One hundred men will test today but only three win the Green Beret.
 

Captain Humbert Roque “Rocky” Versace, MOH recipient for actions as a POW, Hall of Heroes

Humbert Roque Versace was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on July 2, 1937. He was the eldest of five children born to Marie Teresa Ríos (1917–1999)—the author of three books, including the Fifteenth Pelican, on which The Flying Nun (starring Sally Field),the TV series of the 1960s, was based—and Colonel Humbert Joseph Versace (1911–1972). Versace grew up in Alexandria, Virginia and attended Gonzaga College High School in Washington, D.C. during his freshman and sophomore years. His junior year he attended Frankfurt American High School in Germany. He graduated from Norfolk Catholic High School in his senior year. He joined the Armed Forces in Norfolk, Virginia. As had his father before him, Versace entered the United States Military Academy West Point. He graduated in 1959 and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Armor in the U.S. Army. 
He was a member of Ranger Class 4–60 and was awarded the Ranger Tab on December 18, 1959. Upon graduation from Ranger School, Capt. Versace attended Airborne School and was awarded the parachutist badge. He then served with 3rd Battalion, 40th Armor, 1st Cavalry Division in the Republic of Korea as an M-48 tank platoon leader from March 1960 to April 1961. Captain Versace was then assigned to the 3d U.S. Infantry (Old Guard), where he served as a tank platoon leader in Headquarters and Headquarters Company. After volunteering for duty in Vietnam, he attended the Military Assistance Institute, the Intelligence course at Fort Holabird, Maryland, and the USACS Vietnamese language Course at the Presidio of Monterey. 

Vietnam War
On May 12, 1962, Versace began his first tour of duty in the Republic of Vietnam as an intelligence advisor. In May 1963 he volunteered for a six-month extension of his tour, planning to attend seminary at the conclusion of his service and join the Catholic priesthood, hoping to return to Vietnam as a missionary working with orphans. 
Less than two weeks before the end of his tour, on October 29, 1963, while visiting a Military Academy classmate in Detachment A-23, 5th Special Forces Group in the Mekong Delta, Versace accompanied several companies of South Vietnamese Civilian Irregular Defense (CIDG) troops who had attacked to remove a Viet Cong command post located in the U Minh Forest, a VC stronghold. A VC Main Force battalion ambushed and overran Versace's unit, wounding him in the process. He was able to provide enough covering fire so that the CIDG forces could withdraw from the killing zone. 
A second government force of about 200 men operating only a few thousand yards from the main fight learned of the disaster too late to help. U.S. authorities said the communist radio jammers had knocked out both the main channel and the alternate channel on all local military radios.  Versace was captured and taken to a prison deep in the jungle along with two other Americans, Lieutenant Nick Rowe and Sergeant Dan Pitzer. He tried to escape four times, but failed in his attempts. Versace insulted the Viet Cong during the indoctrination sessions and cited the Geneva Convention treaty time after time. The Viet Cong separated Versace from the other prisoners. The last time the prisoners heard his voice, he was loudly singing "God Bless America". On September 26, 1965, North Vietnam's "Liberation Radio” announced the execution of Captain Humbert Roque Versace.  Versace's remains have never been recovered. His headstone at Arlington National Cemetery stands above an empty grave and can be located in the Memorial section MG-108. 
Upon learning of their son's fate, Marie Teresa Rios Versace and her husband, Colonel Versace, tried to find out what they could about the circumstances. She went to Paris in the late 1960s, trying unsuccessfully to see the North Vietnamese delegation as it arrived for peace talks. Rios Versace expressed her frustration and anguish in poems.
Nominations to award Versace the Medal of Honor were initiated in 1969, but the nomination failed and he was posthumously awarded the Silver Star instead. The quest for a Medal of Honor for Versace languished until the "Friends of Rocky Versace" reinitiated the crusade once more in 1999. Language added by Congress in the 2002 Defense Authorization Act ended the standoff and authorized the award of the nation's highest military decoration for combat valor to Versace. 
On July 8, 2002, in a ceremony in the White House East Room, Versace was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor by President George W. Bush for his heroism, the first time an Army POW had been awarded the nation's highest honor for actions in captivity. Present were his surviving siblings, Dr. Stephen Versace, Richard (former coach of the Indiana Pacers), Michael and Trilby Versace. On November 7, 2008, the Department of the Army announced the revocation of Versace's Silver Star because it was upgraded to the Medal of Honor.


