Thomas Wayne Hudson’s military service record. The wearing of the two AF Vietnam Ball caps are a prime example of the deception. There is not a law against wearing the hats but he does so when being interviewed so has to be aware that people are making that association. Plus the fact that his Former Support Team stepping forward and giving in depth detail of Thomas Wayne’s actions confirm this act of deception.
We would also like to point out that the distance Thomas Wayne Hudson has covered in 113 days would almost be impossible for a young 100% physical fit athlete to perform if he is in fact walking. That athlete would have to walk at least 20 miles per day, 7 days per week with no breaks in between in order to accomplish this task.
Mr Hudson does not have a 501c3 non profit business license. Or any other type of business license. Yet he is shown to be constantly begging people. Or having other people beg for donations to pay for meals and lodging. The one and only person who has benefited from this ” alleged ” walk is Mr. Thomas Wayne Hudson.One would have to question why he would post something like this on his facebook timeline. Pot calling kettle black ?
THE MESSENGER vs THE CAUSE
One final point about The Walking Veteran…
We make the distinction between the messenger and the cause he is trying to get out in front of. We deeply respect all veterans and are sympathetic to veterans as they seek care through the Veterans Administration system.
As an example, someone could feel passionate about the concussion issue facing men that have played football in the NFL. If an individual off the street decided he would walk across America to raise money and awareness for the issue, our natural tendency would be to applaud the effort. Would this person be just as qualified to speak on behalf of those men that played professional football and have lifelong effects due to suffering a concussion? Sure, nothing stops that.
The public may feel differently if they found out that none of the money was going to the ex-players but instead was going solely to the man raising the money under the umbrella of the cost involved in ‘raising awareness’ i.e. hotels, batteries, food, etc. The public may also feel differently if the person was claiming to have played NFL football and suffered a concussion during his playing years and later it was revealed this was not the case.
This does not mean that the cause is not valuable. It just raises the question of whether the individual is the best suited to be the face of the cause – or the messenger. In the end, the overall cause may be damaged due to the distraction of the man out in front of it, especially when some light is shone on his background in contrast to what he is claiming.
Please keep this in mind as the critics of this blog will paint it as an attack on the cause when the efforts are clearly centered on bringing light to the individual.
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Social and News Media Sources
FaceBook Account ; https://www.facebook.com/twaynehudson
GoFundMe account ; https://www.gofundme.com/walkingveteran
Mr. Sinise’s image continues to be used on the GoFundMe page after they were asked to remove it and was still there as of 9/16/2016, implying endorsement:
This was the response received from Stacy Wolfe, the Public Relations contact for Mr. Sinise and the Gary Sinise Foundation:
Air Force Vietnam Veteran, disabled claim: http://www.cbs46.com/Clip/12646547/veteran-walking-for-a-change#.V6fDxGQQgIE.facebook
Disabled Vietnam Veteran claim: http://dailyheadlines.net/2016/08/veteran-walks-across-the-nation-to-bring-awareness-of-va-abuses/
Disabled Air Force Vietnam Veteran Claim: http://thecabin.net/news/2016-07-01/veteran-raises-awareness-counterparts-walk-across-country#.V735uPkrI2x
Air Force and Army National Guard Claim: http://okgazette.com/2016/06/24/man-walks-across-the-country-to-bring-awareness-of-veteran-care/
Marine Corps Veteran Claim: http://abc7amarillo.com/news/local/the-walking-veteran-makes-a-stop-in-amarillo
Vietnam Veteran Claim: http://www.cbs46.com/Clip/12646547/veteran-walking-for-a-change#.V6fDxGQQgIE.facebook
Vietnam Veteran Claim: http://www.clipsyndicate.com/video/play/6467707/vet_walks
Disabled Veteran who served in Vietnam Claim: http://thecabin.net/news/2016-07-01/veteran-raises-awareness-counterparts-walk-across-country#.V74kJZgrIuV
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This Ain’t Hell: http://thisainthell.us/blog/?p=67625
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