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    The Making of a Fake War Hero: An American Who Reinvented Himself as a Social-Media Soldier in Ukraine Is Accused of ‘Stolen Valor’

    The Making of a Fake War Hero: An American Who Reinvented Himself as a Social-Media Soldier in Ukraine Is Accused of ‘Stolen Valor'

    Read the original article on Business Insider.

    When launched its full-scale invasion of , a 48-year-old American veteran and building contractor from Connecticut named James Vasquez was one of thousands of volunteers who went to join the fight.

    He quickly became one of the most recognizable faces of the foreign fighters in Ukraine, often going viral with his battlefield and dramatic social-media posts purportedly from the front lines.

    In his videos and posts, he bragged about capturing Russians and taking out tanks, was regularly interviewed by the news media, and made catchy claims including that he imagined the “punchable” Tucker Carlson when preparing for battle.

    He gained more than 400,000 followers on Twitter and even got a shout-out from Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who called for his account to be verified.

    But on the ground in Ukraine, it was an open secret that Vasquez was not the war hero his social-media profiles projected him to be.

    Four foreign fighters and volunteers in Ukraine who knew Vasquez told Insider it was widely known he wasn't actually taking part in front-line fighting.

    Instead, they allege that Vasquez would enter areas where battles had taken place, take videos with destroyed equipment, and claim battlefield achievements as his own.

    April Huggett, a Canadian volunteer who knew Vasquez, told Insider in a text message that he would exaggerate how close to the action he was, often…

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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