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Old 24 October 2011, 10:41
brsawvel brsawvel is offline
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Billy Floyd Atkinson - SF Imposter

Billy Floyd Atkinson
VFW 9478 Past Commander, Sterling, VA (now 1177 Leesburg, VA)
& current VFW VA District 10 Junior Vice Commander
http://pownetwork.org/horv/horv_815.htm

Claims SF (1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th SFG(A)), MACV-SOG, Thailand, Vietnam, Panama, Grenada, Guyana, Desert Storm, CSM.

I used to be the adjutant at VFW 9478 and started suspecting this guy of lying after he made several claims to SF and Vietnam that weren't adding up (timeline discrepancies, inconsistent statements). So I sent an FOIA request to NPRC, name-check to USAJFKSWCS, and several emails to others with records (SFA III, former MACV-SOG guy, etc). All came back negative except for him being at Jonestown - as part of a clean up crew.

So I reported what I found to the Senior Vice Commander and Commander. The Senior Vice Commander agreed that something was fishy and wanted to contact the District Commander for guidance and also wanted to conduct a formal VFW Officers closed meeting, per VFW By-Laws, where each of us could present our evidence - for and against. If Billy could prove his claims I would apologize, if not, he would resign from the Post.

The Commander, Travis Potts, on the other hand, was good friends with Billy Atkinson and immediately tried every trick in the book to keep things from going forward. He claimed to be acting as the neutral party in investigating the incident, but out of nowhere, he would all of a sudden try to make some kind of crazy decree in an attempt to close the "case". So for three months, nothing happened.

Finally, I resigned my position and told Travis that if he wasn't going to handle it behind closed doors (for Billy's and the Post's embarrassments sake), then I would blow it wide open. Then, the real s--t throwing started, and Travis threatened litigation for slander and illegally obtaining the FOIA documents. And accused me of trying to destroy a "good man who has done great things for veterans and the Post" - like that's some kind of justification for telling lies. I challenged him with a "fine, let's go to court" and he changed his tune.

I reported Billy to the Post members, District, State, and National VFW and to POW Network.

POW Network posted him on their website and Billy half-assed admitted he'd been lying (although he comically tried to criticize me for not recognizing common soldier bar-room banter). Nevertheless, he resigned from his official duties at the Post.

Interestingly, though, right after the incident, VFW National withdrew my membership without explanation. But I didn't make a fuss since I really don't want to be part of any group that knowingly protects a liar and embarrassment to real SF, Vietnam, Panama, Grenada, Desert Storm, etc veterans because his buddy claims he's done great things for the local community and Post.

But the story continues. Which is why I am writing this now...

Recent articles indicate that Billy is back at the story-telling again, with the help of VFW 1177 Commander Travis Potts, and has been made Junior Vice Commander at District 10.

Travis Potts recently emailed POW Network to censure them, undersigning VFW 1177 Commander, like it's some position of authority outside his Post. But Chuck and Mary apparently have seen it many times before and basically told him to f- off. And, like a little child, Travis went into one of his rants against them and claimed he had proof that Billy was SF, but said something to the effect of "you don't really want to see them so I'm not going to show them to you."
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  #2  
Old 24 October 2011, 11:30
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ODA CDR (RET) ODA CDR (RET) is offline
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Like Groucho Marx said. PLEASE ACCEPT MY RESIGNATION. I DON'T WANT TO BELONG TO ANY CLUB THAT WILL ACCEPT ME AS A MEMBER.
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Old 24 October 2011, 11:39
sinjefe sinjefe is offline
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Finally, I resigned my position and told Travis that if he wasn't going to handle it behind closed doors (for Billy's and the Post's embarrassments sake), then I would blow it wide open. Then, the real s--t throwing started, and Travis threatened litigation for slander and illegally obtaining the FOIA documents. And accused me of trying to destroy a "good man who has done great things for veterans and the Post" - like that's some kind of justification for telling lies. I challenged him with a "fine, let's go to court" and he changed his tune.
Sounds, like "Travis" has an integrity problem. Also, FOIAs are public record. No such thing as "illegally obtaining". Only question might be how did you get his SSN, or part of it, to run the check.

