Richard Cantner with phony Army dress greens?
FOR THE PAST THREE YEARS ANTHONY ANDERSON HAS BEEN UNCOVERING “MILITARY POSERS ” ON HIS WEBSITE, http://guardianofvalor.com. DURING THIS TIME HE HAS UNCOVERED 48 FAKE SOLDIERS. “THIS SORT OF THING IS SKYROCKETING – IT’S REALLY AN EPIDEMIC,” SAYS ANDERSON, AN ARMY STAFF SERGEANT WHO SERVED IN AFGHANISTAN.
Do we have one in Indian River County, Florida?
We recently discovered material from a Chief Warrant Officer 3, (CWO3) the third Warrant Officer rank in the Unites States Army officially appointed by the the Secretary of the Army. He was also a sargent in the U.S. Marine Corps. and attended The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina.
This CWO3 speaks on behalf of 20,000 veterans in Indian River County who are offended that Richard “Dick” Cantner claims to has been a Vietnam era Cobra helicopter pilot, to have been shot down three times, to have been awarded three Purple Hearts and two Distinguished Flying Crosses.
Information obtained direct from the government via the Freedom of Information Act by the CWO3 documents that Mr. Cantner’s claims are false. “Mr. Cantner never flew Navy F-14 Tomcats, never attended Ranger nor Airborne Schools, never was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, never was an officer and never was an infantry platoon leader.”
Plus, as a former real Army helicopter pilot, to include Cobras, and a real Army officer, and having really graduated from Airborne School, CWO3 informant says “I am 100% satisfied in my own mind that none of his claims are true. His real service is that he was in Vietnam as an enlisted man for a year, 1969-70 with the job title of basically loading trucks, and working in auto supply. He got out as a Specialist-5, basically a type of sergeant.”
What’s odd is that Mr. Cantner, who refers to himself as a “Colonel,” recently “resigned” from his position from the Vero Beach Airport Advisory Board and “resigned” from the local Vero Beach chapter of the Military Officer Association of America, MOAA. Although unconfirmed, he may have also had to resign from the Indian River County Emergency Operations Center.
In the past few days since we began writing this article Mr. Cantner has taken down his Facebook page where he boasted of his military career. His “connections” on his LinkedIn page include the likes of Congressman Bill Posey and Indian River County Sheriff Deryl Loar. In the last two days he has shut down access to his connections.
Here is a letter dated July 5, 2016 confirming Mr. Cantner is not a member of The Distinguished Flying Cross Society (TDFCS) . Chuck Sweeney, President/CEO of TDFCS wrote: “We feel this is a slap in the face to all active duty military and veterans when someone makes false claims about their military service.”
Our CWO3 informant recently wrote this letter to his fellow Veterans, friends, neighbors and the Vero Beach community.
“This is a tough letter to write as it involves the revelation that one of my closest and dearest friends in Vero Beach, Florida has deceived and betrayed me and our entire community since his arrival here about 12 years ago. What makes this all the more hurtful for me is that he is a fellow Veteran.
Dick was met today and was asked about his background. He didn’t admit guilt but has stepped down from some local positions. I texted him and asked him to be honest with me. He said I was mostly correct but still claims to have been an officer and a Cobra pilot.
He would not state what I said was correct or incorrect. Since he wishes to still try and lie about his actual service history, here is the story I wasn’t going to publish if he fessed up to me. His recent actions has forced my hand. I thank all the area Veterans and the Vero Beach community for providing to me these documents and the information that has shown me Dick’s true self. I thank you but I am also saddened. I hope all of you will understand.
Since his arrival in Vero Beach, Richard G. Cantner, AKA “The Colonel” has earned our respect over the years as he spoke of his heroics in Vietnam. After all, he said he was a retired and/or reserve Lieutenant Colonel, (LTC), flew AH-1 Cobra’s in Vietnam, was shot down 3 times, earned 3 Purple Hearts, 2 Distinguished Flying Crosses and was Ranger, and Airborne qualified. In addition to this, he says he served as an infantry platoon leader, flew F-14’s for two years, and then was eventually called back to active duty at age 55 and asked to fly Apache’s after years of absence from active duty to fly and fight in Afghanistan.
Over the years, I heard Dick say some things that didn’t always make sense, but as a CWO3, it was going to take an awful lot to get me to question a Vietnam Veteran “hero” who was wearing silver oak leaves on his collar and was a fellow Cobra Pilot.
Remember, I too was a Cobra pilot! Many of my instructors at flight school were Vietnam Vets and I loved them all. I love all of the Nam guys, including all the enlisted guys, and again, remember, I too was prior enlisted during the 6 years I spent in the Marines prior to my 8 years flying various helicopters for the Army. I bring up the enlisted guys for a reason as you’ll see later in this letter. I too was Airborne, and Dick was a Ranger, and a higher ranking officer. I just gave him instant credibility. It was and has always been my way. It has now come back to haunt me.
Attached to this letter are the many incriminating pieces of evidence that I have accrued from others and that I have come across myself in my own search after being presented with the earlier paperwork from a fellow CWO3 and others.
In these documents, you will find he executed this exact same hoax and worse, in his hometown of Hazleton, PA. Shortly after being called out in Pennsylvania by active duty Army personnel and ADMITTING he was perpetrating a hoax, he moved to Vero Beach and worked at his brother’s dry cleaning business.
