Several days ago Donald Trump held a media event in front of an old post office he is turning into a luxury hotel. During this media event, someone who identified herself as Alicia Watkins asked Mr. Trump if he would be hiring Veterans at is new hotel, she identified herself as a Veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and the Pentagon attacks on 9/11. After Trump did an impromptu job interview, seeming to hire her on the spot he pointed her towards someone off stage.
After the conference, reporters wondered about her press credentials and started interviewing her about her credentials and her military experience. That video can be seen here – C-Span Interview video
She tries to explain to the reporters how long she was in the military, to include how she was retired. After this was over, the media and others really started digging into her past. In doing so, a lot of inconsistencies began popping up and more questions that needed answers. We started getting inquiries from media about Alicia’s service record, and at about this same time Alicia also reached out to us. She wanted help clearing her name, claiming that people were trying to slander her name. Of course we agreed to help her, because we are not only here to out those that dishonor our Vets, but to protect those wrongfully accused. Alicia told us she would send us whatever we needed to prove what she must to clear her name of whatever she was being accused of.
So we began looking at videos and reading articles to see just what was said, and what she was being questioned about. We found that she was being questioned about her years of service, her injuries, where she sustained them, if she had a Purple Heart, and where she was on 9-11. We found a multitude of interviews dating back more that half a decade, to include interviews with Oprah, Fox and several others. In these interviews, her story changes several different times when it comes to where she was on 9-11 and how she sustained injuries etc and that was the cause of so many questions.
During this time we were continuing to communicate with Alicia, as she assured us she would send us documentation to help clear up any and all confusion and to help clear her name. We were speaking with her at this time via our Facebook Page messenger, and she sent us a memo showing she was a member of the Air Forces Wounded Warrior program and that her injuries had been a result of combat. Meaning her PTSD and her TBI that she had been diagnosed with while in the Air force, now these injuries can happen without being awarded a Purple Heart as they can happen without being in an actual combat situation.
According to Air Force records, she entered the Air Force on November 10th. 1998 and left Active Duty on May 16th 2008. According to Alicia, on this date she was placed on what is called the TDRL(Temporary Disability Retirement List), this is a list of Service Members found to be unfit for performance of military duty by reason of physical disability which may be permanent, but which has not sufficiently stabilized to permit an accurate assessment of a permanent degree of disability. Now service members can stay on this list for up to five years, and undergo a physical every 12-18 months to see if their condition has worsened, gotten better or stayed the same. They may be returned to service, placed on the Permanent Retired List, or continued on the TDRL for up to five years. So the confusion of her actual retirement date may stem from this. If she is using the date she was place on the PDRL(Permanent Disability Retired List).
So now came the question of the Purple Heart, another site ran by Steve Mayne, found a video of Alicia wearing a Purple Heart ribbon while giving an interview, the title of the video interview was “USAF SSgt Alicia Watkins Talks About Issues Facing Military Returning From Iraq and Afghanistan”. We went to take a few more screen grabs and download the video from YouTube but it was set to private. At this time we were still in touch with Alicia, she told us she was at the hospital due to emotional distress from all the media etc that were hounding her for answers over all the discrepancies in her stories. So we sent her a message asking her about the IED incident she spoke about in one of her interviews, and the Purple Heart ribbon. With this question she immediately became defensive with us and responded very aggressively, cut off communications and blocked us. Below you can see the progression of our conversation. She told us she wasn’t guilty of Stolen Valor, and that she would sue anyone that tried to defame her or slander her name.
Here are the screen grabs from the above video where she was wearing the Purple Heart ribbon. We have been working alongside Stephen, a reporter from the Air Force times, who had already obtained her records. Her records show she was never awarded any Purple Hearts or combat commendations during her service. Also, according to her records, she is wearing quite a few more awards on this rack than she was awarded.
Here are the awards she is authorized according to her official Air Force Record:
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with 2 oak leaf clusters
AF Organizational Excellence Award with 1 oak leaf cluster
AF Good Conduct Medal with 1 oak leaf cluster
National Defense Service Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Air Force Longevity Service with 1 oak leaf cluster
USAF NCO PME Graduate Ribbon
Air Force Training Ribbon.
She was stationed and deployed to the following areas, the official we and the Air Force Times spoke with said there is no record of her ever deploying to Iraq:
Pentagon from Oct 2000 until Jul 2004
LA AFB from July 04 until she retired 16 May 2008
Deployed to Qatar in 2003 and Afghanistan in 2006
She was in the information management career field, working as a network engineer.
The below memo is what we received from Alicia before she stopped talking to us once we inquired about the IED and Purple Heart, Air Force Times and our Organization inquired about the Memo’s Authenticity but the Air Force could not confirm it. Although it is possible to be medically retired for PTSD/TBI without a combat incident such as an IED. But in several interviews that can be found by a simple Google search she claims IED and Suicide blasts while in Afghanistan in 2006.
Watkins story has changed so much over the past few years, it’s hard separate fact from fiction. We must go off of the facts of her her military records and what the officials from the Air Force have told us over the past few days.
In one Fox interview, Watkins said she had worked at the Pentagon for six years before 9/11. But Air Force records indicate that assignment began less than one year before the attacks. One of the show’s hosts asked her about being in the Pentagon during that event. “You got hurt?” he asked. Watkins replied “Yes.” All military personnel in the Pentagon who were injured on 9/11 were eligible to receive the Purple Heart. But in another interview, she tells the reporter she joined the military because of 9-11, that she lost a friend in the twin towers.
You can also view the Air Force Times article, they have gone into a little more detail on the past articles than we have. We have concentrated mostly on the facts of the awards and deployments.
This story is still Developing….