Thursday, December 20, 2012
Turns out the Marine "sergeant" who decided to stand guard out front of a California elementary school hyped his credentials. Craig Pusley claimed to have been a combat veteran in Iraq and Afghanistan and a Marine reservist, but Pusley served just eight months in the Corps, never left MCRD San Diego, and was never deployed, according to the Business Insider.
An unnamed active-duty Marine spilled the beans on Pusley's past, telling the Insider:
Craig R. Pusley served for not even a year, from 17 July 2007 to 8 April 2008, never earned a Military Occupational Specialty (MOS - a job designation), and never left Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, according to the report.
He left the Corps as a basic Marine (8000 MOS designation), no reserve status.
When asked about the discrepancy, Pusley told the Marine Corps Times he never lied about his service. He said the journalist who first reported the story got her facts wrong:
“There’s a lot of fabrication to this story that didn’t come out of my mouth. All I know is that I talked to a Modesto Bee lady, and everything went crazy.”
As Home Post reported earlier today, Pusley volunteered to stand watch over the little ones at Hughson Elementary School in California's Central Valley - with the permission of principal Laura Fong. Pusley was quoted in the Modesto Bee as saying:
"When I enlisted, I swore to defend this country from all enemies, foreign and domestic."
Fong told the Associated Press that she was grateful for Pusley's contribution:
"It really is kind of heartwarming to know someone would do something like that. It makes me and my staff feel safer. After a shooting, there's always a heightened awareness that this could happen anywhere."
The Business Insider surmised that Pusley was mimicking the actions of former Marine Staff Sgt. Jordan Pritchard, whom WTVR-TV reported dug out his old uniform last week and now stands watch outside Gower Elementary School in Tennessee.
There has been a social media push to hire armed, unemployed veterans to guard elementary schools in the wake of the Newtown shooting.
What do you think of Pusley's actions, and the call to guard schools with armed veterans?