In recent posts I have drawn attention to the likelihood that Bill Schiebler--the scheduled keynote speaker at Eden Prairie's most solemn annual community event, set for Monday--is a huckster, a fraud and a scumbag.
Schiebler has made numerous unbelievable claims about his conduct while in uniform in Vietnam.
Since time and attention are limited, I have suggested we verify one of Schiebler's odd-sounding potboilers--that in 1965 a Puerto Rican soldier murdered four men within the group which reported to Schiebler--and that Schiebler himself disarmed the madman, at great personal risk. Schiebler claims that during the spree, seven or eight additional men were seriously wounded by the gunman. Schiebler claims 'Rodriguez' was then arrested and held accountable for the quadruple homicide.
I can find no record of any such crime having been committed during the Vietnam War.
I have brought this matter to the attention of a half-dozen community leaders in Eden Prairie, and--to be blunt--nobody cares whether Schiebler is a man of honor or a scumbag.
As a community we say we're interested in expressing gratitude to exceptionally honorable veterans--though we're really performing kabuki--a ritual having nothing to do with Bill Schiebler and everything to do with reassuring ourselves we're really patriotic.
If we were genuinely high-minded, would we bestow a high honor upon a known fraud? Wouldn't we have a duty to perform some rudimentary vetting? Email received yesterday, unsigned:
It is true that Bill Schiebler will be honored this Memorial Day for his service to country and any awards that he will be recognized for will be to the level that's reflected on his DD214 (record of discharge) as issued by the Department of Defense. We have reviewed that document and to that end, are satisfied. Thank you for your interest and we hope that this will satisfy your concerns.
The Eden Prairie Veterans are ostentatiously uncurious as to whether Bill Schiebler is a scumbag, though they make no claim about Schiebler's general good character: The honor is being bestowed solely based upon what they've read on Mr. Schiebler's DD214.EP Veterans Memorial Committee
To the dustbin!