When someone has a story to share, the polite thing to do is to listen; and when that story is touching, interesting and inspiring, one simply cannot help but share this story that one heard to other people. And if that story is about a SEAL who risked life and limb in the service of his country, then one’s reaction will probably be that it is your duty to make sure that others know about it.
That is certainly true, in an ideal world -– which is, of course, not the world we live in. In the real world, there are those who are truly heroes, and those who are, for one reason or another, not exactly who they are leading people to believe – unwittingly or otherwise.
We have mentioned a website called CyberSEALs.com. Nowadays, its primary purpose, according to their website, is to provide members of the Naval Special Warfare community “with a private, secure communications link to other SEALs,” as well as to provide information to the general public regarding the US Navy SEALs. It is being run by former Navy SEALs, and in years past, they also ran a service called AuthentiSEALs.
Until its cancellation in November 2005 due to lack of manpower, AuthentiSEALs served as a way to verify a person’s claims of being a SEAL. The site also used to feature a roster called “The Wall of Shame”, which lists people who have been caught masquerading as SEALs.
The drive to tell a story has increased over the years, and there is a never-ending line of people making false claims. Since CyberSEALs could no longer sustain operating AuthentiSEALs, it now recommends using the POWnetwork instead, an organization which is primarily involved in information distribution on POWs and servicemen who are MIA but are also involved in the verification of false claims. Along with being a SEAL, the other wartime heroic that is a favorite among those telling tall tales is that of being a POW.
We will share with you how to verify SEAL and other war- and military service-related claims via the POWNetwork next time.