I recently came across a former Marine Reservist who was claiming to have helped save Captain Scott O’Grady. To remind everyone, Scott O’Grady was the F16 pilot who was shot down in Bosnia in 1995. He evaded capture for a week or so and was rescued by the Marines.
I read this bio and thought…”this doesn’t seem right”. As any military vet from any service can tell you, it is often not too difficult to pick out a fraud. Anyhow, he claims to have helped save Scott O’Grady in 1995 while with the 22 Marine Expeditionary Unit, Special Operations Capable (MEU SOC). Here is where the story breaks down.
Marines deploy in MEUs. In short, a battalion of Marines and their support will jump on ships and float around either the Mediterranean or Western Pacific (or elsewhere) for about 6 months at a time doing training or supporting missions. It is a way of life in the Fleet Marine Force. Your world revolves around ‘floats’. So, the 22 MEU floated from Oct 20, 1994 – April 15, 1995. They were replaced by the 24 MEU. It just so happens that I served with the MEU CO and Battalion SGTMajor in Somalia in the previous deployment of the 24 MEU. Captain Scott O’Grady was rescued in June, 1995 by the 24 MEU as Colonel Burndt was the CO. In short, the 22 MEU was back home on leave when Scott O’Grady was rescued. More bizarre is I have a picture taken in Hawaii while doing amphibious exercises in June, 1995. I question how he could have been in K Bay with the unit during the day and then rescuing Scott O’Grady in Bosnia at night? Maybe I am simply not ‘high speed’ enough to understand.
In today’s world, there are many people who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are others who want to appear ‘larger than life’ and will attempt to embellish their records to achieve some level of ‘credibility’. Always question the military service of the person with whom you are speaking. You may find out that it is not quite what has been told.