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Modern Gear. Real, Fake or What?


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#26 Brig

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Posted 17 March 2016 - 03:24 PM

 

good point, and that is a real problem in this line of collecting, I fact I heard a certain well know seller was banned from going on navy installations because he was bugging SEAL's to death trying to get them to sell him their gear.

I know of one...a vet or retired service member himself...banned from local PX and cash sales for flipping uniforms for profits



#27 nkomo

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Posted 17 March 2016 - 06:11 PM

  This is a good discussion and feel it needs to be moved to the Field Gear section and pinned.



#28 Sgt. BARney

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Posted 17 March 2016 - 06:55 PM

I am really enjoying this on-going discussion.  I have a question - and I hope it is not considered trying to hijack the topic - but what is the best way to "document" the provenance of an item.  For example, suppose a relative gives me a piece of gear he used in Afghanistan and says it was with him everyday and saw combat.  I trust him and have no reason to believe he would make up a story about it, but how about the next guy I sell it to.  From this thread, honest-to-goodness combat used gear seems to be more desirable than a similar piece which never left the states. Whether I chose to sell it right away or my kids sell it at my estate sale, what is the best and most accepted way to keep the history with the item?

 

Still a boot collector and forum member, so thinking I should be aware of the right steps to take in documenting stuff.

Thanks!



#29 [email protected]

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Posted 17 March 2016 - 07:04 PM

documenting provenance is best done with a picture of the person using the item down range or if that's not available a letter written and signed by the vet saying it has his and when and where he used it. I have seen folks use copies of orders which have all the guys info but that's no something you really don't want everyone to have and I have also seen some sellers mate up old orders with gear they found somewhere else so I would say in the future the whole "i got the guys orders" thing will became the same as the "i found this ww2 helmet in a barn in France" thing. in other words something that is mostly looked at as a negative.


Edited by [email protected], 17 March 2016 - 07:06 PM.


#30 dave peifer

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Posted 18 March 2016 - 05:34 AM

when i get an item or grouping i like to get a photo of the vet with their items.most,if they have a special set of gear will compose a short letter stating the use,where and when for the item.also i like to get a signature on something appropriate to the subject.quite a few oif/oef vets have taken the time to sit and compose a bio of their service,i feel it's not enough to own and display the items,we are doing this for the future and moving down the line these things must be tied together...........dave



#31 [email protected]

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Posted 18 March 2016 - 07:41 AM

that's a sensitive subject, the history of the vet from their perspective is an important part of history but its one that belongs to the vet alone. if they already have it all written up and are will to share that then great and if you know the person very well and they are comfortable enough about it to talk than maybe ask, but be very very carful about how you ask. the fact is that some of these vets are getting rid of their gear because it reminds them of the history that you would be bringing up. they may have had an uneventful time or they may seen a version of hell you cant even begin to imagine.

 

let me put it like this, lets say you just had a real nasty divorce, you are feeling hurt, you cant stop thinking about it, you cant help but think if only this or if only that. you lost kids or only get to see them once in a while, she took your car and maybe your house. you manage to coupe but after some time you decide to move one because what else can you do and one of the first things you do is go to get rid of the stuff that reminds you of your past life. you still need money (maybe now more then ever) so you go to sell some stuff. the guy buying it says yep I will buy it but first I want you to go home and think real hard about everything you experienced in your life with your wife and kids and put it down on paper for me. I am really interested in the juicy parts, like just how it felt when so walked out and what you were thinking when your kids where crying because dad could not be there anymore.  

 

now imagine how that would make you feel before you ask a vet for a detailed history of their service down range. some of these guys and women are dealing with some real heavy stuff and if you go trying to drag it up you may hurt them, even if you don't mean to. that's why I for one never ask for a lot of details unless they bring it up. to be honest I have walked away from some talks feeling very emotional my self over just hearing what some of them had to deal with. 



#32 dave peifer

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Posted 18 March 2016 - 08:15 AM

i have never asked questions of the vets,unless it's someone i have known for years,i let them do the talking.i have found most all vets are very open once they realize you are serious.i want to add that i have had a vet sell me all his uniforms and gear back around 2003 who was in the initial march up oif.in 2014 he contacted me and related he was sorry he sold everything years ago for his son was 6 at the time.since then he and his son have talked about his experiences,the son being 17 now.i saw that he got back what he wanted,even offered to give it back,but he insisted on buying it back.i like to keep in touch with all the guys if possible.........dave



#33 bheskett

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Posted 18 March 2016 - 08:50 AM

I have a one page questionnaire I ask vets to fill out.  I also ask for a photo of them in uniform.  I have only had a few refuse, and a couple say yes and simply not do it.  I too like to display the item with the story.  I do this for both uniforms and gear.  With that said I do not push and if they don't want to tell you then that is that and I move on.  If I can do research online than good for me but if not I still have the item.   I have gotten several large groupings from Craigslist, and it seems the younger guys are happy to help out especially if it is electronic form.   

 

Bob



#34 nkomo

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Posted 18 March 2016 - 09:28 AM

Since I collect mainly SF items, I do not press the issue of getting their history. Some times the soldiers are willing to discuss where they were and what unit they were with. Other times, they don't say. Either way, it is what it is. At the end of the day, some times you have to just be happy owning the artifact with no history.

