The death of Osama bin Laden has created a rise in the appearance of wannabe Navy SEALs decked out in military uniforms, bearing the SEALs’ gold trident and other insignia associated with the elite military outfit.
Impostors have been spotted in places like a church in Pennsylvania, on a Grayhound bus and in various fast food restaurants.
A man who identified himself as Gene, who posts on an internet forum dedicated to the SEALs said he ran into numerous impostors.
“Funny, I never knew SEALs weighed 300 pounds,” he wrote.
Similarly, a woman on the forum said that her mother was dating a man she met on MySpace who claimed to be a SEAL, who went so far as to claim that he was “the commander of Team Six when bin Laden was taken out.”
“He was overweight, has a bad knee, and tells her EVERYTHING about the ‘missions’ he gets sent away for,” she wrote. She doubted if a real SEAL would behave and look that way.
Another man in Pennsylvania who happened to be interviewed by a newspaper recounted his days as a SEAL during the Vietnam war by giving a play-by-play recount of the Steven Seagal movie “Under Siege”.
“There are usually many more cases around these holidays because individuals either waear fake medals or talk about how they served in the military when they didn’t really do so,” said Lindsay Godwin of the FBI Washington field office.
Godwin added that posing as a member of the military is a crime, punishable up to one year in jail.