I’ve heard stories of those fortunate enough to sit upfront on flights, trading their seats with members of the military but this story seems to be messed up in so many ways…
While on the way to work Wednesday morning I was listening to sports radio in my car when I heard bits of a story about a football player, DeAngelo Williams doing something incredibly nice. I only caught some of the story but from what I took from it, the player surprised a retired marine by trading him his business class seat, sitting (in the Marine’s seat) in coach.
(Many articles said that Williams gave up his 1st class seat but the photo shows a business class boarding pass.)
NFL running back DeAngelo Williams of the Carolina Panthers tweeted “I always give up my seat to military if my seat is better! I truly appreciate our troops #flyingtherightway“.
I looked up the story and saw lots of press about what Williams did. You can read a little about it in this article from Sports Illustrated.
While skimming over a few articles I started to see others claiming that the kind gesture may have been a wasted one. According to many, this so-called Marine was a fake, an imposter. Worst of all, he’s tried to do it before.
A bunch of articles led me to a site called Guardian of Valor. The site’s purpose is “to out those who falsely claim Military service“.
This was getting interesting…
The site received tons of e-mails and Facebook posts about DeAngelo Williams giving up his seat. However, they say that Williams was “duped by a fake”.
Supposedly thousands of Marines immediately saw the signs due to various parts of his uniform. His cover (hat) would never be worn indoors, medals were in the wrong place and out-of-order etc…
I checked out the DeAngelo Williams Facebook post.
The post includes the photo from above along with some text: “He just doesn’t know it yet but he will be sitting in this seat when he boards the plane I always give up my 1st class seat! #isalutethetroops!”
I then looked over some of the comments. Boy were there a ton of them. From what I could tell, all of the comments mentioned the Marine being a faker, stolen valor, disrespecting Marines- you get the picture. A bunch of other commenters didn’t want to rush to judgement based on blurry pictures. Many also thought the gesture made by Williams was incredible regardless of the facts about the Marine in question. I’d definitely agree with the last statement.
This was the craziest comment overall:
Over the years, I’ve been asked many times if I was military while traveling (for the purpose of offering me a discount). I guess I just look the type. It’s always nice to save some $ and get a better deal but I would never lie and say that I served.
Check out the article from Guardian of Valor here.