06/18/2017 by militaryphonies
Almon Henthorne from Orlando Florida appears to make claims that he is a highly decorated combat wounded Marine from the Vietnam War.
Some of the Valor awards that Mr Henthorne was pictured wearing online are the Navy Cross, Silver Star, Bronze Star Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Medal, Combat Action Ribbon and the Purple Heart.
He claims that he was a Force Recon Scout/Sniper who achieved the rank of Gunnery Sergeant (E-7).
It certainly appears that he is wearing a Prisoner of War ribbon in that rack as well. It looks to be a poor attempt as creating some kind of official photo. He should have washed and ironed his sheet before he hung it up.
He decided to support his fellow veterans by starting his own Chapter of PATRIOTS 4 VETERANS
“Gunney” Henthorne appears to be both Jump and Scuba Qualified…the hallmark of a fully qualified Force RECON Marine.
1st Force RECON claim.
He is a big advocate for telling the truth about military service.
We can’t wait for his “illustrations of a paper trial”.
We had reports come in for the last couple of years on our little buddy here but for whatever reason, it took a while to get an official response back from our FOIA requests. While we were waiting on his records we checked in on our “Gunney” from time to time. Try as we may, we can’t find any evidence that his claims might be true.
We do know there doesn’t seem to be any record of Almon ever getting a Navy Cross or Silver Star. Just one of the many places we checked was Home of Heroes for anyone with his name. Nor did an exhaustive search of News articles and Press Releases from the United States Marine Corps reveal any mention of his heroism.
Of course he does not appear on any list of POW’s either. We find that particularly disturbing.
Here are the results from our Freedom of Information Act request on his records:
His official records seem to be a mere 17 Medals short of what he claims. They also don’t know anything about him being a Jump and Scuba qualified, rifle and pistol expert, Marine either. 22 months in the Navy. He did spend a whole month on a supply ship, it might have even been underway for some of that time, its hard to tell.
For some reason he rocketed from E-2 all the way to E-1 and was sent to discover his land legs again. During the time we have been waiting on his records we have had multiple reports of him claiming to suffer from the PTSD. We have no idea what causes him to suffer from such a thing, but we know strange things can happen in Fan Rooms aboard ships. Maybe something went bump in the night…we may never know.
In summary, his FOIA response has no Navy Cross, Silver Star, NMCM(equivalent to a Silver Star for heroism while not directly engaged with the enemy), Purple Heart, Prisoner of War Medal or any other award with the exception of the National Defense Service Medal. According to his records he was on the opposite side of the planet during Vietnam. No RECON assignments or training of any kind. His records show he was most certainly not a United States Marine of any rank.
He was not on Secret missions in the jungles of Vietnam or any other place for that matter. We are told by many veterans that its because of people like Almon Henthorne and the failure of Veteran Organizations to properly verify military service that they will have nothing to do with any of them.
We see reports, now that he knows we are about to post a case on him, that its all a misunderstanding or some kind of Government conspiracy.
Plus, he claims to do all kinds of good things in the name of veterans…so maybe we should just look the other way.
After our initial post we were contacted by a Beirut veteran. He was going to visit Mr. Henthorne with other witnesses and informed us that he would provide the information that Almon was using to support his claims.
True to his word, he rode several hours to get Mr. Henthornes side of the story. This is what Almon provided to him:
We have the right Name and Birthdate.
PISC Plt 169 Lima Company grad Mar 25, 1965
Bronze Star, Purple Heart
then 30 days leave in HI and back to RVN
1966-1967 Hill 55 with Carlos Hathcock
1967-1970 POW in Laos
Was about to be trans to Hanoi Hilton but was rescued by Army Special Rangers, he only weighed 109 lbs.
Was in various hospitals until discharged in 1972
After this meeting Henthorne was asked to post an apology for his deception, but in his first attempt he still maintained some lies.
I was going to go through the entire list of reasons why all of those documents and claims are utterly nonsense, but almost nothing on the DD214 is filled out correctly. Some highlights, no such Sniper Command ever existed, 8541 was a secondary MOS and is never listed as the only MOS, the dates are…well…nonsensical, no way to even begin understanding what “Marine Corp SS SIG” means. Anyone with a real DD214 can add paragraphs to why these are forgeries.
I called Mr. Henthorne, explained who I was and had a nice chat about what he should probably do. I understand that after decades of deception Mr. Henthorne is making some attempt at admitting he had lied all these years. I hope he takes this opportunity to come completely clean and move on with life.
I feel empathy for his family. It must be devastating to learn someone you love had lied all these years. Much respect to all of them.
Fake and embellished claims of military service are allowed to snowball into an out of control avalanche because people who knew better let it go on. Veteran groups must do a better job of verifying their members. The best of intentions mean nothing and all good deeds are for not if its all based on a lie. People who suspected Almon Henthorne was not legit and did nothing about it, should hang their heads in shame. This could have been stopped many years ago.
Semper Fidelis to my Beirut Brother who’s only intent was to get to the truth, his long drive in the night to defend or confront Almon is admirable. I know his heart goes out to the family.
He did come out finally and admit that he is not and never has been a United States Marine.
We never advocate or support violence against someone, in fact we detest it and will report any knowledge of such an act to law enforcement. As William Munny said, “Deserves got nuttin to do with it”.