Singing War Hero on America’s Got Talent Proved a Fraud
The news in recent weeks has been overrun by the idea of a zombie apocalypse, and of fraudulent claims whether in identity or of a hero’s story.
As for the zombie outbreak, hysteria must have been on the rise for the Center for Disease Control to actually issue a statement that no such thing could a occur.
As for the claims of identity, everyone by now has heard the story of Massachussetts U.S. Senate democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren. Whether she is Native or not, is still up in the air and a question that Indian country along with the rest of the country is interested in finding out the truth.
The latest story however, broke today about Timothy Michael Poe. Poe appeared on NBC’s America’s Got Talent on Monday and shared a very heartfelt story about his time serving in the military and the injuries he sustained while in Afghanistan.
Unfortunately for Poe, his story has been quickly called into question. According to an Associated Press article via ArmyTimes.com Poe told judges he spent 14 years in the military, suffering a broken back and a brain injury when a rocket-propelled grenade hit him in 2009. The story Poe gave was hero worthy and would have been deserving of a Purple Heart according to Lt. Col. Kevin Olson, a spokesman for the Minnesota National Guard – where Poe served – in a statement. But there is no record of Poe receiving the honor.
“I had volunteered for a team to go out and clear buildings and help out with the wounded,” Poe said during a taped interview on the show. “There was a guy who come up with a rocket-propelled grenade. I saw it coming down, and by the time I turned and went to jump on top of my guys, I yelled ‘grenade’ and the blast had hit me.”
However, Olson also stated, “Sgt. Poe’s official military records do not indicate that he was injured by a grenade in combat while serving in Afghanistan in 2009, as he reports.” Olson also cleared up Poe’s claim of service stating the Sgt. Served in Kosovo from October 10, 2007 to July 15, 2008 and was deployed to Afghanistan from July 28, 2009 to August 30, 2009. His overall service in the National Guard as a supply specialist was from December 3, 2002 to May 26, 2011 Olson said.
Another of Poe’s claims was that the injuries he sustained in the attack led him to develop a stutter that he can only suppress when singing. In a New York Post article, Poe’s ex-wife, Kelly Ballard, raised the red flags when she said she never heard him stutter like he did on the show. She went on to say, “There were no combat injuries. I think he developed a ‘feel sorry for me’ stutter.”
Olson told the AP, “We looked very closely at his record. We did not find something to substantiate what he said.”
NBC and Poe have not yet responded to the findings.
Watch the video of his selling performance below: