In fact, EBM's sister says her brother never went to Vietnam. He was honorably discharged due to his mental disorders. He was never put in an oven by their mother, never knocked out their father.
People probably would have realized pretty quickly EBM was prone to lying: his post fight interviews included a claim that during the original confrontation, Michael pulled a giant knife on him, and punched him in the jaw three times, all claims that can be debunked by watching the video that made him famous.
If he'd had a giant knife, don't you think he'd have used it?
At the time he became Epic Beard Man, Bruso was moving around San Francisco, teetering on the brink of homelessness. In fact, he believes his most recent eviction was caused by the video that made him famous. Tom Bruso isn't a badass hero. He's a mentally ill old man who, in his own words, "can't even remember yesterday," and is "out of my mind and can't think anymore."
And all of those things were on clear display in the video that brought him to our attention. But of course, a video titled "Bi-Polar 67 Year Old Beats Crap Out of Much Smaller 50 Year Old" wouldn't have become an internet sensation. So someone early on edited all of that stuff out, and made up a new story that appealed to our imagination, desire for justice and the racism simmering just below the surface of most sites on the web. It's no different from what Hollywood does when they release a movie that's "based on a true story." The saga of Epic Beard Man just proves that you don't even need to change a single event. All you need to do is upload it to YouTube, give it a good enough title, and the echo chamber of the internet will do the rest for you.
"Heroic hobo flips off three suspiciously Mexican ninjas after saving a white woman from their mongrel depredations."
When not having flashbacks of the night a beard murdered his parents, Nick is working on the sequel to his Kingdom Hearts Parody.