He Says He's Military, But He's a Fraud

Ask Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki,

I’ve met this surgeon general serving in the Iraq hospitals in the Green Zone. He has been there for some time. When the president pulled all the troops out, they left the doctors there. This is puzzling to me.

We are two years into our relationship and have talked all this time through our computers' messenger service. My boyfriend put in his retirement and did get the retirement. For some reason, he says he still cannot leave Iraq until a replacement is found.

Now I am not hearing from him anymore. The last time was before the holidays. He said he wasn’t feeling well, but then he said he was doing OK.

I have become concerned. How can I possible get word through to the hospital over there? Who could get word to me about his condition?

Surgeon General’s Girlfriend

Dear Girlfriend,

OK ... your friend told you he is a surgeon general in the military, right? Well, check this out: Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho is the surgeon general of the Army and her office is in Falls Church, Va. Vice Adm. Matthew L. Nathan is the incumbent surgeon general of the Navy and Lt. Gen. Thomas W. Travis is currently serving as the surgeon general of the Air Force. So, which one are you dating?

Trust me -- no one wears the title of surgeon general but one of the people I listed above. I hate to tell you, but I don’t think you know who the guy you have been messaging really is. Do you know his real name? His unit? His branch of service? His rank?

Here’s the deal: I wouldn’t pass go with this guy. The next thing he will do is ask you for money because he has to pay in order to leave Iraq.

If I had $5 for every story I’ve heard like yours, I could pay off my mortgage. Seriously. I doubt if this person is in the U.S. military. He’s a sham.

Everybody wants to be a combat veteran post 9/11. I guess it makes you look more patriotic and more masculine ... I don’t know. I hear from women on a weekly basis who have lost their personal savings from trying to help some guy in the Army, or a Marine or a sailor who’s stuck in combat and needs financial help to leave.

STOP PLEASE!! Women stop being so NAIVE! My advice is to leave him alone and if he contacts you again, I wouldn’t respond or give him any further information about you or your whereabouts. Throughout your letter, you indicate that his story “puzzles” you and that “for some reason” you doubt what he says. Listen to yourself and end this “relationship” now.

Ms. Vicki

Related Topics

Family and Spouse



Ms. Vicki is a native of Dallas, has been the Dear Abby for the military community since her column began in 2005. A licensed therapist and licensed clinical social worker, Ms. Vicki holds a Master of Science in social work and a Master of Arts in clinical psychology.

Ms. Vicki appears regularly on Military.com and in the Fort Campbell Courier. Her column has also appeared in the Washington (D.C.) Times and in the Heidelberg (Germany) Post Herald. She has been featured on CNN, CBS, ABC and NBC.

Looking for advice about your military life? Email Ms. Vicki here. Find Ms. Vicki on Facebook here.  Find Ms. Vicki on Twitter here.

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