For some reason he couldn’t repent nor refrain from performing a similar hoax here in Vero. Some Veterans here caught on quicker than I did that Dick was a POSER and they confronted him and asked him to stop stealing valor. The “Colonel” did not. When I was told that, I was finally sold on how low this poser’s character was. The fact he didn’t stop his pretending to be a Colonel and a phony war hero, after a fellow retired Army Warrant Officer asked him to do so was the last straw for me. As hurt as I am about all of this, and as much as I would have hoped it would have ended differently, this poser has dealt his own hand, “Aces & 8’s”.
The paperwork you will read is factual and damning. I can, without any hesitation, confirm that Richard G. Cantner is not who he claims to be with regard to his military service history. He is NOT a retired or reserve Army Lieutenant Colonel and that is also BY HIS OWN ADMISSION. He is NOT the recipient of two Distinguished Flying Crosses and three Purple Hearts. He was NOT shot down three times, was NOT an Army helicopter pilot and was NOT an Army infantry officer. He did NOT attend Ranger nor Airborne school. He has never been able to produce documents validating his service, and the attached newspaper articles even states that he OFFICIALLY ADMITTED TO FORGING OFFICIAL MILITARY ORDERS.
The attached documents tell a tale of a Richard G. Cantner, of PA, who graduated from college in 1968 from Wilkes University with a degree in Commerce and Finance, not in Engineering as he likes to claim and has NOT earned a Masters degree from that same university as he has claimed in the past. The paperwork shows he enlisted in the Army, served a ONE year tour in Vietnam in 1969-1970, with a couple of motor pool and transportation units. He left Vietnam and the Army as a SPECIALIST-5.
Records from the Defense Archives show this. They also show he was NOT trained as a pilot, Ranger, Airborne and had NO Purple Hearts, NO Distinguished Flying Crosses, and was NOT an officer! These documents were obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. Dick has said that his ex-wife for spite, had taken all his documents and military pictures during the divorce to include his DD-214 that would show his officer service.
Another story he tells is that his DD-214’s were destroyed in the fire the Archives had many years ago. However, accompanying documents state his records during the time of his service WERE NOT AFFECTED BY THIS FIRE.
As much as I am devastated by Specialist Cantner’s lies and deceit and as much as I wish I could have forgiven him for this, since he failed to be remorseful for his acts in PA, and refused to comply with a CWO3’s request to cease this scam, I cannot.
These acts include FORGING OFFICIAL ORDERS that at 55 years old, after not being on active duty for more than 20 years, the Army wanted him back to learn to fly the Apache and then fly and fight her over in Afghanistan! All lies that he even admitted to when called out in Pennsylvania. He perpetrated this deception with the intent to deceive and executed it with forethought and premeditation. This and other despicable acts, to include stolen valor, are all well documented.
I ask that all the Veteran’s groups, all my friends and everyone in our community, to please read these documents in their entirety and I’m sure you’ll come to the same conclusion that I myself and many Veterans already have. Robert G. Cantner is guilty of being a POSER, and stealing valor! Please pass this around to all the Veterans you know and to all your friends, families, and communities. He must be stopped. He is guilty of lying to all of us and he is guilty of taking advantage of my loyalty and the loyalty of others. Furthermore, he is insistent on continuing to play us all for fools as he is unwilling to admit the truth.
Dick, how could you do all this? Our friendship, one that I thought could never be broken by anything or anyone has turned out to be destroyed by your own selfish acts to feign honor, integrity, and valor. Why could you not be satisfied with with your actual service?
Instead, you had to pretend to be more than you were. Well, know this: the lowest ranking privates who served and died in Vietnam had more courage, character and integrity than you ever had! You got caught twice before and refused to stop. This is your third and final strike.
You have insulted the service and memory of every Vietnam Veteran, and every Army pilot, officer, NCO and private who ever served in our Army. You couldn’t be satisfied with your actual service. You had to be more without earning and doing more.
Through YOUR actions, YOU have told every private through Spec-5 who served 1 year in country, that their service wasn’t important and worthwhile enough, because it wasn’t enough for you. You had to build yourself up to more than what you actually were. Shame on you SPECIALIST Cantner! Don’t ever expect for me to call you Colonel and salute you ever again. You’ve already collected far too many from me that you never earned.”
For further information please access these links.
What’s also interesting is that since March, 2011 Mr. Cantner has been employed as a “Certified Business Analyst” at the Small Business Development Center at Indian River State College.
On July 23,2016, we emailed Tom Kindred, Jr. Regional Director Florida Small Business Development Center at Indian River State College (IRSC) to notify him of Mr. Cantner’s background, but have not received a response. Mr. Cantner’s position as a Certified Business Analyst is still, as of August 15, 2016, live on his LinkedIn profile.
Now, Mr. Cantner has engaged Clifford Miller, Esq. of Miller Law Offices in Vero Beach who wrote to our CWO3 informant that: “This is our demand that you cease these (disclosure) activities. If you ignore this letter Mr. Cantner will sue you for damages.”
According to the CWO3, “Basically, so long as I am telling the truth, I can’t get into any trouble. He can try to sue, but I’m ready!”