(WTVM) – A new trending internet theme and the gross act of impersonating a U.S. military servicemember all came together in a new video exposing the action of Stolen Valor.
Former Infantryman Ryan Berk spotted what he thought was an Army Ranger in a Pennsylvania mall on Black Friday this year. After spending a few minutes talking to him and pointing out several mistakes in his uniform, Berk realized he did not pass as a true servicemember.
WARNING: The video includes graphic language.
The video, posted on Nov. 28, has been viewed more than 2.7 million times.
In the video, the man, identified as Sean Yetman, claimed to be an Army Ranger. Berk dressed Yetman down, calling corrections from his answers and pointing out errors in his uniform.
Yetman claimed to have had basic training at Fort Jackson. As an Army Ranger, you go through Fort Benning for basic training, which Berk quickly corrects Yetman on. It appears Yetman was wearing the uniform to receive military discounts in stores.
Berk, who was a former Infantryman and Purple Heart recipient who served with the 2/506th 101st Airborne, was understandably upset with Yetman's Stolen Valor act.
According to ABC News, this isn't the first time Yetman has impersonated someone. In 2004, he was arrested for impersonating a police officer.
The act of catching military impostors and shaming them for the world to see is becoming a popular trending topic on the internet.
What exactly is stolen valor? Simply put, it's impersonating a military member in public.
Several bills have been introduced in Congress so that the infraction is made a federal offense. In 2013, President Barack Obama signed a version of the Stolen Valor Act, making it illegal to impersonate or claim military service for personal gain.And actual Veterans have started to confront the impostors and fakes and documenting their encounters on YouTube, for the world to see.