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He Saw a Man in Uniform at an Airport Starbucks and Realized Something 'Just Wasn't Matching Up


"Any person in the Army would know immediately that this guy is not in the Army."

Image source: YouTube

Former Army Spc. Christian Parmer was sitting in a California airport when he saw a man in uniform, but instead of camaraderie, he felt something else.

"He didn't look the part as a soldier," Parmer said on Fox News. Aside from wearing his hat indoors, which is against protocol, the man also appeared to have a Confederate flag on his shoulder.

"It just wasn't matching up," Parmer said.

Image source: YouTube Image source: YouTube

That's when Parmer, who served in Afghanistan, decided to confront the man at Fresno Yosemite International Airport.

The man at first claimed he was Army, before admitting that the uniform actually belonged to his stepson. He was only wearing it, he said, because he had "nothing else to wear."

Parmer notified airport police, who questioned the man and then told him to leave. Parmer filmed the encounter.

The Stolen Valor Act of 2013 makes it a crime for anyone who is not in the military to claim they are in order to "obtain money, property, or other tangible benefit."

Because the man was holding a Starbucks cup, a KMPH-TV reporter went to find out if he had received any kind of discount on the coffee. The barista told the reporter that she had given him a 20 percent military discount because of the uniform. The barista said a discount is given to all active military, KMPH reported.

Parmer said that while the Army impostor made him "angry" at first, the whole thing was also "kind of comical."

"Any person in the Army would know immediately that this guy is not in the Army," Parmer said.

In his YouTube video, Parmer said it's become more "common" lately to run into military impersonators.

"They want to feel respected. They want to make people feel like they're heroes. So I think that and the military discounts, that's what they want," he said.

Watch the video (content warning — some strong language):

It's at least the second time in just one month a veteran has called someone else in uniform into question. Another veteran became suspicious of a man dressed in a military uniform while shopping at Oxford Valley Mall in eastern Pennsylvania on Black Friday last month.

The Pennsylvania veteran confronted the supposed service member when he noticed he was wearing his flag patch too low on his shoulder. The man also claimed he received all three of his Combat Infantry Badges while fighting in Afghanistan. But as the veteran immediately pointed out, service members can only receive one CIB for each campaign in which they serve.

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