This is a case that we have worked for a while alongside our brothers within the SF community. Thomas Joseph Heben spent several years claiming to be a Green Beret to family, friends, to acquire work and to pick up women. First we want to say that after being confronted by members of the SF community, Thomas came clean. Below is the apology sent to us:
To All: How and where to start to address a community such as this? This has been a nightmarish situation that has finally manifested itself into it’s end game. One that, honestly, I’m glad has come, for better or for worse. Without fruitless excuses, whines or whimpers, jumping into the meat of this topic, I think, is the way things should be and the way they will.
To the community: I am not, nor have I ever been, a member of SOF. Selection came and passed by me, twice, and of each saw me on the sidelines and still just a member of SWTG and its student/OT pool. My time of covering/hiding that fact is over. You all made that journey, my friends have made that journey, and my brother made that journey. I did not. In continuing that facade, I did use those “credentials” to obtain a job right out of the army. While I am no longer employed with that company, I do believe that that lie was a prime reason for me being hired. I don’t blame anyone, nor that company for the hiring, but myself for the misrepresentation and sheer need to get into the workplace vs doing it the honest way….the respectable way. It was the bullshit spewing at the height of it all that got me there, the same bullshit that is leading to this moment now.
To the Regiment, to my former friends, and to my brother: Nothing I can say here could even possible begin to take away the rage you all feel. Seeing it through my own brother and knowing the fervor with which posers are called out, I still decided to do that anyway. It is completely unbecoming of an army soldier, a man, and just a good person. The community you all uphold and maintain is the best in the world, and bringing shame on that name, on that brotherhood is something I’ll never be able to take back. I don’t know 99.9% of you, but to the ones I do, I know I will probably never be speaking to you all after that and I understand it. You all fought for your country, fought for your unit, your brothers I simply chose to avoid the call. I’m not the man you all are and have been….So I pretended….plain and simple.
To the families, those hurt the most: I simply cannot take back enough times the I may have hurt you. “All gave some. Some gave all”, and the pain you all have experienced is behind comprehension. To the families of the dad’s lost in one corner of the world to another, my words are not enough to justify the pitiful actions committed. Those men and their families have done more for their brothers, the community and this country than I could even begin to fathom. And in faking that role, a mockery was made to the men that have gone before the real heroes.
To my family and the ones I love: keeping something like this from you all, the ones I will hurt on a personal, close knit level is something that I cannot comprehend. Getting caught up in all this and taking it to the level it was is disturbing. To you all, an apology will be made, however, on a personal, in the flesh, scenario. Knowing and growing up with those people, being with them at that time is the way it should be and the way it will be. Leaving you all out is something I didn’t want to do in all this, however more is owed in the personal realm.
To everyone here and to all those that will come upon it I wanted to apologize again in closing. I know it won’t change the perspective and shadow that had already been cast, but what is due is due. An apology, not a plea. A confession, not an excuse. A changing of ways, not a continuation of the past. And that’s where I leave it, to the members, to the community, my most sincere and heartfelt apology. Thomas
This all began with an email about Thomas Heben’s claims of being a Long Tabber. We received several photos showing Thomas wearing the Green Beret, Halo Wings, SF Tab and several others. The email went into detail about how Thomas used his claims to get jobs and to make himself look good in front of women.
We took the photos and claims to our friends in the SF community to get some background, needless to say they were very interested. We all know that community is very small, and everyone knows everyone. It wasn’t long before it was found he never completed “Selection” for SF. Some of you may recognize the last name, Thomas is the brother of Navy SEAL Chris Heben. Chris, served on SEAL Team 8, and was shot in the stomach while pursuing suspects after a confrontation in a parking lot,(Link to that story here) he also does commentary for different news outlets.
Once we were sure that Thomas lied, someone reached out to Chris with the findings. He confronted his brother as well, wanting an explanation and an apology. We spoke with Chris several times about his brother and his claims, he wasn’t aware his brother was faking until it was brought to his attention by a member of the SF community. He is extremely disturbed by his brothers actions and will be providing a statement in a few days for us to add here. Due to his current schedule, he could not give a statement by press time. Here is the photo Chris posted to his Facebook page before he knew the truth.
As you can tell in the above photo, Chris believed his brother served on an ODA with 3rd Special Forces and had just returned from Afghanistan. He wasn’t the only one who thought Thomas deployed, he also had girlfriends believing he was deployed and could only use voice Skype to talk to them. We are not sure exactly what he was doing during this time, but it was not being deployed to Afghanistan. Below are several photo’s, in the photo he is also sporting SSG rank, Halo wings and several other patches which he also never earned.
Thomas did attend selection, but failed out of it twice, then he went AWOL, turned himself in a while later and was released from the Army in 2011. Below are the records as received from Army HRC.
Not only did he not complete SF training, he also never deployed even though he is wearing a combat patch. If you’re going to pose as an operator, know that you will not last long, as they are a close-knit community and they will expose you. Be proud of what you did, don’t try to take what others have earned with blood, sweat and tears and claim it as your own. We will update this story as soon as we hear back from Chris, and will add his statement.
Here are the links to the other community pages that exposed him as well, we all decided to post the articles at the same time.
We spoke to Chris and this is his response to this situation with his brother: