A man dressed up in a “fake” Army Ranger uniform who was shopping in a Pennsylvania mall on Black Friday got more than he bargained for when an actual veteran confronted him in the middle of the shopping center.
The painful exchange was caught on video and occurred at the Oxford Valley Mall in Langhorne, Penn.
In the video, Ryan Berk, a former Infantryman from Easy Company, 2/506 Infantry, 101st Airborne Division, calls over the uniformed man, who is wearing a nameplate that reads “Yetman.”
“Hey sir, my son would like to meet you,” says Berk, using the introduction as a ploy to confront Yetman. “He really admires guys in the Army.”
Yetman introduces himself as Sean.
Berk then begins peppering Yetman with a barrage of questions about inconsistencies on his uniform.
Yetman’s uniform has three CIBs, or Combat Infantry Badges. Initially he tells the veteran he received all three of his CIBs in Afghanistan.
“You know you need to be in three different campaigns to get three CIBs, right?” Berk says.
Yetman then changed his answer, saying he received one CIB each during two tours to Afghanistan and another from a stint in Iraq.
“You know, no matter how many [tours] you do, you can only get one,” says Berk.
He then asks Yetman about his missing combat patch.
“I gave it to a little kid,” Yetman claims.
“Why’s your flag so low on your shoulder?” Berk asks.
“Got me on that one,” Yetman admits.
Yetman then took a phone call from someone purporting to be his sergeant major. At that point, Berk began calling out Yetman loudly in the middle of the mall.
“He’s full of shit wearing a United States Army uniform, claims to be a United States Army Ranger,” the veteran says.
“Why don’t you just admit you’re a phony? You know that’s illegal, right?”
Yetman told Berk he was not a fake. He said he has served in the Army for 12 years.
“You know what, I’ve worn that fucking uniform,” Berk says, growing more agitated. “And I’ve had friends get killed in Afghanistan wearing that fucking uniform.”
At that point a person who was off-camera, possibly related to Berk, intervenes and asks him to back down.
The video of the incident, posted to the YouTube account of Stolen Valor, a group dedicated to exposing people who falsely dress in military uniform, has already received more than 800,000 views. In the description of the video, Stolen Valor speculates that Yetman dressed in the uniform in order to received military discounts while shopping.
It is a crime under the Stolen Valor Act to falsely wear a military uniform in order to receive special benefits, including discounted or free goods and services.
Berk posted additional video filmed before the encounter in which he explains what happened before he confronted Yetman.
“As I waited, I listened to him tell a 9-10 year old little boy about his time in the special forces, and watched him show the boy pictures online from “his” military experiences. This is when I began to film,” Berk wrote in his description of the extended video, posted to Youtube.
This post has been updated to include more information.