What is that old saying: "The road to hell is paved with good intentions"?
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Old 24 October 2011, 11:54
brsawvel brsawvel is offline
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It's actually a misconception that you require an SSN. I'm not sure if they provide additional information if you give the SSN or if they use it to ensure they grab the right records (i.e. an inquiry for John Smith). NPRC was able to confirm they had the right records due to the full name and dates of service I provided.

Either way, as adjutant I had access to his SSN since part of my duty in that position is to confirm that members of the Post are qualified to be there and that Officers meet all requirements to be in a board position - which means I also had a copy of his DD-214 (which is another reason I knew something was up).

Call it intuition, but, I decided it best to avoid using his SSN or publishing his DD-214 since Billy could have argued that I illegally used personal information without his permission (which he and Travis did try). But the NPRC document doesn't require approval to show to anyone since it's protected under FOIA.
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Old 24 October 2011, 11:55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brsawvel View Post
Billy Floyd Atkinson
VFW 9478 Past Commander, Sterling, VA (now 1177 Leesburg, VA)
& current VFW VA District 10 Junior Vice Commander
http://pownetwork.org/horv/horv_815.htm

Claims SF (1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th SFG(A)), MACV-SOG, Thailand, Vietnam, Panama, Grenada, Guyana, Desert Storm, CSM.

I used to be the adjutant at VFW 9478 and started suspecting this guy of lying after he made several claims to SF and Vietnam that weren't adding up (timeline discrepancies, inconsistent statements). So I sent an FOIA request to NPRC, name-check to USAJFKSWCS, and several emails to others with records (SFA III, former MACV-SOG guy, etc). All came back negative except for him being at Jonestown - as part of a clean up crew.

So I reported what I found to the Senior Vice Commander and Commander. The Senior Vice Commander agreed that something was fishy and wanted to contact the District Commander for guidance and also wanted to conduct a formal VFW Officers closed meeting, per VFW By-Laws, where each of us could present our evidence - for and against. If Billy could prove his claims I would apologize, if not, he would resign from the Post.

The Commander, Travis Potts, on the other hand, was good friends with Billy Atkinson and immediately tried every trick in the book to keep things from going forward. He claimed to be acting as the neutral party in investigating the incident, but out of nowhere, he would all of a sudden try to make some kind of crazy decree in an attempt to close the "case". So for three months, nothing happened.

Finally, I resigned my position and told Travis that if he wasn't going to handle it behind closed doors (for Billy's and the Post's embarrassments sake), then I would blow it wide open. Then, the real s--t throwing started, and Travis threatened litigation for slander and illegally obtaining the FOIA documents. And accused me of trying to destroy a "good man who has done great things for veterans and the Post" - like that's some kind of justification for telling lies. I challenged him with a "fine, let's go to court" and he changed his tune.

I reported Billy to the Post members, District, State, and National VFW and to POW Network.

POW Network posted him on their website and Billy half-assed admitted he'd been lying (although he comically tried to criticize me for not recognizing common soldier bar-room banter). Nevertheless, he resigned from his official duties at the Post.

Interestingly, though, right after the incident, VFW National withdrew my membership without explanation. But I didn't make a fuss since I really don't want to be part of any group that knowingly protects a liar and embarrassment to real SF, Vietnam, Panama, Grenada, Desert Storm, etc veterans because his buddy claims he's done great things for the local community and Post.

But the story continues. Which is why I am writing this now...

Recent articles indicate that Billy is back at the story-telling again, with the help of VFW 1177 Commander Travis Potts, and has been made Junior Vice Commander at District 10.

Travis Potts recently emailed POW Network to censure them, undersigning VFW 1177 Commander, like it's some position of authority outside his Post. But Chuck and Mary apparently have seen it many times before and basically told him to f- off. And, like a little child, Travis went into one of his rants against them and claimed he had proof that Billy was SF, but said something to the effect of "you don't really want to see them so I'm not going to show them to you."
For VFW National to withdrawl your membership without a hearing or trial in your post is a violation of their own National By-Laws. Sometjhing is fishy here. I suspect that your "Friend" Travis Potts sent National a concocted story that you had been ousted by a quorum of the membership after undergoing a hearing in a General Meeting. I'd write to National and ask them how you were kicked out of the VFW and if you don't get an acceptable answer go to your congressman as the Federal Government has chartered them and can shut them down.
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Old 24 October 2011, 12:52
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One has to wonder if his buddy Potts doesn't have some skeletons of his own hiding in the closet? In any case I would do as colmurph recommended. I wouldn't let it lie.
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  #7  
Old 24 October 2011, 13:22
sinjefe sinjefe is offline
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Quote:
It's actually a misconception that you require an SSN. I'm

