By Debbie Gregory.
Do the ends justify the means? The question is usually considered when it comes to premeditated voluntary actions of questionable ethics taken with a defined objective in mind.
Take the case of Papotia Reginald Wright, an alleged retired Green Beret command sergeant major who started the 8th Special Forces Regiment New York Honor Guard to perform burial services for veterans.
A noble goal, to be sure. The problem is that Wright was a total fraud. Although he did serve in the Army, he never served in any combat role, never was awarded a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star or any of the other 19 medals, badges or tabs he claimed to have been awarded.
Wright’s lies allowed him to become a prominent figure in the local military community. It gave him entrance to swanky galas and even field access to the New York Giants. But under the Stolen Valor Act, it’s a federal crime to lie about military heroics for monetary or other tangible benefits. And it’s just wrong, wrong, wrong!
Wright was exposed after the Guardians of the Green Beret, a watchdog group that works to expose people pretending to be part of Special Forces, was alerted by another watchdog group called Guardian of Valor that Wright was exaggerating his military service to promote the 8th Special Forces Regiment New York Honor Guard.
What was the one dead giveaway that Wright was an imposter? The beret he wore was black.
Papotia Reginald Wright can now take his place in the Guardians of the Green Beret Hall of Fakes, Frauds, and Phonies.