Don Shipley, Senior Chief Petty Officer, USN SEAL (Retired), well-known for finding and outing fake Navy SEALs, recently had his YouTube video channel, BUDS131, removed from the social media platform. Here is what we know:
- Stolen Valor is a concern in the Veteran Community
- Retired Navy SEAL Don Shipley created a YouTube channel, BUDS131, to showcase his work in finding fake Navy SEALs
- BUDS131 has had videos removed in the past, but this is the first time that the channel has been suspended
- Shipley has created a website, outside of external controls, to continue his work and present it to the public.
- Hunting fake Navy SEALs is not the sole purpose in Shipley’s busy life
In a time when Social Media and the Internet allows a message to spread with lightning-fast speed, the days of talking trash at the local bar are mediocre at best. Before iPhones, Androids, and Instagram, the reach of “pumping up your stats” was limited to three bar stools down and the drunk barflies who would listen to your tales of “being shot out of a cannon across the North Korean border” (Don’s words…taken from the below interview). But now a person claiming ‘classified missions’ can merely throw down some Photoshopped pictures, a faked DD-214, and a few SEAL Trident tattoos on a Facebook page, an IG post, or on a business web page…becoming the baddest sneaky squirrel in the land.
This is where Don Shipley, retired Navy SEAL, comes in. He saw the need to out the fakes and let everyone know that these fakes are damaging the reputation of honored Military Members, and stealing the honor and sacrifice of those who served with pride and distinction…no matter how they served. Thus, BUDS131 was created on YouTube. After a rocky start (videos disappearing, warnings from the social media platform, and complaints from fakes), a new website (outside of the control of others), and branching out into a charity that gives wounded vets a chance to let go for a while, Don Shipley is still going strong in his mission to find and out fake Navy SEALs.
A few weeks ago, YouTube suspended his channel, BUDS131, and his videos were unavailable to his fans on this platform. As a faithful subscriber, I was frustrated with the disappearance of one of my favorite channels and reached out to Don Shipley. After a few text messages to SCPO Shipley; a couple of phone calls; and a “Let me give this phone to my wife, because she understands all that FaceTime stuff”, we were able to connect via the technical prowess of his wonderful (and tolerant) wife of almost 40 years, Diane.
The YouTube debacle was only a small part of what we discussed. In the conversation, we also talked about his video site, his charity Extreme SEAL Adventures, duck hunting, helicopter crashes, and marriage.
So, with a video camera pointed at my iPad on my end, Diane taking care of the technical logistics on Don’s end…and a cup of coffee, here is the entire interview:
If you feel the need to laugh hysterically; check out the life of a true warrior; or just want to see what Don Shipley is all about; click HERE for his website.
Gruntworks looks forward to working with Don Shipley, hunter of fake Navy SEALs, to get the message out.