An Iraq War veteran attending George Williams College in Wisconsin has been banned from campus for calling out another student for stolen valor.
Ryan Lonergan, an eight-year Wisconsin National Guardsman who served in Iraq from 2009 to 2010, was eating lunch in the campus dining hall when an unidentified student asked to sit with him. This student claimed to be from the Marine Corps and asked Lonergan about his tattoos and military experience.
During their conversation, several things didn’t add up. Lonergan intentionally misspoke and called the BFT inside of military Humvees ‘Biometric Force Tracker’ instead of ‘Blue Force Tracking,’ and when the student didn’t correct him Lonergan knew he was a sham.
“That’s when I looked at him and said, ‘I don’t believe anything you’re saying. You have one opportunity to tell me the truth,’” Lonergan said. “I said, “Were you in the Marine Corps?’ No. ‘Did you go through boot camp?’ No. He told me that he knows it’s pathetic, and I said ‘Yeah, it is. It’s a disgrace.’”
Lonergan admits that he used some choice four-letter words to send the student away, but he never touched or threatened the guy. Afterwards, Lonergan apologizes to nearby students for disrupting their meals.
A few hours later, Lonergan was barred from campus outside of class for “disorderly conduct.” Lonergan’s argument that he was simply calling out stolen valor fell on deaf ears.
“As far as stolen valor and being a veteran, it’s a pandemic really,” Lonergan said. “It’s disheartening because people are just taking away the pride, title and integrity from people who have served.”
The veteran was supposed to make his case at a hearing on Oct. 13, but it has been pushed back. He is currently seeking legal counsel.