This exposure of one David Marr, who resides in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia, has been
a harrowing one for many veterans who worked on this
case; especially so for the spouse of one genuine veteran in particular. Marr's military experience is not extensive. Some would say virtually non-existent. His entire military career spanned a short stint as a part-time soldier in a reservist unit totalling just four months service; just enough time to learn how to wear his uniform; some ten days of accrued time on duty.
His civilian employment was again part time. As a part-time travel consultant he was able to promote and chaperone (at no cost to himself it appears) a visit to The Wall in Washington DC, USA (America's national monument to the Vietnam War) in 1995 for a group of Australian Vietnam veterans. These veterans did not know that Marr was an imposter, far from it! They had no idea the military persona he presented was totally fraudulent. The image Marr presented was promoted and supported to the extent where he was totally accepted and involved with Army unit associations during the 1970's; hot on the heels of Australia's closure to the war, when many veterans felt betrayed by their country and the vast majority of returned service personnel kept a low profile. Circumstances which
benefited Marr's fraudulent behaviour perfectly. These were nonetheless, simpler times; a was a time when society trusted another's word and wannabes were unheard of. David Marr was a very good con-man, duping many veterans. Especially after he was elected to committees representing the interests of Vietnam veterans. This expanded so much, and Marr's fraud contrived so well, that at the time nobody ever doubted the military background and experiences he presented.
Over the years Marr became more expert at his deception, exhibiting a very confident air and expanded his fantasies and experiences to such a height that duped everyone he met. He was able to convince some battle-hardened veterans that he was with the armoured column that came to their rescue at Long Tan, on the 18th of August 1966. His ultimate con trick was the visit of Vietnam veterans to The Wall in the United States in November of 1995. In his role as a part-time 'travel consultant' he arranged the entire trip,
allegedly inflating the individuals' cost to minimise his own as he went along as the tour leader (an accepted practice in travel agencies is that a tour leader travels at no charge, provided a minimum quota of travellers is reached). Marr had been in the USA the previous year and presented his fake military credentials (a Lieutenant Colonel in Australia's Armoured Corps no less) thereby creating a bond, albeit it fraudulent, with the unsuspecting US Veteran establishment. The visit to Washington on Memorial Day, 11 November, was videotaped; look carefully at this
video of Marr in the
green shirt and plumed hat, remembering that he is a fraud.
This is but one small chapter in David Marr's life as a
"wannabe." He has conned and stolen the innocence of
many veterans, inflicting trauma and distrust to such an
extent that one needed long-term counselling to prevent
suicide, although it was attempted unsuccessfully.
Marr's actions are despicable and unacceptable in any
community, yet there is little the law enforcers are
motivated to do. It is not of great public importance
(as opposed to in the public interest) because his
actions inflicted distress on 'only' a few dozen
veterans and their families and not considered criminal
Despite the intent and promulgation of the penalties under the Defence Act 1903 as amended, remedies under the Act are seldom used; perhaps because the penalties are so incredulously
light (see left).
Marr in the photo on this
page is seen wearing two medals to which he is not
entitled, the Australian Vietnam Medal and the Vietnam
Campaign Star. In the video here
(warning; long download) he is also wearing the Defence
Force Service Medal. A medal awarded for 15 years service
in the Australian military; not 15 weeks!
So what are the answers to the problems presented by the Marrs of our society? Veterans fought and died for the principles of freedom and equality, never expecting or deserving the distressing experience of meeting and suffering the antics of the David Marrs of this world. The best other veterans can do is to continue to expose these unwanted afflictions of today's society.
By exposing Marr and others on these pages it brings solace to the victims and helps to make others aware that frauds are in many places in our society,
sometimes in high places, and we must remain ever vigilant.
This is published in the
public interest, particularly that of the Vietnam
Veteran Community. All information presented here is
fact and the truth. Reports from private citizens are
supported by statements of fact and statutory