Iraq vet accused of faking parts of best-selling memoir

Joe Pompeo
Media Reporter
The Cutline

An AP investigation has revealed that a prominent Iraq veteran and activist may have fabricated portions of his best-selling account of his road to recovery from the injuries and PTSD he sustained while at war.

The decorated former Army captain, Luis Carlos Montalvan, became an advocate for fellow injured veterans four years ago. He's aired commentary in various prominent news outlets and his experience inspired legislation from Minnesota Democratic Sen. Al Franken instituting a program to provide service dogs to wounded veterans.

Montalvan's own dog, Tuesday, is the subject of his recent memoir from Hyperion, "Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him," which cracked the top 20 on the New York Times best-seller list for nonfiction.

But now, some of those who served alongside the soldier-turned-writer have gone on record calling the veracity of Montalvan's account into question.

"Literally every combat experience he's had in that book that I'm familiar with is based on a modicum of truth interspersed with incredible embellishments on his part," one of them told the AP.

"Montalvan's embellished story is detrimental and offensive to honest veterans who have sought help for the unseen wounds of war," said another.

Montalvan gave the AP a somewhat vague statement through his attorney: "With respect to the incidents described in my book, whatever comments have been made by others are exactly that--their comments and recollections, not mine. Ironically, the right of others to their own perspectives, positive or negative, is one of the rights I fought to protect during two tours of duty in Iraq."

Hyperion likewise came to its author's defnese, telling the news wire in a statement: "The book speaks for itself. Luis is a war veteran decorated by the U.S. Army and his book, 'Until Tuesday,' is a comfort to many service members."

You can read the AP's full report--including the background on how and why it began probing Montalvan, and details of the allegedly fabricated passages--over at the Huffington Post.

According to his bio, Montalvan, who lives in New York, "is presently a graduate student at Columbia University ... working on a second Master of Science degree in Strategic Communications."