Reading/enjoying these hashtags, in many ways, is more worthwhile than investing time reviewing the ongoing, real life story that inspired them — a small group of histrionic “militiamen” (armed, of course) deciding to occupy a wildlife (bird) refuge in central Harney County, Oregon in wild retaliation to a couple of alleged child abusing ranchers going to prison for five years for torching acres of federal land (arson).
Just look at this hammy, overdone YouTube video posted by one of the group’s pocket Constitution-waving, longwinded members in anticipation of their unwelcome stay at one of the “premiere sites for bird and birding” in America.
13:41? 13:41?1 Thirteen minutes and forty one seconds. No wonder these guys turned to extremism. They’re extremely bored.
The guy in the above video is Jon Ritzheimer. In most instances online, he identifies himself as a Marine … which he was … only not to the extent that he’d like you and the rest of the country to believe.
In the conservatory, among the rest of the Bundy clan, he’s joined by Ryan Payne and Blaine Cooper. All three have one curious thing in common.
Some of these men have military backgrounds, a fact seemingly played up by the prevalence of military apparel circulating in images posted online.
“A lot of our research on these guys turns up evidence that they usually fail at their military careers and for some reason they like to get back in the camo and strut around with devices and awards they didn’t earn,” said Lilyea. “Especially if they can openly carry their guns, too.”
In fact, all three are have grossly embellished their military service records (a form of stolen valor), each to varying degrees.
The mildest phony (if at all) of the bunch, it is true that he served in the Marines Corps from 2004 to 2013, attaining the rank of staff sergeant. He was deployed several times to Iraq, however, he never earned a combat ribbon. He served as a “motor vehicle operator”, according to official records. If his name sounds familiar, it’s because he was one of the dudes that sponsored that contest in Arizona where contestants were asked to draw the Islamic Prophet Muhammad.
He’s been labeled lately, by the media, as an Army vet. Then a Marine vet. He’s in fact … neither. Nope. He’s a nothing vet. According to the books, the closest Cooper got to being a member of the U.S. Armed Forces was when he enlisted to join the USMC’s “Delayed Entry Program”. He signed up, but never went to bootcamp. Womp, womp (the program allows enlistees to show up for initial training in a year’s time).
Pants on fire. This guy is almost as bad (and perhaps worse) than Cooper. While he did serve in the Army’s military intelligence battalion and even earned medals doing so, he has — for years — claimed to be a former Army Ranger. He’s not. And wasn’t ever part of the elite military formation. He was, however, in the last Bundy-led standoff back in April of 2014.