While we applaud DeAngelo Williams and his kindhearted gesture, it's highly likely the Carolina Panthers running back was tricked by a fraud.
Williams Tweeted out and Facebooked a photo Monday morning of a supposed Marine in dress uniform, side-by-side with his own business class ticket. The text of the tweet said, "I always give up my seat to military if my seat is better! I truly appreciate our troops #flyingtherightway"
Guardian of Valor, a website that seeks to oust military impostors, listed a few reasons why they believe the pictured Marine is a fraud:
- In the picture, the man is wearing a Silver Star, a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart; the medals are out of order.
- A Marine never wears a cover (hat) indoors unless he's armed.
- A Marine would never be at the airport in Dress Blue "A"
- A Marine wouldn't be wearing his cover while seated indoors
- A Marine wouldn't be wearing a shooting badge on the right side of his uniform (it goes on the left)
Guardian of Valor's article shows the same man in the Philippines airport on July 1. The article says a real Marine approached him to ask a few questions. The man reportedly replied that he'd served 30 years and deserved to wear the uniform.
The confronting Marine reportedly yelled at the man, and the man took off.
A Marine from Charlotte emailed NBC Charlotte Tuesday morning regarding this story. While he echoed the sentiments of Guardian of Valor, he did say, "this man may be a retiree and just doesn't know how to wear his uniform correctly anymore." He continued, "Regardless, by military standards (of any branch) the wear and appearance of this uniform is inconsistent with such wear and appearance standards set forth by various regulations spanning the branches."
Guardian of Valor also asks that if you can identify the man in the photo, email them by clicking here.
Either way, your gesture has been noted by #PantherNation, DeAngelo. We still think you're a rock star!