Skip to comments.Cole sailor describes bombing, but was he even on the ship?
Posted on 12/04/2009 11:33:06 AM PST by GATOR NAVY
In early November, retired Senior Chief Jeffrey Sparenberg was the guest of honor at military heritage day in Delaware.
Sparenberg spent 23 years in the Navy, including time on the destroyer Cole, and he was at Fort DuPont State Park that day to donate a flag that he said flew over the Cole shortly after it was attacked nine years ago.
The flag, he hoped, would be put on view at the planned Delaware Military Museum.
A photograph from the ceremony shows Sparenberg on the steps of a shuttered brick building. The left side of his chest is covered with military medals - including a Bronze Star and Purple Heart, purportedly from the actions he took and the injuries he suffered in that lunchtime attack.
Seventeen sailors died in the suicide bombing on Oct. 12, 2000, during a refueling stop in Aden, Yemen.
Sparenberg's detailed account of that fateful day was published on Nov. 16 in a front-page story in The News Journal of Wilmington, Del.
Now Sparenberg is back in the spotlight: The Navy and the ship's former commander say he was not on the Norfolk-based ship at all on the day it was struck.
They don't know whether the flag he donated actually flew aboard the Cole. And the two most significant medals he wore to the Delaware ceremony are also in doubt.
Lt. John Daniels, a Navy spokesman at the Pentagon, said Sparenberg's orders for the Cole show him joining the ship on Oct. 16, 2000 - four days after the bombing.
(Excerpt) Read more at hamptonroads.com ...
Against the wall, he get one final 9mm round, I’ll buy.
Nobody....and I mean absolutely nobody....wears medals like this on a dress jacket. The guy is some nutcase.
“Now Sparenberg is back in the spotlight: The Navy and the ship’s former commander say he was not on the Norfolk-based ship at all on the day it was struck.”
Ohhhhhhhhhh......WTF.........shit.....the world is getting too full of this kind of bstrd.......
I see what appears to be the Silver Star, the Purple Heart and maybe a Meritorious Service Medal (which is incidentally awarded to VERY few enlisted men). This guy’s a real peach. To say nothing of the fact that he’s wearing them inappropriately.
“Against the wall, he get one final 9mm round, Ill buy.”
I’ll buy the back up, just in case...
He looks like one of those old Russian generals from the “Great Pat-ree-otic” war.
Hey people, yellow sunglasses, need I say more?
If true he should be prosecuted under the Stolen Valor Act, it’s people like this it was passed for.
BTW if u have yellow sunglasses then....THROW them away!!!!!good lord.
Anyone that wears a suit and puts his medals on, there is something wrong IMO. The only uniform in the Marine Corps you wear medals on is the Dress Blue Alphas and Evening Dress. I have never even had my medals mounted to wear them for that. That might be because I’m cheap though.... : )
Quite frankly, I didn’t even like wearing my ribbons all that much because I could not stand having people ask me about things like that. I hated standing for inspection and getting inspected by some captain with perhaps two ribbons and getting comments.
I like your moniker. I take it you ran into a few jarheads in the gator navy... Perhaps we were on the same ship. I hated LSTs.
At least he’s not a Massachusetts senator.
Massachusetts - you know that state.
They elect women murderers, gay guys that run prostitution clatches in their basement, and folks who have their Viet Nam experiences seared in their memories.
I can’t really tell, but the pseudo hero seems to be letting the flag drag in the dirt.
This guy is a little different than the average faker. One, there’s no question about his rank, he was a senior chief, and two, he apparently did the rate the MSM, which as you note is not a common award for enlisted. I will note however that when I retired a few years ago it was becoming much more common to see MSMs on senior enlisted, usually end of tour CMCs.
LMAO...see my post. True!
Ha! Just a few.
Perhaps we were on the same ship.
LST-1198, LKA-116, LST-1189, LPD-8, LPD-10, LSD-50.
Valor is demonstrated by real heroes. Anyone who pretends to be a military hero is a lowlife slug. That goes for employees of private companies who just happen to do business in a war zone too.
I'll need more than that to hang this guy. I have plenty of orders that don't match actuality...in fact a good part of my personnel record is (or was) off the mark. Put that together with the accuracy of "Pentagon spokesmen" as communicated through a reporter and I'll let the Chief have his day. For now.
You do need to hit a vital organ, after all ...
Yeah, I thought that also. Especially wearing the medals on one side and the ribbon bars on the other.
I will say that in England and Russia, veterans wear their medals on their suits for special occasions. I have rarely seen in the US.
Note to self: Read the whole story, then post...
The louder the display, the more likely someone’s a faker.
Read the original “Stolen Valor” book, c. 1998.
When I retire, I’ll wear my Vietnam service lapel pin. And the flag, of course.
Retired Cmdr. Kirk Lippold, the Cole's skipper at the time, said he distinctly remembers being told after the attack that a new crew member was in Bahrain, waiting to join the ship.
