Stolen Valor… You decide!


A few weeks ago a fellow Veteran and co-worker called to tell me someone was running for a local office and was alleged to be falsifying his military history.  As I looked a little closer into the story, I noticed that the story was already circulating in the Navy community and was spreading like wild fire.  I made a few Facebook posts about the whole deal and got a large response.  The Cleveland Daily Banner broke the story and has done an outstanding job with the whole thing too.

Below is a copy and paste of my Facebook messages to Mr. Laughter after he accepted my friend request.  I was hoping to be able to talk him in to coming clean and being honest about all of this.  After my last message, he apparently blocked me, so I can no longer see his page and can’t contact him.

Mr. Laughter is currently a democratic candidate for 6th District County Commissioner in Bradley County.

You can read the Banner articles by going to www.clevelandbanner.com

 

  • Conversation started April 7
  • E.j. Laughter
    E.j. Laughter

    Hello Rusty. I assume you read the crap article from the banner? It’s all a bunch of lies. Thanks for the request so you can hear from me and not everyone except me.

  • Rusty Bryant
    Rusty Bryant

    I’ll attempt to maintain an open mind however, for the sake of full disclosure I want you to know a couple of things. 1. I’m a Republican, 2. I’m a police officer, 3. I’m in the Navy Reserves and am a Chief Petty Officer, 4. My BS filter is pretty good.

  • E.j. Laughter
    E.j. Laughter

    Also full disclosure, for some reason most Republicans think I want their guns. I don’t I have several. But unlike most of my counterparts I support the whole Constitution and not just a few amendments… well, except for the 18th Amendment. But since you’ve been around a while and seen a lot then I’m sure you know how things like this start. A news company can say pretty much whatever they want and people will repeat it over and over with no verification just like high school.

  • Rusty Bryant
    Rusty Bryant

    Well, how about you show them your original DD214. That might clear it all up. But i’ll tell you, if you’re lying about this stuff you’re claiming it will not be good. You’ve already made several Master Chiefs upset and they are determined to not let this just go away.

    Who is Bill Smith? (https://www.facebook.com/BillSmith02)

  • E.j. Laughter
    E.j. Laughter

    Just a pseudonym some friends from the Navy and I came up with. And I’m surprised at how many people have enough time to continue to try to pursue this. The paper already posted something on the front page and really tore into me. They lied and everything. I don’t really know what more anyone could want… libel is very unethical and illegal but it’s pretty impossible to sue a news company for libel.

  • Rusty Bryant
    Rusty Bryant

    We take potential stolen valor seriously so that’s why people are putting so much time into this. If you thought that sleepy little Cleveland wouldn’t notice inconsistencies in someones military stories then you’re sadly mistaken.. Now, what your being accused of may not be considered stolen valor under the legal terms of the law, but morally and ethically it would fit. Especially coming from someone who has put themselves into the political lime light.

    I assure you, the truth will come out.

  • E.j. Laughter
    E.j. Laughter

    I hope it does one day… but it won’t be any time soon. Until then it will all be speculation and assumptions. I’m sorry you think I lied… if you ever want to talk politics then I welcome it.

  • Rusty Bryant
    Rusty Bryant

    I doubt our political ideas line up enough to have a conversation about.

    When did you get out of the Navy and what was your last command?

  • E.j. Laughter
    E.j. Laughter

    I wouldn’t be so sure about that…

    Try me.

  • Rusty Bryant
    Rusty Bryant

    When did you get out of the Navy and what was your last Command?

  • E.j. Laughter
    E.j. Laughter

    Let’s discuss things that we can do something about.

  • Rusty Bryant
    Rusty Bryant

    You’re avoiding the question and the topic all together. I’d like to know when you got out of the Navy and what you last command was?

  • E.j. Laughter
    E.j. Laughter

    You’re avoiding anything that matters. What I did in the Navy is not something I can discuss anymore and it’s not something that is even relevant to my political ideals, which is all that matters.

  • Rusty Bryant
    Rusty Bryant

    You can’t discuss it or you won’t discuss it? Let me guess, it’s classified? Right?

    Young man, you are running for a political office. Every aspect of your life is now open to scrutiny, especially to people who live in the District for which you are running. I am one of those people.

  • E.j. Laughter
    E.j. Laughter

    Then ask me about my politics. That’s all that matters anyway. That’s all that is involved in the position I am running for.

    What I did in the Navy, whether good, bad, or ugly doesn’t matter anymore. All that matters is what I’d like to do should I be elected.

  • Rusty Bryant
    Rusty Bryant

    You’re missing the point. If there’s question about the validity of your Naval career then it will certainly impact whether or not you would be able to fill an elected position.

    It’s an Honor, Courage, and Commitment issue.

  • E.j. Laughter
    E.j. Laughter

    I disagree. I think it’s an issue of dirty politics. Let’s not discuss where the county should be in 2 or 3 years, which is a much bigger deal by the way, instead let’s try and publicly humiliate someone who we think disagrees with us politically. That is what I see going on here.

  • Rusty Bryant
    Rusty Bryant

    If I can’t trust you to tell the truth about your past then I certainly can’t trust you to represent me as a Commissioner. People need to trust you. If you lied, then own it and make things right and move on. If you didn’t lie then prove it and move on. To try and deflect and change the subject only makes people distrust you.

    I’m not playing dirty politics. I dislike dirty politics with a passion. So that’s not my angle. I’d be having this discussion with you even if you weren’t running for office and your party affiliation certainly doesn’t matter to me either. Not as it pertains to your naval career.

  • E.j. Laughter
    E.j. Laughter

    I cannot comment on my service anymore. No it’s not that I will not. It’s that I cannot. I got into trouble from people that I used to work with and with people who don’t know me and think that I am a liar… but yes you can trust me as commissioner. If I say I’m going to vote to decrease property tax then I’m going to vote to decrease property tax.

  • Tuesday
  • Rusty Bryant
    Rusty Bryant

    Do you have a cell number so your constituents can call you?

  • Sunday
  • Rusty Bryant
    Rusty Bryant

    Have you read today’s banner article? If not, you should. It’s time to come clean and admit your faults. Because you’ll be asked about this stuff at every event you plan to speak at if you decide to continue this race.

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Shirt Stays


I’ve been wearing shirt stays with my military and civilian uniform since 1998.  I love them.  They make my uniform look nice and tight and very crisp, but on occasion, they will pop off.  Now, when I’m in my Navy uniform, it’s no big deal, but when I’m in my civilian uniform it’s a little more cumbersome.  I’m a police officer in my day job and when a shirt stay pops off, I end up having to take off my gun-belt and basically get undressed before I can put the offending ss back on.  What a pain.  What makes it even worse is when it happens just after i get to work.

But if your a person who likes to look good in uniform, I highly recommend using shirt stays to keep your shirt tail tucked in.

If you want to buy some, click here:  Amazon.

Chief Petty Officer Birthday


 

Chief Petty Officer insignia.

I thought I’d take the opportunity to wish all my fellow Chief Petty Officers a happy 121st birthday.

For more information about the history of the Chief Petty Officer, visit www.goatlocker.org or www.navy.mil.

Hooyah!