Everyone who knew Papotia Reginald Wright knew him as an Army hero. He boasted of earning the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Green Beret ... as well as the Yellow Moon and even the distinguished Blue Diamond. It turns out, though, that not only was Brooklyn, N.Y.’s Wright not “magically delicious,” but he was a total fraud.
According to the New York Post, Wright had convinced friends, relatives and even military veterans that he was a highly decorated soldier and combat veteran who retired from a 25-year career in the Army’s Special Forces. They believed him when he regaled them with stories of how he was wounded in battle when someone ran up behind him and cut out his kidney.
Wright used his fabricated past to become a local hero, even starting an organization to honor and celebrate veterans, naming it the 8th Special Forces Regiment New York Honor Guard. He was an honored guest at local galas attended by political and military dignitaries, including now former Rep. Charles Rangel. The supposed “command sergeant major” was a special on-the-field honoree at a New York Giants football game as an honor guard. Wright’s online bio, written by him, and which the Post says has now been taken down, stated:
In August of 1982, [Command Sergeant Major] Wright was ordered to Fort Bragg, N.C., where he became a member of the U.S. Military Special Operations Command for over 25 years.
CSM Wright circumnavigated the world while performing his duties when it pertained to defending America and her citizens for his actions.
Apparently, bullshit can be detected through the internet because Wright’s make-believe military fantasy came to an end when the online military sleuths at Guardians of the Green Beret smelled something fishy and outed him as a fraud. The site is dedicated to exposing anyone people who fabricate the details of their service.
The Stolen Valor Act makes it a federal offense to receive money or other tangible benefits for lying about one’s military history. Wright somehow obtained a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star and numerous other medals, which he wore on his uniform. People in military organizations even sent him some of his regalia after he told them he had applied for “replacements.”
Wright did serve in the military, but his stint lasted only eight years, not the 25 he claimed, according to his military records. And the only battlefield he saw was watching reruns of Battlefield Galactica, although we cannot confirm if he was a fan of Pat Benatar’s “Love Is a Battlefield.”
Wright’s highest rank in the Army was as a specialist, which is particularly disappointing because I really wanted to make a joke about him being a first-class liar or a major douchebag.
Read more at the New York Post.