The U.S. military is accused by its own of lying to the American people. This after two of the most celebrated heroes from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan speak out on Capitol Hill.
ABC's Yunji De Nies looks at the testimony surrounding rescued Army Pvt. Jessica Lynch and former football player Cpl. Pat Tillman.
Tillman's brother said the Pentagon tried to turn his family's loss into their public relations gain.
"A terrible tragedy that might have further undermined support for the war in Iraq was transformed into an inspirational message," Kevin Tillman said. "There was one small problem with that narrative, however, it was utter fiction."
That fiction - that the former NFL star died in Afghanistan protecting his fellow soldiers, when in fact a fellow soldier had killed him, was publicly maintained for more than a month. The last man to see Tillman alive, said he was told to hide the truth.
"I was ordered not to tell him what happened," Bryan O'Neal said.
Lynch said the Pentagon also lied early on in the Iraq war, creating what she called, "the story of the little girl rambo." In reality, she was captured and never fought back.
"The American people are capable in determining their own ideals of heroes, and they don't need to be told elaborate lies," Lynch said.
After several investigations, it is still unclear who decided the real stories weren't enough when top defense officials knew the truth, and why it took these families - and the American people - so long to find out.
"To write these glorious tales is really a disservice to our nation, and the nation needs to realize this is an ugly war," Mary Tillman, Pat's mother, said.
The military said nine high ranking Army officers did make errors in documenting Tillman's death, but there was no criminal wrongdoing. So far, no one has been punished for spreading false information.