He auditioned for America’s Got Talent with a stutter, a cowboy hat, and a sad story about getting injured in Afghanistan. Country singer Timothy Poe won over hearts with his rich voice and heroic tale, but now soldiers from his unit claim his story is inaccurate.
“I spent 14 years in the military,” he said during his audition, and the crowd cheered. “But my career was ended in 2009. I had gotten hit by a grenade in Afghanistan and it broke my back and gave me a brain injury, so that’s the reason why I stutter a little bit.” With somber music playing in the background, Timothy’s story continued in a pre-taped segment. He said he volunteered to clear buildings when a man with a rocket-propelled grenade appeared. “[.. B]y the time I went to jump on my guys, I yelled, ‘Grenade,’ and the blast had hit me.”
But some of Poe’s fellow soldiers began to dispute Poe’s claims. Minnesota National Guard transportation specialist Jousting Doerfler tells E! Online that while he was in Afghanistan with Poe, the singer had an ear injury that forced him to stay behind in Kandahar. “Everyone on 114 can say it didn’t happen, especially his squad and platoon,” says Doerfler.
Amidst these allegations, Poe spoke to The New York Post, saying, “It may not have happened exactly like I said it did … I really do not remember a lot of things since the accident.” According to what an Army spokesperson tells The Post, Poe remained in Afghanistan for less than a month and they have incomplete records regarding his injury.
At least two claims Poe made during his audition turned out to be false. Though he said he didn’t know he could sing until his speech pathologist suggested he practice in the shower, Poe now admits he’d been in a band for several years before the incident in 2009. He now confesses he was never awarded the Purple Heart, despite what he said during his audition.
In the New York Post interview, Poe says, “I would like to take the time to tell the the American people how truly sorry I am that they had to endure the incomplete facts.”
Sources: The New York Post, E! Online