A Fort Bliss soldier has been put in the middle of a controversy involving a contestant on a popular TV talent show.
That contestant, Tim Poe, appeared on NBC's "America's Got Talent" Monday night. The production company in charge of the show said Poe had submitted photos to illustrate an emotional story he told about being attacked in Afghanistan.
However, one of the pictures Poe showed was not of himself at all. The image depicted Staff Sgt. Norman Bone in Afghanistan in 2006. Bone is now assigned to Ft. Bliss.
In an interview with TMZ, Bone said he was "absolutely furious" that his picture had been used in that manner.
The production company in charge of the show, FremantleMedia North America, issued the following statement:
?We sincerely apologize to U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Norman Bone for using a photo of him in our story on Tim Poe. It was supplied to us by Tim and used on the show in good faith. It has now been removed and will not be used again."
Poe's fiancee has told the Associated Press that Poe sent the picture in question "by mistake."
Poe is coming under fire not just for the picture, but for his entire story as well. During the show, Poe told celebrity judges he was injured by a grenade in Afghanistan in 2009 and suffered a brain injury which led him to develop a stutter.
The Minnesota National Guard confirmed Poe served as a supply specialist from 2002 to 2009 and deployed to Afghanistan for about a month in 2009. However, a spokesman said Poe's military records do not show any grenade injury like the one Poe described on the show.
Poe was interviewed by a military blog and podcast website a day after the show aired. He said the National Guard is missing facts from his records, which is why the injury is not documented. Poe maintained his story is mostly true, saying, "It may not have happened exactly how I explained because I don't remember a whole bunch."