There I was sitting at home when my 4 year old daughter came skipping through the door. In her hands she was carrying her pile of school work. Like most parents, I immediately took interest in her work while at the same time planning an easy way to throw it away without being discovered. Among her papers I found a booklet on veterans. Inside I found a few sentences from my 4 year old transcribed by the teacher. Here is what I found...
It starts off strong but then takes a wild turn at the end like a M. Night Shyamalan movie. I was never in the Army or other Military branch. I've never said or implied to anyone ever that I was in the military. Now my daughter, teacher and the probably the whole school now thinks I'm a military veteran.
I immediately looked up what happens to a military imposter. Short answer, nothing good... Stolen Valor Act of 2013 makes it illegal to false claim military service and carries 6 months to 1 year in jail. Great now I have to come clean or I'm going to jail.
Next day I went to the school to profess my innocence and use the stereotypical excuse that all parents use "I don't know where she got that idea."
I quietly took the teacher aside and told her "Just so you know I was never in the Army."
Teacher: "oh, what branch were you in."
Well this isn't going good.
Me:"I wasn't in any branch. I'm not sure where she got that."
Teacher: "You weren't in the military at ALL?"
Me: "Umm, no."
Teacher: "Wow. Yesterday you were the hero of the day."
Ouch. From hero to zero in one short day. I can only imagine what else happened that day. They were probably singing my praises as a war hero who single handily saved the world. Well it was probably better coming clean than facing my other options of going to jail or moving and changing schools, which my wife was not onboard with.
Parenting lesson: Read your child's school work or face the consequences.