DEAR ABBY: My "Uncle Bernard" has a colorful personality. He has always been full of tall tales about his exploits and celebrity encounters.
About five years ago, my uncle announced that he had been awarded a Purple Heart. I know for a fact that Uncle Bernie was a member of the Merchant Marines on a ship that never left the Great Lakes. He also isn't listed on the official Purple Heart recipient registry, which makes me wonder where he got the medal.
Uncle Bernie hasn't been feeling well, so he has prepared his obituary, which notes that he was a recipient of the Purple Heart. He has also told us he wants the medal displayed at his funeral. I am aghast! I don't think I'll be able to grin and bear this one, Abby. He's a fake, and I don't want his children and church to be embarrassed. What he's doing is wrong. What would you do? -- BITING MY TONGUE FOR NOW
DEAR BITING: Uncle Bernie appears to be a fabulist, which is a polite term for liar. That he would masquerade as a war hero having never set foot in a war zone is disgusting. If I were in your situation I'd wait patiently until the time comes, then talk to his family about the potential embarrassment. When the obituary is published, reference to the medal should be omitted, and at the funeral the medal should not be displayed. Uncle Bernard won't know the difference, trust me.