The Stolen Valor Act was passed in 2005 to criminalize the unauthorized wear, manufacture, or sale of any military decorations and medals. It is meant to deter people from claiming military service or honors they have not earned. Sometimes, however, people who have genuinely served their country are suspected of pretending. That’s what happened to Captain Lindsay Lowery.
Captain Lowery posted a picture on social media, of herself standing in front of a Humvee in Iraq. She was immediately attacked, and the harassment was so extreme she ultimately was forced to great lengths to verify her military record.
In a recent interview with IJReview, Lowery explained her situation;
I was commissioned in 2006. The last two years of my career I was in the Army Reserves. About a week ago, I got my resignation papers.
Because I was excited to leave the military and spend more time with my children, I decided to make that announcement public. I did so on my public Facebook page “Prissy Holly” where I write articles for Mad World News, by posting a picture of myself when I was stationed in Iraq from 2007- 2008.
In the post I mentioned how I was the officer in charge of a maximum security compound, where they host the worst radical Islamists that you can imagine. I also mentioned how my nickname was “Battle Barbie,” because of my iron will to prove myself as an equal to my male counterparts.
While the majority of people thanked me for my service, there was also several people who questioned my credentials to the point of accusing of me of stealing valor. What was supposed to be a simple Facebook post turned into a crusade to allegedly expose me for lying about a military record that I supposedly never had.
Lowery explained that the situation began to accelerate:
Initially I thought this would be something that died down quickly. However, the next morning I visited my Facebook page to find hundreds of comments accusing me of stealing valor. They told me that they would report me for stealing valor.
The following are some of the screenshot Captain Lowery provided to illustrate the backlash. (Some of the contain coarse language.)
Lowery was cleared of any wrongdoing by Guardian of Valor, and organization that specialized exposing people passing as military members. She also published her DD214:
The backlash was so extreme, the Colonel who commissioned Lowery wrote a letter verifying her service:
Afterward, Captain Lowery talked about her experience:
It appears as though that sexism is on alive and well in 2015. Even though many females have sacrificed and put their life on line to defend the country