Thomas Burke – Green Beret in Vietnam, Purple Heart, Combat Infantry Badge, Blog of Shame


12/06/2018 by militaryphonies


Thomas H. Burke comes to us from Greentown, PA.  He is 83 y/o as of December 2018.

Burke claims to be a Vietnam veteran, a Green Beret, that was awarded a Purple Heart.  You can see the Purple Heart at the center of the beret in the above photo, and the Vietnam Service Medal off to the left of the Purple Heart.

In June 2018, the A&E Network profiled a Church in Pennsylvania on their series “Cults & Extreme Beliefs.”  In the episode, a man is shown taking part in church services wearing a green beret with a Special Forces flash.  A search of the church’s YouTube channel revealed an interview with the man, Thomas Burke, conducted by the head of the church, Sean Moon.

Here is a link to video:

In the video, Burke states he served in Vietnam as a Special Forces soldier.

Here is a synopsis of some of his claims:

  • Green Beret in Vietnam
  • Purple Heart Recipient
  • Combat Infantryman Badge (CIB) by wearing it on his beret
  • Claims he was selected for Special Forces in part becauseof his Native American tracking abilities.
  • Claims he worked for MACV-SOG, but refers to the SOG as Special Operations Group when the acronym actual meant Studies and Observation Group.

A quick look of his Facebook profile shows he also claims to be the “World Pistol Champ” for 1959. It also mentions a Warrior’s Medal of Valor, but that was presented by a private individual who is now deceased so it will not be covered in this post.

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A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request was submitted for Burke’s military records.

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The FOIA request was returned stating they could find no records that would support a claim of military service.

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Regarding the 1959 World Pistol Champ claim – The International Shooting Sports Federation holds its World Championships every four years.  It held events in 1958 and 1962, but nothing in 1959.  There was a National Shooting Championship held at Camp Perry in Ohio.  Army MSgt Huelet L.”Joe” Benner won his sixth title in 1959.  If Chief Burke competed in some other World Pistol Championships, he is welcome to submit evidence.  According to the Church Facebook page, “Chief (Burke) will be advising the King (Moon) in combat tactical training with Sanctuarians.”

Unless Thomas Burke has records that prove that he served in the U.S. Army as a Green Beret in Vietnam, his story remains skeptical. 

This may be a case of stolen valor since Burke is getting something of value from leveraging these stories, especially the one about him being wounded and being awarded the Purple Heart.

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9 thoughts on “Thomas Burke – Green Beret in Vietnam, Purple Heart, Combat Infantry Badge, Blog of Shame

  1. Marc Mulkey says:

    It’s bad enough when someone exaggerates their service, after actually serving. It appears this guy never served at all. Disgusting.

  2. Speed Dillon says:

    Just a side note, before S O G was know as Studies and Observations Group it was A K A as Special Operations Group . The 1 1 was a Major, later Col. Clyde Russel .

  3. R Grace MEIHUIZEN says:

    Sadly, they’re still crawling from under rocks..

  4. Paul says:

    Great job people! Keep exposing these frauds!

  5. […] folks at Military Phony sent us their work on Thomas Burke, who claims to be a Vietnam vet and a Purple Heart […]

  6. Wilted Willy says:

    One thing worse than a young lying bag of shit, is an old lying bag of shit!

  7. Gilmer Monk says:

    Piece of Crap wearing that CIB he didnt earn and a PH he didnt earn either.
    What is wrong with these people?

  8. John Murphy says:

    When I first went into SF in 1966 there were about 14,000 total in all the groups. Since then, I have met all 150K!

  9. arhauptiii says:

    And we have a GoFundMe page!

Comments are closed.


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