With all the sliming and sleuthing going on over whether John Kerry is a war hero for real or whether George Bush went AWOL from the
National Guard, veterans’ groups are setting up websites to help people know the real thing from a phony or “wannabe.” Among the toughest sites is the one for Navy SEALs: “If you want to know if someone was or was not a SEAL, you can have an answer within days of your inquiry” by checking them out at authentiseal.org, where you can figure out who’s for real if you can provide a full name, age, general description, and brief summary of the person’s claims. The site gives you a few tips on how to spot a phony SEAL—if he talks about his medals but can’t remember the name of his swim buddy, be suspicious.
Additional reporting: Alicia Ng and Ashley Glacel
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on March 2, 2004