True. But, I have tried it without (and with a fairly uncommon name) and got the "didn't find any record" given the information I gave them. When I re-did it with an SSN, bingo.
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Old 24 October 2011, 13:44
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I sent a copy of his DD-214 and enlisted record brief to VFW National. This piece of shit isnt eligibile for membership in the VFW let alone holding office. Let's see if National Responds. If not, I'm gooing to take the story to the press.
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Old 24 October 2011, 14:17
EricFoltz EricFoltz is offline
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Unfortunately, the VFW doesn't seem to realize that it's things like this that keep a lot of eligible veterans from joining the organization.
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Old 24 October 2011, 16:14
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I was Sr, Vice Commander of my local Post for quite awhile. I helped review every new member application, with included DD214, verifying their qualifying claim to be a member of VFW.

It amazed me the claims made by some members during functions, meetings, poppy sales amongst the public. It got to a point where I was so absolutely taken aback, time after time, that I got tired of pointing out that I really knew otherwise. I eventually resigned my position, and havent been back to the post since.

The VFW has a knack for "eating their young". I tried and tried to get OIF/OEF guys to join. They'd show up for a meeting or two, and the older guys would give them the cold shoulder. And, no offense intended my Vietnam brothers (this is not a generalization at all), but it was normally the Vietnam era guys in the Post that, for what ever reason, could not accept the new OIF/OEF guys. VFW Post's are drying up right and left. Every District meeting I attended it was due to the fact of no "new blood".

I don't know if it's a by-product of how terribly the Vietnam Vets were treated or not? This might be better served being discussed in a thread of it's own, but that's my view on it.

Tripod
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  #11  
Old 24 October 2011, 16:53
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Tripod, if the VFW ignores this I will probably send them back my Life Membership Card and tell them that I'll stick with the American Legion. Perhaps it needs to fold it's colors and go away and the OIF/OEF guys can start their own organization free of WWII, Korea and Viet-nam Vets who just don't seem to "get it".
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Old 24 October 2011, 22:23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tripod View Post
The VFW has a knack for "eating their young". I tried and tried to get OIF/OEF guys to join. They'd show up for a meeting or two, and the older guys would give them the cold shoulder.
This is as I understand it from more than a few guys. I asked someone at the VFW and had a member tell me they didn't care and it was their(RVN vets) club. This one person didn't really care about guys serving in OIF/OEF.

No sweat off my back, I like hanging out with my SOF brothers anyway.
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Old 24 October 2011, 22:52
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I had that issue when I first retired, I do qualify for VFW due to my foreign service in OIF/OEF, DS/DS so I went to my local post in Charlotte NC with my DD214 all ready to join up and become a member. I was pretty given the "cold " shoulder and had a couple of members (they weren't in joking or comedic tone either) that we were not wanted, we were in their words, "haven't earn the right or truly blooded, like the other members of VFW were. I basically was sick to my stomach at their refusal to even accept an application. I found that attitude, "our " club heavily. I basically walked out without being rude, although I wanted to shove fist in that individual's face who mocked my sacrifice as "you guys just did it for the money- we never got that kind of money or benefits when we came home, blah blah blah."

F- that! if thats the attitude, they can all die off, I'll keep my military service to myself and would rather not be a part of any organization.
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Old 24 October 2011, 23:52
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Originally Posted by colmurph View Post
I sent a copy of his DD-214 and enlisted record brief to VFW National. This piece of shit isnt eligibile for membership in the VFW let alone holding office. Let's see if National Responds. If not, I'm gooing to take the story to the press.
Get him, Murph!