HEADQUARTERS
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
WASHINGTON, DC, 29 December 2009

IV—SILVER STAR-REVOKE. So much of Department of the Army General Orders, No. 31, Headquarters, Department of the Army, Washington, D.C., dated 1 July 1971, pertaining to the award of the Silver Star to Captain Humbert R. Versace, United States Army, is herein revoked; as announced in United States Human Resources Command, Permanent Orders 312-07, dated 7 November 2008. 

Medal of Honor Citation

Humbert Roque Versace Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Army, Intelligence Advisor, Special Operations Place and date: Republic of Vietnam. Entered service at: Norfolk, Virginia Birth: Honolulu, Hawaii

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while a prisoner of war during the period of October 29, 1963 to September 26, 1965 in the Republic of Vietnam. While accompanying a Civilian Irregular Defense Group patrol engaged in combat operations in Thoi Binh District, An Xuyen Province, Republic of Vietnam on October 29, 1963, Captain Versace and the CIDG assault force were caught in an ambush from intense mortar, automatic weapons, and small arms fire from elements of a reinforced enemy Main Force battalion. As the battle raged, Captain Versace fought valiantly and encouraged his CIDG patrol to return fire against overwhelming enemy forces. He provided covering fire from an exposed position to enable friendly forces to withdraw from the killing zone when it was apparent that their position would be overrun, and was severely wounded in the knee and back from automatic weapons fire and shrapnel. He stubbornly resisted capture with the last full measure of his strength and ammunition. Taken prisoner by the Viet Cong, he demonstrated exceptional leadership and resolute adherence to the tenets of the Code of Conduct from the time he entered into a prisoner of war status. Captain Versace assumed command of his fellow American prisoners, and despite being kept locked in irons in an isolation box, raised their morale by singing messages to popular songs of the day, and leaving inspiring messages at the latrine. Within three weeks of captivity, and despite the severity of his untreated wounds, he attempted the first of four escape attempts by dragging himself on his hands and knees out of the camp through dense swamp and forbidding vegetation to freedom. Crawling at a very slow pace due to his weakened condition, the guards quickly discovered him outside the camp and recaptured him. Captain Versace scorned the enemy's exhaustive interrogation and indoctrination efforts, and inspired his fellow prisoners to resist to the best of their ability. When he used his Vietnamese language skills to protest improper treatment of the American prisoners by the guards, he was put into leg irons and gagged to keep his protestations out of earshot of the other American prisoners in the camp. The last time that any of his fellow prisoners heard from him, Captain Versace was singing God Bless America at the top of his voice from his isolation box. Unable to break his indomitable will, his faith in God, and his trust in the United States of America and his fellow prisoners, Captain Versace was executed by the Viet Cong on September 26, 1965. Captain Versaces extraordinary heroism, self-sacrifice, and personal bravery involving conspicuous risk of life above and beyond the call of duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Army, and reflect great credit to himself and the U.S. Armed Forces.

Awards and Decorations

Medal of Honor, Purple Heart, POW Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, Parachutist Badge, Ranger Tab, Special Forces Tab

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Categories: SPECIAL FORCES MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENTS, Hall of HeroesNumber of views: 1216

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Anonymous :

I really can’t describe the feeling I had when I once again did the periodic check online to see if Gilbert had been arrested yet.I strangely found comfort in the fact that he was not captured and brought back to Florida for his warrants there . I knew he was in Colorado somewhere but I never wanted him to come back to Florida with another slap on the wrist or turning CI to get out of trouble and I feel at danger again , however , I never really felt safe knowing he was out there at all. I was contacted months back by someone asking if I had seen him and making sure I was safe because he stated he was coming back to Florida and was on the run from the FBI I was told . I didn’t sleep for a month well after that. I can’t describe the terror I dealt with being involved with this person , the healing that is still taking place for myself and my children . He is a lifelong con man , he’s very convincing and by the time you realize the truth you are in danger and he’s extremely violent . Being a con man he hatches elaborate ways to tear your life apart , set you up , spread convincing and dangerous lies , he managed to blackmail me for things that he created for me out of fear and the cloud of abuse and threats from him for so long . I tried many agencies to help me no one believed me or did anything about him . He would re enter my home for a year telling lies and slandering me across the internet social media , with people even threatening me because they believed him he was so convincing . I slept with baseball bats and knives for years because of him. My children are still tormented because of things he did and said and the entire experience . I actually had to leave my job , my home and my children just to get away from him .