Someone back in the States asked whether they should send the sailor back to the U.S., but Lippold - who'd just lost 17 crew members, including a senior chief - knew he could use more help. He gave approval for Sparenberg to join the crew.
"During the time he was on board the ship following the attack, he did an excellent job in helping the ship through some difficult times," Lippold said.
However, he added, "I know for a fact he wasn't aboard the day of the attack."
Note to self: Read the the rest of the posts, then post...
Agreed. I found many mistakes and omissions in my service record when I reached the end of my enlistment, but I was in a hurry to get gone, so I didn't have anything corrected. I suppose I should have looked it over more often, but I was too busy busting my ass and I didn't care much about wearing fruit salad on my chest.
When I joined the Navy Reserve a couple years later, nobody could find my active duty service record anywhere. They still hadn't found it when I called it quits 4 years later. At least they found my medical and pay records...
The Silver Star and Purple Heart are a little questionable, but not impossible; I met plenty of prior service combat vets in the Navy with PH's and a couple with Bronze Stars. They usually were pretty tight-lipped about it, though. I'm willing to give the Senior Chief the benefit of the doubt until he's proven to be a fraud.
Maybe I’m crazy, but don’t ribbons go on the left, and medals on the right?
Oh, that’s in UNIFORM.
Civies? Leave’em at home, dork.
(no, not you a dork, this guy)
Dammit. That's good advice. I know better, but failed to follow through this time.
I'll go do some pushups so I'll remember next time. LOL
Fellow K-Bay Marine. I was in 3/3, America’s Battalion.
Looks like you’ve seen most of them. I was on the Shreveport (LPD-12) with CTF61/62 onboard during the 70’s out of Rota, Spain. Short deployment, less than 90 days. I wasn’t a Gator, I was a Spook.
This turd demeans us all. I’ve never had a prouder moment in my adult life than the day I made Chief. One of the best clubs in the world to belong to. This numbnuts should be prosecuted. Plus, you don’t wear medals on civilian attire.
When I first got to K Bay in 74 there was only the 1/3 and we were part of the First Marine Brigade. By the end of 75 they were putting together 2/3.
I believe the Stolen Valor Act will place a world of hurt on this fraud.....
When I was on the LPDs we carried CTs almost every time we got underway from Sasebo. They had a bunch of spaces on the same deck as the flag bridge IIRC. No offense but we called them the secret squirrels. I’m sure some people onboard knew what they did but I wasn’t among those.
Trust me, we’ve been called worse.
Yeah, my space was on the flag bridge also.
Most of the ships we went out on, ships company hated us. I was on a destroyer once for a short trip. We bolted the quick-van on the helo deck and used the hanger as berthing space and office space. Completely off limits to ships company. They weren’t allowed aft of the ASROC deck the whole time we were on board. The helo deck was their basketball court and jogging track. The hanger was their theater & gym where they watched movies, worked out, and played cards. They absolutely hated us. Plus, we didn’t stand watches for unreps, etc., and always had head-of-the line on the mess decks. We were all lucky to get off that tin can alive. It was the Robert H. McCard, DD-822 in 1971. Most everywhere we went, we disrupted somebody. Nobody liked having us on board, unless it was a CVA, then we were ships company. I remember on the JFK, our spaces were under the starboard CAT. What a nightmare. Gear would never stay in sync, everything on a flat surface vibrated onto the deck. The noise alone would deafen you. Flight Ops was not our favorite time.
US Army transported aboard USS Ogeden LPD 5, Operation Bold Mariner, RVN FEB 69. Go Army/Beat Navy, uh...Go Navy...uh...frick it, just give it to the Marines.
On a gator, especially a fairly big one like an LPD, hating riders is a pretty pointless exercise. You would only end up exhausted from the effort.
“Nobody....and I mean absolutely nobody....wears medals like this on a dress jacket. The guy is some nutcase.”
I felt the same way. A few years ago, a guy over 6’ joined our church and at a formal party wore his Navy Air Dale wings and a couple of Navy medals. I asked him what he flew, and it was a jet that flew on and off carriers (not a combat jet). He said that he served off Nam for a couple of tours.
Last year, he said that he was an Annapolis grad and he really disliked McCain and hated GW.
All types of flags went up. However, when I checked him out, he was legit with an honorable record of service and had been a graduate of the Naval Academy. He had obtained the rank of Captain and held some key at sea positions.
However, he is probably a real minority re the wearing of medals while not in uniform.
Probably the best night of my life ...
I wear a small pin from NAVFAC, VQ-1 DaNang on my informal jacket or shirt when attending GOE rallies. Other vets just wear caps, unit pins and patches but none flaunt salad. Just isn’t done.
Bite your tongue, sailor!
Merry Christmas to you too...
You don't remember Secret Squirrel? It may have had something to do with our CMC at the time, who was a CT.