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Old 25 October 2011, 09:10
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Originally Posted by DrlSgt View Post
I had that issue when I first retired, I do qualify for VFW due to my foreign service in OIF/OEF, DS/DS so I went to my local post in Charlotte NC with my DD214 all ready to join up and become a member. I was pretty given the "cold " shoulder and had a couple of members (they weren't in joking or comedic tone either) that we were not wanted, we were in their words, "haven't earn the right or truly blooded, like the other members of VFW were. I basically was sick to my stomach at their refusal to even accept an application. I found that attitude, "our " club heavily. I basically walked out without being rude, although I wanted to shove fist in that individual's face who mocked my sacrifice as "you guys just did it for the money- we never got that kind of money or benefits when we came home, blah blah blah."

F- that! if thats the attitude, they can all die off, I'll keep my military service to myself and would rather not be a part of any organization.
That absolutely floors me. A couple guys from my team and I joined one of the local ones in Omaha, and never had a problem. Of course, we were also generally the only ones in there, whenever we went. But the few times there was anyone else, a lot of times, they woud buy us a round, when they heard we had been in the desert. I wonder if it has to do with the way VN vets were treated by WWII vets, way back when. I thought I remembered hearing that it was the same way then in some VFW's. Either way, it's a shame and someone needs to be reminded that we're all brothers
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Old 25 October 2011, 09:43
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When I joined the VFW it was WWII vets and Korean vets who told me that "Vietnam wasn't a war". "you were only there for a year". I shut them up by asking them what decorations they had received for their WWII or Korean service and how many days had they been in actual combat. The mouthy types were all support troops that had nothing other than the "I was here" ribbons. The actual combat types kept their mouths shut because they knew better.
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Old 25 October 2011, 09:48
brsawvel brsawvel is offline
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You would think this was a lesson learned from them pulling the same s-t when veterans returned from Vietnam to have the VFW "brothers" of that time turn their backs on them. But it sounds like they changed their tune only because their membership was dwindling. (I'm pretty sure that's why VVoA was formed)

And you would really think the Vietnam veterans at VFW today would act differently because of how they were treated back then.

Guess not.

Although I can't say that was an issue at 9478. Just an integrity issue in protecting a fraud all because he's a "friend" and historical member of the Post.

It's amazing that they would, out of one side of their mouth defend a person who publicly lies about his status and service in so many conflicts - while out the other side of their mouth claim to honor the same servicemembers this -- disrespects and frankly mocks.

This all happened when Richard Eubank was VFW National Commander. I emailed him too, but apparently he didn't seem too concerned. Hopefully the new National Commander, Richard DeNoyer, has the intestinal fortitude Eubank lacked to do the right thing.
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Old 25 October 2011, 16:51
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Mr: Murphy:

You’ve sent us two messages on Mr. Atkinson and I’ll respond separately to each one because it seems we have two distinct issues from you.

This one we interpret from you that you are questioning Mr. Atkinson’s eligibility for the VFW. While there is no indication on the FOIA extract of a qualifying campaign medal or ribbon, the DA form 2 lists two tours in the Republic of Korea (1991-2 and 1986-7) that would now qualify him for receipt of the Korea Defense Service Medal. (We’re assuming these extracts you attached are legitimate.) Further, service in Korea for 30 consecutive or 60 non-consecutive days is also qualifying for VFW membership.

Please let me know if you have any other information that might indicate that these facts are not correct.

John McNeill, Assistant Adjutant General

The above is a message I just received from the VFW. Looks like anybody who served in Korea is now eligible for membership.
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Old 25 October 2011, 16:55
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This is the second message received from VFW. Obviously they did not comprehend what they read and think that I am the person who was booted instead of William Sawvel. At any rate, there is a clear violation here.


Mr. Murphy:

We received this message from you along with a second one on Mr. Atkinson. I’ve responded just now to the other message as it concerns a membership eligibility question.

First, we’re not sure on your statement that “ …VFW National withdrew my membership without explanation.” We still have you listed as an active member.

On this message, we read it as you questioning statements by Mr. Atkinson that if it is as you allege, would certainly be a violation of our By-laws (specifically as an offense as listed in section 902 of the National By-laws). Accordingly, if you will send me your permission, I will forward your statement on the Department Commander of Virginia for an investigation and report to us.

Please let me know as soon as possible.

John McNeill, Assistant Adjutant General
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Old 25 October 2011, 16:57
Just Another Guy Just Another Guy is offline
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The Korean Defense Service Medal meets VFW requirements????? My AFEM from Korea met the membership requirements. The AFEM for Korea was stopped in 74; just after I qualified for it.
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