Video of Native American tribal elder Nathan Phillips claiming to be a Vietnam veteran who served “in theater” surfaced Thursday, despite military records proving otherwise.
Phillips, who falsely accused Covington Catholic High School students of swarming, surrounding, and mocking him in front of the Lincoln Memorial during the March for Life, claimed he served in the Marine Corps from 1972 to 1976 and that his service record shows that he served in theater during the Vietnam war, meaning that he was in Vietnam. The U.S. Marine Corps, however, issued a statement Wednesday with details of Phillips’ service, showing that he never deployed. (RELATED: Nathan Phillips’ Military Record Reveals He Was Not A Vietnam Combat Veteran)
“I’m a Vietnam Vet. I served in Marine Corps 72 to 76. I got discharged May 5, 1976. I got honorable discharge and one of the boxes shows peacetime or, what my box says is that I was in theater,” Phillips says in the video. “I don’t talk much about my Vietnam times.”
????Nathan Phillips, January 3, 2018????
“I’m a Vietnam Vet. I served in Marine Corps 72 to 76. I got discharged May 5, 1976. I got honorable discharge and one of the boxes shows peacetime or, what my box says is that I was **in theater**. I don’t talk much about my Vietnam times.” pic.twitter.com/nIoYxGoPqM
— Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) January 24, 2019
Phillips also claimed in the past that he served as a “recon ranger,” and that when he returned home he was “spit on” and called “a baby-killer.”
The USMC clarified that Phillips served in the Marine Corps Reserve from 1972 to 1976 as a refrigerator technician and an anti-tank missileman. He was discharged as an E-1, or private.
When asked Thursday on the “Today Show” how he characterized his military service, Phillips replied:
“I went to boot camp. I stayed there. That Marine Corps was a reservist guy, so I stayed in the reserves for a couple years. That was during the time of the American Indian Movement, the AIM trials. There were a lot of things going on during those years and The Vietnam War was still going on.”
When asked to clarify whether he was saying that he served during the Vietnam war, but not in the war, Phillips adamantly denied ever saying that he was in theater.
“What I’ve always said is I’ve never stepped foot in south Vietnam. And that’s — I don’t know how clear — how much clearer can that be, you know?”
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