John Edward DeSomer – Army Ranger, 20 Year Career, Four Purple Hearts, Eight Bronze Stars, Blog of Shame


12/08/2019 by militaryphonies


John Edward DeSomer comes to us from Syracuse, Indiana. DeSomer died in November 2019 and was 72 years old when he passed away.

DeSomer’s obituary was carried in at least nine (9) newspapers, including:

  1. Northwest News (Huntertown, IN) – November 12, 2019
  2. Butler Bulletin, The (IN) – November 12, 2019
  3. News Sun, The (Kendallville, IN) – November 12, 2019
  4. Star, The (Auburn, IN) – November 12, 2019
  5. Albion New Era (IN) – November 12, 2019
  6. Churubusco News (IN) – November 12, 2019
  7. Garrett Clipper, The (IN) – November 12, 2019
  8. Advance Leader, The (Ligonier, IN) – November 12, 2019
  9. Herald Republican, The (Angola, IN) – November 12, 2019

The following was carried by KPCNews on November 12, 2019.

There were also online news sources that carried his obituary such as:

It was the same obituary as far as the words, but the point is that it got a lot of distribution.

A few people thought some of the claims were over the top. DeSomer was not listed in official databases as being a P.O.W.

. . . . .


After checking archives, lists and databases we found that there is NO record of “John Edward DeSomer” being a P.O.W.

John Edward DeSomer’s military records were ordered through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

. . . . .



FOIA Result – Summary Sheet – John Edward DeSomer
FOIA Result – Assignments – John Edward DeSomer
FOIA Result – Education – John Edward DeSomer


Other items were discovered in order to establish a correct timeline.

. . . . .



The military records that the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) provided do not show military service beyond five (5) years and not twenty (20) as claimed in the obituary. He could have been in the Reserves or National Guard, but NPRC would still hold those records.


The fact that his final rank is listed as a 1LT would be normal for five years.


There are no assignments beyond Vietnam, which is noteworthy in an of itself. There was no indication of service in Cambodia, Malaysia, Israel, Nicaragua, Columbia, Venezuela, Syria, and Afghanistan. The statement about him willing to share these duty assignments seems to point to DeSomer being the origin of these claims.


There was one (1) Bronze Star, but not eight (8). There were no Purple Hearts listed in his military records, let along four (4). There was no P.O.W. medal listed and he was not on any official list for being a P.O.W.


If the claims by John DeSomer were used to leverage work, military or civilian promotions, or anything else of value, he may have been in violation of Stolen Valor laws. State laws may also apply.

Those publications that carried his obituary will no doubt be referenced for decades to come. Maybe someday in the future an ambitious high school student will come across his name and push to get him national recognition as a P.O.W. This is why the record needs corrected.

. . . . .


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5 thoughts on “John Edward DeSomer – Army Ranger, 20 Year Career, Four Purple Hearts, Eight Bronze Stars, Blog of Shame

  1. shootnscoot1 says:

    The guy served and by all standards he served honorably. He came out of Vietnam with a Bronze Star and his life…why he would want to embellish beyond that is just beyond me. His service record looked like one to take pride in but he ruined it with all the bullshit.

  2. Dennis Harless says:

    Served in Combat in Vietnam an officer and received a Bronze Star, Plenty to be proud of. I just have to shake my head at someone who thought they needed to embellish a perfectly fine period of service.

  3. 5th/77th FA says:

    Okey Dokey John Edward DeSomer AKA “Shadow”. Hate it for your family but we are fixin’ to help set the record straight. “Shadow”? Yeah right, maybe working in the shadows of Brucie’s Bath House (entrance in the rear), or possibly the shadows of the dumpsters behind the Flying J. Mama taught us not to “speak evil of the dead”, but she also said you shouldn’t do evil before you became dead. You had perfectly honorable service, on paper, that you coulda, shoulda, had oughta been proud of, but noooooooo; you had to go embellish the hell out of it. Standing in the blood and on the bodies of troops who actually suffered thru what your lying as claims. May the Souls of those Warriors piss napalm on you as Satan devours your lying soul. Took your lies and your meat gazing stare to the grave huh? Some folks may cut you some slack cause you’re, you know…dead, but I won’t.

  4. […] folks at MilitaryPhony send us their work on John Edward DeSomer.  DeSomer died on November 7, 2019.  His obituary got […]

  5. Anonymous says:

    Actually did stuff, felt he needed to lie anyway.

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