He has always lied about being in the military , he had me convinced of the same thing as well as everyone who knew him for a long long time , also lied about being in with Florida motorcycle gangs and would use that as a threat as well , he always stated he was SF and medic , said injured in Afghanistan and that’s why he has seizures , also not true , I found evidence of him lying to women on social media also impersonating a SF years ago , he had gotten pictures of soldiers with beards that looked very much like him and he knew a lot of the lingo and studied it , he also pretended to be a firefighter and ex firefighter to people as well. That was another of his cons . He always wore military type gear and shirts he would buy offline or from people or army navy store etc I actually still have a couple of them around Idk why , maybe to remind me of what I let happen to me and the damage it did so that I never allow that to ever happen to me again. He changed me then in terrible ways and I never could figure out how to get away or out of the situations . I never experienced someone like him - in no fool or naive , I have an experienced life but the extent he will go .... photoshopping pictures , editing fake text conversations etc making false reports to child protection agencies etc etc .... people believe him and he can turn your life upside down between that , setting you up and threats Therof and physical violence . He has also been to prison in Massachusetts or Missouri I believe for weapons and violence against another woman I found out later . He treats his mother and youngest daughter the same way with threats and control and violence , has 3 other children all in different states as well .... he’s mentally disturbed and dangerous and I am hoping they actually keep him for a very long time so my children and I can feel safe .

I’m so happy you guys were diligent and captured him . The alias he was using is someone that I know as well whom was in prison when he started using that alias .

Thank you for flushing him out and catching him . Thank you so much I can’t explain how I felt

Reading all of this , validating things for me in a way because I don’t think a lot of people where I’m from still believed me . His lies seemed too far fetched , details and convincing fake evidence , he had people coming after me thinking I was many many things and done things I had not as a way to intimidate me .

I have a damaged jaw , ptsd and still working to start my life over in every aspect and help my kids overcome the damage that he did to them . His name and face will haunt me probably for life and I’m sorry to the other woman who fell for this because I completely and truly understand how it happens and the web that he weaves . I’m happy no one got physically hurt and I will hope to see him get some serious time .

LarryW:

This guy was all around San Antonio, TX making his rounds selling himself as a Green Beret! When the questions about his service started to come in from common soldiers, it was quickly discovered that he was a complete fraud. No one at the San Antonio Silver Wings Airborne Association, Special Forces Association, has ever heard of him!

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loweboyz:

Yet another Piece of Shit phony. When will it stop?

bosljeff:

Good Lord. 🤦🏻‍♂️

Salt Life Vet:

VFW Post 10226 voted unanimously at it's monthly meeting tonight to revoke his membership and he is also banned for life from the building. Now he will have to hang out at the Chuckee Cheese soda fountain and tell all the 8 year olds about his good old days in SF. But then again the 8 year olds will probably say "Dude, shut the f#ck up. You're a poser. Now pour me another orange soda".

JMoff67:

I can tell you for a fact that he has never been to the VA for any treatments. He actually told me that he cant go to one( supposedly because the government was denying his existence due to covert mission involvement) he does not have a real vetrans ID either. If he is carrying one, it's fake. I'd love to know what name he has on it. Recently in Texas he has been going by the name Alex ( which I believe is actually the name of the guy at the Sky bar down in Florida where they put on a fund raiser for him under the false pretense that he was ex-special forces wounded in combat.)

Salt Life Vet:

Unfortunately I know this turd. He was a real black eye for the VFW post on Oak Island. Thank God he is no longer a part of it. Many of us knew he was a liar and fraud about many things, Nice to finally officially know the truth. He will soon have his VFW cred's revoked and the American legion has also dropped him from the rolls. Great work guys. Thank you for maintaining the honor and beauty of that wonderful head gear known as the Green Beret and the bravery and valor of the unique men who have the privilege of wearing it. Keep it up!

Chupacabra71:

I saw this article and it made my blood boil. My dad wasn't a Green Beret, he was in the Air Force. He went to Vietnam 1964, 1971 and a smaller stint between the two tours. Those who go to war do not brag about what they did in the war. Those who flaunt their "accomplishments" are more likely than not, fake. I know of someone who tells everyone, including his sons and now grandkids, that he is a Green Beret that served in Vietnam and received medals. In 1972 (i eill need to verify the year), he joined the Reserves so to not be drafted for Vietnam. Can you guys help me find the truth?

vet4life:

I got on to this site because I know of this AKA Romero Antonio Noel person. I don't know the man personally but I know people who do. I just cant wrap my hands around this cause it does not make any sense to me. He has a veteran Id and goes to the VA clinic. I don't know just really confused on all of this stuff. if anyone can shed some light on this for me and others I would greatly appreciate it. thank you.

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