Fake Military Veteran

Discussion in 'SitRep' started by comiso90, Jun 11, 2009.

  1. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    video: Video - Breaking News Videos from CNN.com

    Fake military veteran hid under 'ocean of lies' - CNN.com

    (CNN) -- Richard Strandlof said he survived the 9/11 attacks on the Pentagon. He said he survived again when a roadside bomb went off in Iraq killing four fellow Marines. He'd point to his head and tell people he had a metal plate, collateral damage from the explosion.
    Richard Strandlof says he didn't mean to cause harm when he lied about being a military veteran.

    Richard Strandlof says he didn't mean to cause harm when he lied about being a military veteran.

    Crowds ate up his story. He canvassed Colorado appearing at the sides of politicians. Inspiring and seemingly authentic, he spoke on behalf of veterans at the state Capitol.

    It turns out the whole thing was a lie. He wasn't at the Pentagon. He was never a Marine. He never served his country. He never graduated from the Naval Academy. He claimed his name was Rick Duncan.

    He formed a group called the Colorado Veterans Alliance, and the FBI is now investigating whether he embezzled money as a result. Video Watch Strandlof defend himself ยป

    Where was he on 9/11, the day he said he witnessed heroism firsthand?

    "I was in San Jose, California, watching it in horror on TV with a few other people," Strandlof told CNN's Anderson Cooper.

    He was at a homeless shelter at the time.

    Strandlof denies being a pathological liar. He says he suffered from "some severely underdiagnosed mental illness" and that he got caught up in the moment around "people who are passionate and loved what they did."

    He told CNN he had put on a "production, which I'm sorry for."

    "Hopefully the people that I hurt can in some way gain closure from that, and I myself don't know what I can do short of leaving them alone and not being in their lives, to make that happen," Strandlof said.

    He said he's not sure exactly how he's hurt people. "It's not for me to say, and time will tell," he said.
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    Hal Bidlack, a former Air Force lieutenant colonel, is one of those people. He ran for Congress as a Democrat and had Strandlof appear with him. Bidlack isn't too happy.

    "Once one lie fell apart, the whole series of things ... just cascaded into an ocean of lies," he said.

    Bidlack was at the Pentagon when it came under attack on September 11, 2001. He now realizes that Strandlof stole portions of his own story.

    "Now that we know he's a lying fraud," Bidlack said, "I think he was just parroting my own story back to me."

    "There are an awful lot of things that he kept straight to try to fool an awful lot of people for an awful long time."

    Doug Sterner has catalogued hundreds of people claiming to be military veterans who never served in the military. He says it's typical for those perpetuating the hoaxes to claim mental illness.

    "I don't buy that," Sterner said. "What he was doing was looking for a cause to promote himself. I see this repeatedly. I've had a hundred cases just this year like Rick Strandlof's. ... What they're doing is building a kingdom of self and feeding their own ego."

    Sterner has pushed for a federal database listing the names and citations of all decorated military veterans to help put an end to such cases. He said Strandlof has robbed true veterans of their veracity.

    "Doing good does not take away from the bad that he did," he said. "Because of Rick Strandlof, the next global war on terrorism veteran that speaks in a school or talks to the media or gets involved in politics is going to be questioned."

    Strandlof's story began to unravel about a month ago when he was arrested in Colorado Springs on a minor traffic charge. According to the Denver Post, Strandlof came to authorities' attention first in 1997, when he was sentenced to five years on forgery and bad-check charges.
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    With the FBI now investigating him for fraud, he told CNN he's innocent. "We did not take money to use on non-veterans projects. I did not enrich myself on this. I did not gain any money from this," he said.

    That's not the point, said Sterner. "The one thing he robbed from every veteran that comes out now is credibility."
     
  2. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    I frikkin hate idiots like this.
     
  3. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Not cool, not cool at all.
     
  4. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Disgraceful. Disgusting. Dishonorable. What a senseless waste of human life.
     
  5. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    I don't agree with that statement at all...

    I don't question a veteran's credibility...they did what they did, and if in the long run, it turns out to be otherwise, then I'd deal with that particular instance. Strandlof and his kind are few and far in between, fortunately.

    Sterner's statement is akin to "all are guilty until proven innocent" and that way of thinking is just about as bad as what Strandlof did.
     
  6. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    I think he should be sent to Iraq to dig some graves...


    .
     
  7. Von Frag

    Von Frag Member

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    Anyone ever read Stolen Valor by Burkett?
     
  8. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    and spend time with the children of the fallen.

    ,
     
  9. wheelsup_cavu

    wheelsup_cavu Well-Known Member

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    If they can send 60 year old men to Iraq he can be trained and sent there too.
    It's better than just sending him to prison.



    Wheelsup
     
  10. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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    What a disgusting act, he seems to be the bottom of the gene pool.
     
  11. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    What a fu*kin douchebag....
     
  12. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    F*cking grade A scumbag right there. Disgraceful to impersonate people who have given so much to their country just so you can make a quick buck and gain some recognition.
     
  13. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Reminds me of a local "war hero" named Roland SPerry. He wrote a book about being in the Flying Tigers, was in all the papers, etc. He lied about it all. I found his book in my box of crap the other day and promptly put it in the recycle bin. Hopefully, it will be recycled into something useful, like a barf bag...
     
  14. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    Comiso! You stole my thread!
    Thread-rustling's a hanging offence in these here parts... :)
     
  15. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Son of a b!tch...:evil:
     
  16. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    did u post it too?

    sorry.... It's all in the Headline
     
  17. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    I posted it (and the title) in Off Topic
    Sitrep is for military current affairs and I didn't think he merited a mention in here

    It said 'Moved' and when you click on it, it comes here
     
  18. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Yeah I merged the two threads and put it in here (and deleted your post Colin because it was a duplicate of Comiso's which was 3 mins before yours ;)). Whilst I agree he doesn't merit a mention here, I feel it fits here better than elsewhere, as it is a military matter even though it is impersonation and he wasn't actually in the military. Can easily be move if everyone agrees it would be better back in Off Topic or Modern.
     
  19. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    Pipped at the post by Comiso :)

    No problem with where it's at Gnomey, that was my personal feeling overruling the logical pigeon-hole for the thread
     
  20. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    The guy's a douchebag for sure. I wouldn't waste another taxpayer's dollar on him by sending him to court....ship him overseas to dig foxholes and graves for the REAL men and women he was impersonating. Make him eat what they eat, live how they live, endure what they endure...all for an average Iraqi paycheck (what's the goin rate these days...a couple bucks a week?). Teach him to show a bit of respect and REALLY give back to the community at the same time.
     
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