While Stolen Valor is a serious crime, sometimes people jump to conclusions before verifying the facts.
Such is the case with Captain Lindsay Lowery, who was accused of stealing valor after posting a photo of herself standing in front of a Humvee in Iraq. The taunting and harassment of Lowery was so severe, she had to go to great lengths to verify her military service.
IJReview talked to Lowery about the experience and harassment. Here’s Lowery in her own words:
I was commissioned in 2006. The last two years of my career I was in the Army Reserves. About a week ago, I got my resignation papers.
Because I was excited to leave the military and spend more time with my children, I decided to make that announcement public. I did so on my public Facebook page “Prissy Holly” where I write articles for Mad World News, by posting a picture of myself when I was stationed in Iraq from 2007- 2008.
In the post I mentioned how I was the officer in charge of a maximum security compound, where they host the worst radical Islamists that you can imagine. I also mentioned how my nickname was “Battle Barbie,” because of my iron will to prove myself as an equal to my male counterparts.
While the majority of people thanked me for my service, there was also several people who questioned my credentials to the point of accusing of me of stealing valor. What was supposed to be a simple Facebook post turned into a crusade to allegedly expose me for lying about a military record that I supposedly never had.
Then, Lowery explained how a situation that she thought would be only minimal backlash, turned into much, much more:
“Initially I thought this would be something that died down quickly. However, the next morning I visited my Facebook page to find hundreds of comments accusing me of stealing valor. They told me that they would report me for stealing valor.
Here are just a few screenshots Lowery provided to show us what kind of backlash she was receiving. (Editor’s note: some of the responses contain coarse language.)Image Credit: Facebook Image Credit: Facebook Image Credit: Facebook
Lowery said she couldn’t believe “people claiming to be veterans would eat their own.” She was cleared of any accusations of Stolen Valor by Guardian of Valor, an organization which specializes in exposing people posing as military members. In addition, she produced her DD214:Image Credit: Lindsay Lowery
The incident received so much attention, the Colonel who commissioned Lowery sent out a letter vouching for her:Image Credit: Lindsay Lowery
Lowery explained how she feels after the experience:
“It appears as though that sexism is on alive and well in 2015. Even though many females have sacrificed and put their life on line to defend the country they love, there are still chauvinistic pigs out there who think women shouldn’t be in uniform and fight for their freedoms. But like it or not, women are fulfilling combat roles more and more within the military. Perhaps it’s time for these hate-filled individuals to evolve and join the rest of us here in the 21st century.
I have no doubt in my mind that if I would have been a male I wouldn’t have to prove myself to these people about my military service. They would have simply taken me at my word.”
The Facebook page that was driving harassing traffic at Lowery has since been taken down.