#35 RedLegGI

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Posted 18 March 2016 - 10:34 AM

Being a vet is an 'in' you can't have if you've not been in the service.  A lot of times on Ebay I'll see an item and want to know the history so I'll write them and explain who I am, that I'm an OIF vet and the reason for the message.  If they say something like "yes it was mine" I'll usually follow up with "oh do you mind telling me when/where this was down range?"   Not pressing for specifics, or details just a general place/time.  For me its really about the history of the item and trying to keep as much of the story with it as possible. A lot of the time we end up shooting the shinola back and forth a few times about various things we did when we were in.  There is a connection there that every vet shares and that is service to the nation.

 

Brig

 

It's really unfortunate you have had those experiences with the 'blood' hunters so to speak.  I know that would set me off.  I've sold very little of my stuff and luckily the guys I've dealt with have been great so far.



#36 RedLegGI

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Posted 18 March 2016 - 10:36 AM

I am really enjoying this on-going discussion.  I have a question - and I hope it is not considered trying to hijack the topic - but what is the best way to "document" the provenance of an item.  For example, suppose a relative gives me a piece of gear he used in Afghanistan and says it was with him everyday and saw combat.  I trust him and have no reason to believe he would make up a story about it, but how about the next guy I sell it to.  From this thread, honest-to-goodness combat used gear seems to be more desirable than a similar piece which never left the states. Whether I chose to sell it right away or my kids sell it at my estate sale, what is the best and most accepted way to keep the history with the item?

 

Still a boot collector and forum member, so thinking I should be aware of the right steps to take in documenting stuff.

Thanks!

 

When I know an item is coming vet direct I always try to get the story behind the item.    I keep any correspondences from ebay, any reference photos I happen to find, and news articles where service members are mentioned.  It helps to put the item in a time frame, and the vets story in with it.   If it is a flea market find, it would be best to write down when/where you got it and the story behind it, then sign/date etc.   Sounds rudimentary but its better than nothing.



#37 [email protected]

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Posted 18 March 2016 - 12:01 PM

as nkomo said a lot of SF vets will not give specifics even if you do press them. in there case its mostly do to OPSEC. they may have been instructed not to talk about what they did or where they were. in some cases they may not want to tell you because the item you are buying was either something that was "lost" or if it is a test item the company that made the item may have told them that they could keep it but not sell it. most of the SF guys are a lot less sensitive about there past then other folks and most will not become upset over talking about it.

 

a lot of vets are very opened about there history and as RedLegGI said if you are a vet your self you are sort of in the same club so they will probably be more opened to you. that being said its still like speeding, you may do it a 100 times and no ticket but the odds are that eventually you will probably get one. for example I have a friend that I met not long after I got out the army, we would sit around and talk about all kinds of stuff from music to sports to news, just about everything. we would eat over at each others house's and even our wives were friends. we had both joined the army about the same time and we both went to the same duty station right out of AIT the same year and most of our military related conversations centered around that. unlike me he had been deployed to Afghanistan and had been in a position where he had to do something pretty awful, I wont say what but it was something I think all of use would have a serious problem with. I probably knew him for a year before he told me about it. after we talked about it he seemed to start thinking about it more and more and it became a common topic that he would bring up by about the 3rd beer. he started smoking a lot of weed not long after that as he said when he was high didn't care about it as much. we all tried to help but he didn't want to stop and eventually he pissed hot and was forced into rehab by his chain of command. at this point his chain of command or his doctor (he didn't say which) made him go to therapy to help him work out his problems. I did not push him to tell me about what happened but I did not change the subject when he brought it up either. I cant help but think that if I had he would not have thought of it as often as he did and that if he didn't  thank about it as much he probably would not have felt the need to do the things he did. my point is some stuff is better left alone and although you may not hurt someone there is that possibility and its just not worth the risk. 



#38 dave peifer

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Posted 18 March 2016 - 01:54 PM

i agree having been in the military means a lot,you have something in common from the start............dave



#39 Mercenary25

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Posted 18 March 2016 - 02:56 PM

The problem is Duckin' airsofters. Even LBT stooped to their level by reproducing their rare stuff just to meet the demand of airtards who want to wear SEAL impressions while shooting pink pellets for their own amusement. 

 

Moreover. One of the reasons SOF vets not open to true collectors because they believe we and airsoft community is one same community. 


Edited by Mercenary25, 18 March 2016 - 02:57 PM.


#40 12A54

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Posted 18 March 2016 - 03:26 PM

I worked for Blackhawk from 2004 through 2013. We sold through government contracts, GSA, AAFES, MCSS, MCX, NEX, and DLA (many items had NSNs). Our products were issued through official programs and were procured through local contracts and bought with government purchase cards by individual units. Servicemembers also purchased our products at off base retailers and through online vendors. In addition, our stuff was being bought and issued to many Allied forces.

It is unique that simultaneously "enthusiasts" were buying all these same items through local dealers and online vendors (worldwide).

In previous eras, non-military access to such items of field gear was generally done post-conflict through surplus sales.

Bottom line - you'll never be able to tell if it's a service-used item without individual provenance.

#41 Brig

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Posted 18 March 2016 - 05:09 PM

Keep in mind that current veteran 'prepared bios' are probably official bios, which really give very little specifics. Usually a 30 year career is condensed into a single page of basics and posted on the command website. Take mine, for instance. 2 years of my life...16 months of which were combat and another in Israel...is encompassed by this single sentence...

 

Assigned as a Rifleman, he participated in Operation Noble Shirley in Israel and deployed twice in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. 

 

Doesn't exactly tell you much, does it?

 

Professional resumes are much shorter and bulletized. This is the extent of my combat service details in my professional resume:

 

 

COMBAT TOURS

0510-0605     OIF

0608-0704     OIF

1111-1205     OEF

 

 

 

Tells little more




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