America’s Got Talent auditioner Tim Poe, a singer from San Antonio, said he was injured by a grenade in Afghanistan and suffered a brain injury. But the military said there’s no record of him being injured while he was in Afghanistan for a month. On the show, he received a standing ovation and was sent to Las Vegas; Howie Mandel called him “a phenomenal talent” and Howard Stern said, “I don’t know what to say to a hero like you.”
“I spent 14 years in the military but my career was ended in 2009,” Timothy Michael Poe told the judges before singing a country song. “I had got hit by a grenade in Afghanistan and it broke my back and gave me a brain inury, so that’s the reason why I stutter a little bit.” He explained more in an emotional clip package (watch below).
A spokesman for the Minnesota National Guard told The AP that’s not true. “Sgt. Poe’s official military records do not indicate that he was injured by a grenade in combat while serving in Afghanistan in 2009, as he reports. … We looked very closely at his record. We did not find something to substantiate what he said.”
Update: On his show this morning, Howard said, “Did you read that he is a complete fraud? It was a total scam,” and added, “How the fuck did he do this with a straight face?”