New York man accused of manufacturing decorated Green Beret military career


Stolen valor: NY vet accused of manufacturing decorated career

Military documents dispute Papotia Reginald Wright’s claim that he was a 25-year-old Special Forces Green Beret with a Purple Heart.

A New York man fabricated his decorated military career, with a claim of a Green Beret, receiving medals for courage under fire and serving for 25 years is exposed as lies, according to military documents.

Papotia Reginald Wright, Brooklyn, he claimed, served with Special Forces, but military documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, showed the veteran was not a Green Beret, and go no further than a “specialist grade,” the New York Post reported.

Wright also stated of serving in the Army for 25 years and said that he received the Purple Heart and Bronze Star — but records showed he only served from 1982-1990 and spent most of his time as a driver in Alaska, Texas, Georgia, and Egypt.


Despite apparently living in a lie, Wright was honored military figure in his community. Last year, he founded an organization in Brooklyn to help veterans. He called the organization of the 8th Regiment of Special Forces New York honor guard.

“Stolen valor is an epidemic…that stuff is unforgivable.”

– Guards of the Green Beret member

Photos on the website of the group allowed Wright to a New York Giants football game wearing what appears to be a fake Green Beret uniform.

According to the Stolen Valor Act to any person, that the reformulation of the “provisions relating to fraudulent claims about military service were subject to a fine, imprisonment up to one year or with both.”

Guardians of the Green Beret said that they started with the scanning of Wright after receiving tips from users of the Internet.

“It bothers us. Stolen valor is an epidemic. We can not continue with the cases that are being sent to us,” a member of the group told the New York Post. “The wearing of fake stuff — wearing a Ranger tab, Special Forces tab, those things are hard to earn. The wearing of a Purple Heart…that stuff is unforgivable.”

Jeff Johnson, 37, who served in the Army for more than 11 years and worked at Wright veteran organization, said he felt cheated.


“It was not confirmed to me until three or four days ago, when I got a phone call from one of the members of the unit who was heartbroken,” Johnson told the New York Post. “For a while I started to chuckle. It Was an uncomfortable laugh. That is when I realized that I was played for a f——- fool.”

Johnson said Wright would tell him stories about his alleged military days, including one where he claimed to be a person cut out his kidney.

“He said that he was alive from the half of a kidney,” Johnson said. “He is a great narrator, because he gets into the details.”

Thomas Miskel, a veteran who volunteered for Wright’s Honor Guard association, said he was shocked by the allegations.

“He began to appear for football games and all that and the flags and all that,” Miskel said. “He kind of blew my mind a little when I discovered that bugle he was to blow was a recording.”

Miskel said Wright has also failed to pay his rent in Park Slope, where his association’s offices were located.

The group said that it would investigate the claims and would stop posting on social media.

There was no immediate word on if Wright would be faced with costs.

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