Photo: US Navy
A defamed Navy SEAL impostor was found dead on a beach in Northern California with a gunshot wound to the head.Lorraine Devon Wilke of the site Addicting Info reports the story about Ike Densmore’s obsession with being a SEAL and the real SEAL, Don Shipley, whose investigation led to Densmore’s outing.
Ike Densmore, 48, had a big dream. He wanted to be a Navy SEAL. He wanted it so bad that even after spending time in the Army he dismissed that less exotic service to, instead, concoct a story about actually being a member of the elite Navy SEAL Team One. He created a public profile that detailed his impressive “history,” inclusive of a Silver Star, a Bronze Star, three Purple Hearts, two Presidential Unit Citations and six Navy “accommodations,” and posted that profile to his various social media sites. By fall of 2012, his story took a hit when journalists and a SEAL activist began to investigate his claims. By the end of January 2013, the jig was up… literally.
Wilke notes that the Humboldt County Sheriff described the death as “self-inflicted but suspicious,” probably taking into account that Densmore’s actions raised the ire of America’s most lethal killers (though to this writer’s knowledge there haven’t been any reports of actual violence committed against those who “steal valor”).
Shipley seemed shaken up and saddened, reports Wilke, when he found out about Densmore’s death. Densmore’s passport and identification lay on the steps of city hall, and beside him on the beach was a gun.
Perpetrators of stolen valor tend to go so overboard that their stories are hardly believable in the eyes of seasoned veterans. Just last month, we covered how a “Marine” sergeant standing guard outside a school was himself an impostor. (Instead of multiple tours of duty to Afghanistan, a Purple Heart, and a missing leg, “Sgt.” Craig Pusley was actually never more than a private, who was subsequently kicked out of the Marine Corps for unauthorised absence within a few months of active duty service.)
The prevalence of stolen valor has become such a problem that veteran activists have pushed Congress to make it illegal.
Congress ruled that though it was dishonest, it would abridge 1st Amendment rights to free speech — unless Stolen Valor became a means to personal profit, kind of like fraud charges. If a jury finds a person guilty for lying about military service for personal profit, they could be fined up to $10,000 and imprisoned for six months.
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