Wounded Warrior Project – Saving Sargent Ryan
…by Alex Graham
It seems the Wounded Warriors Project is coming under a lot of fire for my article about it being a legal scam. In the last two weeks however, bowing to immense pressure, they have suddenly opted in to helping Veterans financially.
This Revelation from on High came to Mr. Nardizzi and and his loyal krewe of sixteen acolytes after the dismal December fundraising statistics were posted near the WWP water cooler February First.
Seems a lot of you Veterans and your folks pulled the ejection handle and punched out on their money maker. This put an immense crimp on the bonus incentives fund.
As I now seem to have a natural proclivity to attract lightning and whistleblowers from any and everyone who has had dealings with the WWP, I found it interesting to open my email several weeks ago and be talking to yet another “voice in the dark” who wished to discuss what WWP is inclined to do under any given circumstance.
This particular gentleman, who naturally wished to remain nameless, has discovered that WWP invites onto their stages “Veterans” and I use the term loosely, who are anything BUT wounded warriors in any sense of the word. Keep in mind that this group refuses to associate with just about everyone and demands huge proceeds from the gate receipts to even allow their banner to be unfurled at an event.
Allow me to digress. WWP advocated quite strongly for the VA Caregivers Act which entitles the most seriously injured Veterans a VA-paid caregiver to the tune of $2200.00 per month. The codicil in small print was that this munificence was only available to those who had fought since 9/11/2001.
By implication, it was also aimed at those who were actually injured by IEDs, GSWs, SFWs, and other flying metal objects. Somehow this also segued into PTSD as well. This was sponsored, pushed, advocated for and driven by a huge WWP campaign including the exclusivity of the VA benefit. No other class of warrior before had been honored to the exclusion of other, equally disabled Veterans under identically the same circumstances.
WWP, in their rush to sign up wounded warriors of the Iraq/ Afghanistan Wars, have failed their assigned duties in obtaining permission to use the likeness of wounded Vets for their Charity Fundraising adventures. WWP is fond of these legal talismans.
Their ex-employees tell me they are required to sign nondisclosure agreements about everything and most especially when exiting the employ of said non-profit. The WWP is top heavy with attorneys so it follows they have forms for everything.
Horribly injured or disfigured Vets are asked to allow their image to be used for fundraising and required to sign off on any profits that might be made with the images. Very Sad but very WWP.
Which brings us to this Post. Ladies and Gentleman Vets allow me to introduce you to WWP’s latest wounded wonder. Meet Ryan J. Webster, Veteran of 100 missions over a keyboard. Mr. Webster, who variously refers to himself as a former Sargent or Chief Warrant Officer 2, served from 9/23/1999 to 2/23/2002 according to the FOIA obtained from the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis, MO.
What? You thought you could only get your records from them? This is America. But should you want to fake someone out about military stuff, you better think twice. The Joint US Center for the Uniformed Research of Records (JUSCRUR) can tell you which Infantry squad was involved in marching between any two hamlets on any given day in 1968 in Vietnam.
Figuring out who might have been involved in a combat air insertion via an airborne force is going to be recorded minutely… and was. If you claim to have been there, by rights, you would have to have been assigned to the group that jumped. You can’t say you were just hitchhiking with a spare chute in the C-141 that day and decided to party with these guys.
Add in the idea that if you (a certain not for profit organization from Jacksonville, FL) piss off the hired help and let them go, they might get angry and say certain things about who you laud as a “wounded warrior”. What we have here is, quite honestly, a disgruntled person who wishes to point out that greed sometimes interferes with good judgement.
WWP, regardless of whether they knowingly utilized the image and persona of Mr. Ryan Webster, is required to perform a modicum of due diligence before parading him on the stage as a legitimate warrior.
As the War in Kosovo ended for US Forces on June 11, 1999(three months before Ryan enlisted) and the Iraq war did not commence until thirteen months after our bemedaled warrior separated from service, there seems to be some major dichotomy in his timeline. It gets much worse.
Sgt./CWO Ryan has left us a generous paper trail to include tweets, LinkedIn, Facebook and a rich panoply of visual shots with some of his regalia on display. My good friend asked a SOG to take a peak at the video and comment on the awards and their significance. Read some of his tweets and you get the impression this Vet was “impacted”.
CWO/Sgt. Webster has even more problems that keeping his rank straight and faking the limp. Here’s his LinkedIn format. Has to be the same guy. Same picture but now his service has grown to February 2004 and he’s been reduced in rank back to Sargent and become a disabled American Veteran. Up, down, up, down. Sgt. Ryan J. Webster
WWP did pick a PX Ranger for the stage. Let’s look at all that signage on the fatigues or what they call Battle Dress Uniform (BDU). I suspect Ryan’s fatigues have never been near Southwest Asia. First a montage and then a discussion of all the various awards and what the possible connotations might be, should be or could be.
You see the problems that crop up? CWO2/Sgt. Ryan was not a member of the 75th Ranger Battalion. In fact, one of the only things he isn’t wearing is Ranger Tabs. In fact, our rank-challenged groundpounder is claiming affiliation with the 1st Armored instead of the 82nd Airborne.
Untrained Infantry are not permitted to jump out of aircraft without proper training. In sum, the badges and insignia do not add up. Here’s one Special Force gentleman’s theories on CWO 2 /Sgt. Ryan’s exploits.
Re: Ryan J. Webster
Now, concerning Ryan J. Webster; at first glance, I see some BS going on. First and foremost, there is no way this guy could have jump wings with two combat stars. If he served from 1999 to 2004, the only two recognized jumps into a combat zone were by the 75th Ranger regiment into Northern Iraq in 2003, and three days apart. Even if he was attached to the Ranger Regiment, the likelihood they would have let any non-infantryman, not to mention, non-Ranger jump into a combat zone is unbelievably remote. Jump twice, no f——g way! Besides, his combat badge (Old Ironside) isn’t even an Airborne unit!
Next, Even if he started as an E-3 (very possible, I did), it makes no sense for him to go from E5 in one skill (31F) to a mechanic (63B) and then to make rank as a CW2? It is possible at bare minimum time in service, time in grade, but the whole point of a Warrant Officer is to be a “subject matter expert” in their specialty.
He would have also had to go to Warrant Officer Basic Course, which I can’t imagine he would leave off of his resume. The other possibility is that he has attained the rank of CW2 in the reserves or Guard after his active duty tour, but that is also unlikely, since those slots are even harder to come by and there are guys who retire as a CW2 because of lack of upward mobility.
Third, the Kosovo conflict lasted from 28 February 1998 until 11 June 1999. So, even if he entered active duty on 01 Jan 1999, he would not have been finished with his Basic training, Signal School, and (apparently) Airborne & Air Assault schools before the war ended. So that one is absolute BS!!
Two other tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan are possible, but not if he switched MOS’s to become a mechanic and went to WOBC since tours at the start of the wars were for 18 months in country. The dude simply runs out of time to do everything he says he’s done.
The Arrowhead with bolts is for assignment to Special Forces Groups/Units (I was assigned to 3rd SFG and had that patch myself). However, Special Forces team members have a patch above the Airborne banner that says “Special Forces.” So he’s not claiming he’s a real “green beret,” which is smart.
Overall, I’d say this guy did probably serve in the Army. But the accomplishments, rank, awards, tours and badges he claims all seem like he had one really good shopping spree at the PX before he out-processed and sewed that shit in his uniform. He is what we called a “PX-Ranger,” someone who bought all the cool looking badges without actually doing the work.
Hope this helps.
And an additional comment on the accomplishments of this gifted soldier.
After seeing the pictures, I’m even more skeptical. A pit-bull as a service dog? I’ve never seen that before. I also found his Linked In resume and there he’s claiming to have received an ARCOM for valor “bravery?” This guy seems to be a legend in his own mind. I’ve also never heard anyone say they graduated an Army school “Summa Cum Laude.”
On a different note, I found this link to all recognized United States Combat Jumps where the “mustard stains” were awarded: http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/airborne-jumps.htm
Needless to say, these are all Airborne units and I seriously doubt he was part of any of them… twice. If he did all the stuff he says he did, he is the reincarnation of Audie Murphy. Overall, I don’t know but he’s record is HIGHLY suspicious and if he’s using his “achievements” to collect money for personal gain, he needs to have a long, private meeting with some of those Vietnam Vets in the back of the room.
Seems we have what some would refer to as a conundrum. Mr. Ryan wants to be a communications switching systems operator (MOS 31F) and light wheel vehicle mechanic (63B) for LinkedIn hiring practices but, like Clark Kent, switches over to his true persona of CWO 2 Ryan of the 3rd SOG (Death from Above) and three combat deployments to three different theaters of war. Rat-a-tat-tat. Listen to all those busy machine guns.
What we are missing is a good shot of him in dress uniform so we could feast our eyes on all those “I was there” medals and the others for personal bravery in combat. WWP sure can pick a winner and they have here. I wonder how this is going to play out up in Cow Harbor?
I reckon old Bill Hannigan, regional director for the Wounded Warriors Project is going to come unglued and ask a few burning questions about how to save Private Ryan and his sidekick Otis. That’s the problem with these things.
Remember the one with President Clinton getting his picture taken with the guy who was later wanted on three continents by Interpol? You simply have to vet the Vet before you let him in the parade or you look like a complete boob afterwards for getting hornswoggled.
Here’s a great shot of our heavily decorated Vet with his faithful, erstwhile canine companion. Look for him at 1:36 and 1:55 on the tape. He belongs in Hollywood.
Here’s one from the Cow Harbor (Long Island) event. Look for him on the fire truck at :55 behind the African American Veteran (genuine article).
In closing, I find it offensive that anyone would give this man a stage without sufficient investigation. It seems so easy to confirm. If Mr. Webster was genuinely wounded in combat, VA is paying him compensation. That should be easy enough as well to confirm. We should not have to “vet the Vet” but it seems nowadays with the exuberant way crowds greet us that there will be some who sneak in and try to get a free meal.
Short URL: http://www.veteranstoday.com/?p=288910
Posted by Alex Graham on Feb 16 2014, With 0 Reads, Filed under Editor, Vet News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.