A decorated Afghanistan war veteran confronted a man he recognized as being a “fake” solider at a shopping mall in Pennsylvania on Black Friday and called him out for being a phony.
Ryan Berk, a recipient of Purple Heart, was shopping at the Oxford Valley Mall when he saw a man dressed in camouflage fatigues and who identified himself as Sean Yetman. Berk was immediately suspicious of his mismatched uniform and noticed that the man was wearing military honors that he couldn’t possibly have been awarded. For one thing, Yetman was wearing an American flag patch in the wrong spot, but he also had three Combat Infantryman Badges (CIBs) on his shoulder, which is an extremely rare honor.
Berk turned on his phone’s microphone to record their conversation, approached Yetman and started quizzing him about his experiences as a soldier. Asked about his CIBs, Yetman first answered that he got all three in Afghanistan, which is impossible, as only one is given per campaign. The conversation got heated when Berk called the man a phony and accused him of impersonating a soldier. Yetman claimed that he had “literally just got home from Fort Lewis” and was in the mall with his Sergeant Major and even offered to introduce him to Berk. At that point, Berk knew that the man was lying and shouted at him:
Here it is, stolen valor at its finest. Why don’t you just admit you’re a phony?
Sure enough, after the story got out, it has been confirmed that there is no official record of a U.S. Army Ranger with three CIBs named Yetman. (Scroll down for a video of the confrontation.)
1. The pudgy man in uniform, who identified himself in the video as Sean Yetman, claimed he had ‘literally just got home from Fort Lewis’ and was shopping with his Sergeant Major.
2. Ryan Berk, a Afghanistan vet and Purple Heart recipient, was shopping at the mall with his girlfriend and her son when he spotted the ‘fake’ officer and decided to approach him.
3. Speaking to Fox on Tuesday, Berk said that while the man had initially provided some answers that could have been correct, his story quickly unraveled.
4. On Monday, U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks) asked the U.S. Attorney in Philadelphia to determine if there was evidence of a federal crime against Sean Yetman.
And here is the video of the confrontation:
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