We are still awaiting an answer.
Lloyd was a featured speaker at Smyrna's Memorial Day Services. The program describes him thusly, "Lloyd served 18 months in Vietnam as a member of SEAL Team 1, part of River Squadron 116, Mobile Riverine Force in the Mekong Delta. His decorations include the Silver Star, two Bronze stars, both with 'V' device, and Purple Heart."
Smyrna Council Member Wade Lnenicka says he got that information directly from Lloyd.
But Robert Ledee of Woodstock, a former lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps, a Vietnam veteran and a friend of Lloyd's, says, "Mickey will tell you that he was not a Navy SEAL."
Steve Waterman, a Navy veteran of the Vietnam War and investigator with www.stolenvalor.com, has told the Cobb County Commission that Lloyd never attended SEAL training and stated: "NOBODY becomes a SEAL or Frogman without graduating from Training, and that's just a start. Many men graduate and NEVER become SEALS, but nobody becomes a SEAL without graduating. I think you may have the picture."
Mickey Lloyd is saying nothing, except "wait and see."
Let's be careful not to rush to judgment until Lloyd's military records are retrieved. This is a nation founded on the principle of innocent until proven guilty. Lloyd deserves the benefit of the doubt until all the facts are in.
Having said that, if he did in fact fudge his record of military service, he will be found out. There are people like Waterman and others who make exposing military frauds a crusade.
I wrote about an individual a few months ago that claimed to have been a member of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen and gave me enough information to convince me, even after I had done my usual fact-checking. Before the ink was dry on the column, I received a call from Los Angeles informing me that the subject was not and never had been a member of the Tuskegee Airmen.
It turns out he had been a grunt stationed in the South Pacific away from all the action. Since my episode with the wannabe Tuskegee Airman, I have discovered that fibbing about one's military service isn't all that unusual and that is a shame. Why do people have to misrepresent their military service? Isn't it enough to have served your country?
People who make false claims about their military service are subject to charges under the Stolen Valor Act. That is a federal law. Not a good thing. If you say you were a Navy SEAL or a Tuskegee Airman or won a bunch of medals, you had better be able to back it up. It would be safer to say you were a Heisman Trophy winner. Then people would just laugh at you.
This kind of stuff is no laughing matter.
On the flip side, John Jacobs is a prominent media executive in Gainesville and has played a major role in much of that area's growth. A couple of years ago, he was honored by the town for his many contributions and I was asked to be the keynote speaker at a banquet in his honor.
During a video tribute to Jacobs it was revealed that during World War II, he had earned not one but two Silver Stars. It took much of the audience by surprise.
I have known John Jacobs for more than 40 years and he had never mentioned that fact to me or evidently to a lot of other people who thought they knew him well, too.
Jacobs didn't brag about his medals, even though he had every right to do so. He had done his duty and moved on to the rest of his life. That is my idea of a real hero.
Like Jacobs, there are millions of men and women who have been members of our Armed Forces and who have no need to exaggerate anything. Serving their country is honor enough.
Let's hope that the same can be said of Mickey Lloyd.
You can reach Dick Yarbrough at email@example.com or P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Georgia 31139.