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WASHINGTON January 23, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A retired Navy Seal has uncovered that Native American activist Nathan Phillips who began an altercation with Covington students last week is not, as first reported by media, a Vietnam veteran.

Don Shipley, who often sets the record straight about claims of military service, said in a video (Warning: there is some rough language in the video) that Phillips’s DD-214 discharge papers show that he was a non-combat vet who served as an electrician. 

“Everybody keeps labeling this guy a Vietnam vet,” Shipley said. “He is not.”

“A lot of these news outlets are using that claim, Vietnam vet, to kind of beef that story up a little bit and make it look even worse, him being a Vietnam vet and getting harassed. He wasn’t a Vietnam vet,” he added.

Shipley says the official record shows that Phillips enlisted in May 1972 as Nathaniel Richard Stanard in the Marine Reserves. His adopted name was Nathaniel Phillips. He served until 1976, having received electrical training and reaching the rank of private. 

Phillips, Shipley said, faced AWOL (Absent Without Leave) charges at least three times while serving in California. 

Following is an old Facebook video in which Phillips gives an even stronger impression that he was actively involved in the Vietnam war:

Shipley said that while Phillips may not have claimed to have actually served in the Marines, the activist did little to correct stories about his supposed service. As for Phillips’ claims of being in the Marines’ “ranger recon,” Shipley expressed skepticism, saying, “No, he was an electrician.”

Phillips gave an April 2018 interview to Vogue where he said: “You know, I’m from Vietnam times. I’m what they call a recon ranger. That was my role.” 

Shipley noted, however, that Phillips “entire military education was as a basic electrician.”

In response to this evidence, reports in a Jan.22 article that “Indian Country Today is going all the way back to 2008 to correct an article in which Phillips described how he was spit on when he returned home from Vietnam.”

Controversy erupted last Friday after an initial video went viral that had been edited to suggest that Covington students had taunted and harassed Phillips at Friday’s March for Life. Once more videos went online, however, it was apparent that it was Phillips who approached the group and decided to beat a drum inches from Nick Sandmann’s face. 

Click here to read all LifeSiteNews coverage of the Covington Catholic case.