Liar, liar, liar: I served with the 1-120th Infantry (the unit Phil Haberman deployed to Iraq with) as the S3 (Operations Officer). I first met Specialist Haberman at Fort Bragg in February 2004 a few days before we deployed to Iraq ("G.I. Jerk," by Glenna Whitley, September 1). He claimed to be a Special Forces soldier who was also sniper-qualified. Initially, I was interested because he DID talk a good game. However, it only took a few conversations with him to figure out that he had a few screws loose. We started to doubt his qualifications almost immediately. I even had a conversation with his wife, whom he wanted me to help get admitted to a hospital in California. There seemed to be a problem with her being admitted without a dependent's ID card. At any rate, the last time I saw him was in Iraq--Camp Caldwell. He was complaining that he had been assigned to the cook section and that his "skills" were being wasted. However, knowing the senior NCOs in my unit, I was completely convinced that he was right where he needed to be (somewhere he couldn't get anyone hurt). He asked for my help getting him back with a unit that would see "some action." I told him that his NCOs knew what they were doing and that he had an obligation to listen to them and follow their direction. Essentially, I told him that I believed he was right where he needed to be. I learned the following day that he had been "disarmed" (made to surrender his ammunition) and that he was being sent to the rear for a psychological evaluation. It all made sense.
Although I am not a medical professional, I have dealt with thousands of soldiers over the past 19-plus years of military service. Normally, when something seems a little "off" with a soldier, it is. The fact that he will probably end his military career (term used lightly) with some form of permanent disability makes me sick. This Sunday, September 11, 2005, I am attending the dedication of a National Guard Armory in Winterville, North Carolina, to one of my soldiers--a company commander of A/120 IN who was killed in combat in Baquba, Iraq, June 24, 2004, named Captain Chris Cash. He was a true American warrior who sacrificed his life coming to the aid of his fellow soldiers. In fact, his last words from his Bradley were for his Bradley commanders to "get down" in the turrets because enemy machine gunners were shooting at BCs. Soldiers (again, a term used lightly) like Haberman who try to ride the wave of patriotism currently swelling in the United States for their own personal gain are the scourge of this truly noble profession. I want to personally thank you for exposing Haberman for what he is--a fraud and a liar. I hope your article makes the rounds through the military circles as quickly as it did in my unit. (I received it from Captain Cash's gunner, who was sitting beside him in the turret of his Bradley when he was hit.) The subject of the e-mail was "LIAR, LIAR, LIAR."
It is my sincere hope that on the day after Haberman's last day on earth, he will have the chance to meet some real heroes. He can try to tell his story to them.
Doubt they'll listen, though.
Major Scott Boyle
Raleigh, North Carolina
Sociopath: From your article, it appears that Phil Haberman is not a mystery, he is a classic sociopath. Approximately 1 percent of the North American population are born sociopaths. This is the most destructive personality type of the human race, and most people don't know they exist. I have recently launched a Web site that teaches the public to recognize and avoid them. You can see it at www.lovefraud.com.
Atlantic City, New Jersey
The top of the B.S. scale: Wow. This was some article. I knew Phil in high school. I graduated from Richardson High School class of '91. I remember hearing stories about him telling classes about fighting in Desert Storm and later getting in trouble for lying about it. My own personal experience with Phil was when he told me that he volunteered to help recover remains from the Delta flight that crashed at DFW airport. I asked him why a teenager would be allowed to help in picking up body parts. He also told me that he was going to get to take a ride in a submersible to see the Titanic. This was when he was 16 or 17. It was something else to see to what extent his B.S. would escalate. I'm glad he was exposed for this most dishonorable of scams.
Standing up for the real warriors: All of us are not like him. Thanks for putting out the truth; not many do nowadays. There are lots of troops giving up everything for this country and never asking for anything back. I have been in now for about 33 years, and I just enlisted one more time. I believe in this country and all it stands for. Granted, we have a lot to clean up here, but I chose my profession and I have lived its ideals all my life. Again, thanks. I just wanted to stand up for all my fellow warriors.
Fort Bragg, North Carolina
Speaking of con men: Phil Haberman sounded so much like a con man I met on match.com that I kept looking at the picture to make sure it wasn't the same guy. My guy had a laundry list of romanticized, heartstring-pulling tragic stories to share. Most of which included his military escapades in--what else?--Special Forces. He claims he fought in the battle that Black Hawk Down was based on. He claims he was a sniper in the first Gulf War. He is traumatized by his war experiences. He has delivered babies in the middle of war, performed battlefield surgery, holds the army sniper shooting record. Last I heard, he was claiming that he dressed in his dress uniform and went to military funerals to console the grieving families. When I challenged his stories, he became very angry and acted like I was heartless and unpatriotic for questioning him. His lies are not only unfair to the countless women he tries to con, but also to all of the TRUE American soldiers protecting our country.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Observer's biggest stories.
- Oak Lawn Protesters Pick Fight With Philip Kingston
Fri., Nov. 27, 2:00pm
Fri., Nov. 27, 5:30pm
Fri., Nov. 27, 7:30pm
Fri., Nov. 27, 8:00pm
- Just in Time for Thanksgiving Travel, Love Field Breaks Out New Parking System
- Giving Mike Rawlings Credit No Matter How Grudging ... And I Do Grudge.