An incident involving a man allegedly portraying an Army Ranger resulted in a Delta College student being cited on campus last week.
A man dressed in military fatigues standing outside the campus bookstore was confronted by other veteran students. These students believed the man’s wearing of the uniform was fraudulent.
Kristopher Vieira was one of the veterans approaching the uniformed man.
Vieira said he didn’t confront the man for recognition.
“I confronted the man because he was in twenties wearing a ‘E8,’ ‘Ranger tab’ and a ‘EOD tab’ which I know takes a lot longer to acquire. I was charged with causing a disturbance on campus because he showed up on Thursday, March 13 [on] campus again wearing the uniform with the American flag turned upside down,” said Vieira.
The man in fatigues has been identified on several blogs and Facebook pages, including in comments on Delta College’s Facebook page.
West Virgnia Blogger John Lilyea of thisainthell.us published a document on Monday, March 17 from the National Personnel Records Center indicating the Social Security number and name for the man didn’t match personnel records for the Army.
A search on Facebook for name revealed a profile for a man citing he is a Delta College student. Private messages sent to him weren’t returned to The Collegian. The page has since been deleted.
Vieira said this was the second time he confronted the man.
“The arrestee had previously been warned to leave the victim alone in a prior incident. He was cited & released,” according to Delta College’s public Facebook page.
The page is now filled with comments from veterans.
“I cannot believe you would have a veteran arrested for doing what was right. … I am currently looking for another school to transfer to because I no longer want my GI Bill money to support your complete lack of respect to all veterans!” one person wrote.
Delta addressed the situation by making this statement page on Facebook saying the college has been named a “military friendly school” the past two years.
“The list honors the country’s TOP 15% of colleges, universities and trade schools that do the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans, and spouses as they work toward academic and career success,” the page cites.
Student Ryan Brajkovisch commented on the controversy. “If the guy wasn’t a real soldier I don’t understand why he would even try to portray he’s one, that doesn’t make sense to me … If Anything military is a sore subject.”
Vieira said he could have handled the situation differently. “But I was overcome with the emotional distress that comes with the job that every veteran knows.”