Ken Stone at the Times of San Diego published a video of Assemblyman Randy Voepel’s public comments about an Assembly resolution he co-sponsored with Assemblyman Steven Choi to honor Korean-American veterans of the Vietnam War. Voepel said this on the Assembly floor:
“I served in Vietnam with the Tiger Battalion, and when they went into an operational area, the Viet Cong took a vacation. Seriously, all combat in that area would cease. Because the Koreans were so fearless and such good killers of communists, they just left the battlefield, the enemy did. So, I salute my Korean brothers, the fiercest warriors in the world outside of the Americans and the Israelis. I love you, man.”
Voepel claims (or insinuates) that he fought (as an infantryman) with the famed ROK Tiger Division. Stolen Valor investigator, MCPO Terence Hoey, USN, says this is a continuing pattern of Voepel’s tall tales:
“Voepel never served with the Korean Tiger ‘Battalion’ simply because it never existed. He certainly did not serve with the Korean Tiger Division. His claim that he did is a lie. He only served aboard the USS GURKE and USS BUCHANAN during his Vietnam era service.
“Voepel is a Valor Thief of epic proportions. His sea stories are always technically wrong, outrageous and are not supported by his service records.”
On Monday, another video was released in which Voepel was claiming to serve on riverine patrol boats as a forward machine gunner, inserting SEAL teams. That video also showed Voepel claiming that he served in the “infantry” in the Navy. Voepel responded to the video release with a claim that that he served on on the USS Gurke, supporting riverine patrol boats and their missions to insert SEAL teams. That response was disproved by two riverine boat veterans.
This “Tiger Battalion” video marks the second time that Voepel has claimed that he served in combat as a member of “the infantry.” His service records show that his military service in Vietnam was entirely at sea, as a Radarman.
Next week I’ll talk about why I sat on this story for two months, why Voepel’s campaign isn’t responding to me, what the media missed in Hoey’s press conference, and why this matters.