The Making of a Fake War Hero: An American Who Reinvented Himself as a Social-Media Soldier in Ukraine Is Accused of 'Stolen Valor'

James Vasquez, a 48-year-old American veteran and building contractor from Connecticut, gained fame as a foreign fighter in Ukraine during the Russian invasion. However, it was later revealed that he exaggerated his involvement in front-line fighting. He would visit areas after battles, take videos with destroyed equipment, and claim battlefield achievements as his own. He also posted updates that compromised the safety of his unit.

James Vasquez, the American veteran who gained fame as a foreign fighter in Ukraine, has been exposed for fabricating his military background. Despite claiming to have served as a sergeant and being deployed to Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm and Iraq after 9/11, the Pentagon confirmed that Vasquez was never deployed to those places or anywhere else. His actual military service was as a fuel and electrical systems repairer in the New York National Guard and Army Reserve, where he held the rank of private first class before being discharged under undisclosed circumstances. Vasquez admitted to misrepresent his military record and acknowledged telling numerous lies to advance his position.

James Vasquez, who claimed to be a war hero fighting in Ukraine, has been exposed as a fraud. He lied about his military background and exaggerated his experiences. His ex-wife and other sources confirmed that he had deceived them as well. Vasquez leveraged the death of a fellow fighter for personal gain and bragged about becoming famous and wealthy. Concerns for safety arose when Vasquez made threats towards those who exposed him. The lax vetting process allowed him to slip through and join the fight in Ukraine.

James Vasquez, a fraud posing as a war hero in Ukraine, exaggerated his experiences and disregarded the rules of warfare. He boasted about his online fame, planned to profit from his false credentials, and solicited donations for soldiers' equipment. Despite his falsehoods, he gained media coverage and followers until his deception was exposed.

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