Man Who Claimed to be a ‘Decorated Green Beret’ Revealed as a Total Fraud
Papotia Reginald Wright’s resume appeared impressive on the surface. The Army vet asserted he was awarded a Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and numerous other medals and commendations for his service as an elite Green Beret, leading him to receive invites to formal galas and field access to Giants games. But, on Thursday, the truth came out.
According to official military documents, Wright was not where near as accomplished as he claimed. As reported by the New York Post, Wright was never a member of any Special Forces unit and, in fact, had never served in a combat role.
Additionally, the highest rank he achieved was Specialist, even though Wright claimed he had served for 25 years and functioned as a Command Sergeant Major. The documents show he was only enlisted for approximately eight years, serving between 1982 and 1990.
During his service, Wright was predominately a driver, assigned to locations in Alaska, Egypt, Georgia and Texas, far from any battlefield.
While Wright was making the fraudulent claims, he became a prominent figure in the Brooklyn military community, even starting the 8th Special Forces Regiment New York Honor Guard, a local organization dedicated to helping vets, last year.
Wright even went the extra mile, showing up at events in a fake Green Beret uniform which featured a Special Forces patch and Purple Heart.
The Stolen Valor Act makes it a federal crime to falsely claim heroic military acts as a means of receiving monetary or other tangible benefits.
Representatives of the Guardians of the Green Beret began investigating Wright’s claims after receiving a tip and determined he was a fraud.
“It bothers us. Stolen valor is an epidemic. We cannot keep up with the cases sent to us,” a member of the group stated.
“Wearing fake stuff – wearing a Ranger tab, Special Forces tab, those things are hard to ear. Wearing a Purple Heart… that stuff’s unforgivable there.”
Jeff Johnson, a member of Wright’s organization who served in the Army for over 11 years, said he felt duped by Wright.
“It wasn’t confirmed to me until three or four days ago when I got a call from one of the members of the unit what was heartbroken,” said Johnson during an interview. “For a while, I just started chuckling. It was like this uncomfortable chuckle. That’s when I realized I was played for a f***ing fool.”
Johnson said Wright claimed to be “living off half a kidney” and that Wright was “an amazing storyteller because he will get into details.”
Since details showing Wright’s claims were false came to light, his organization has stopped posting on Facebook, but that they “will look into the matter.”