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Another Phony IVAW ‘Vet’ Gets Outed

From the Colorado Springs Gazette:

Vets expose advocate as impostor

May 13, 2009
LANCE BENZEL and TOM ROEDER

The leader of a statewide veterans group who fought for homeless veterans in Colorado Springs was in the Denver County jail on Wednesday, unmasked as a former psychiatric patient who posed as a wounded Marine officer and 9/11 survivor.

Federal authorities are looking into whether Rick Duncan, whose real name is Richard Glen Strandlof, could have pilfered money he raised in the name of Colorado veterans, said Daniel Warvi of the Colorado Veterans Alliance (CVA), the group that Duncan founded

Strandlof, 31, who invented the name Duncan and claimed he was a former Marine captain and 1997 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, never served in the military and falsely claimed that he was in the Pentagon during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the group said.

Two members of CVA said the group became suspicious of the man they knew as Duncan after discovering inconsistencies in his personal story.

In a search of the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office records, for example, they found that the name Colorado Veterans Alliance had been reserved by "Rick Strandlof," whom they had never met, the group said.

The group said it found that Strandlof had been a patient in a mental hospital in Washoe County, Nev., at the time of the roadside bombing in Fallujah, Iraq, that he claimed left him severely wounded.

CVA members contacted the FBI field office in Denver, which opened an investigation in early May and arrested him Tuesday night in downtown Denver on a traffic warrant originating in El Paso County.

According to Warvi, when an FBI agent asked whether he was Strandlof or Duncan, he responded "both," then requested an attorney

Strandlof was in custody at the Denver County jail in lieu of a $1,000 bond Wednesday.

He is wanted in El Paso County for failing to appear in court on a charge of driving with a suspended license. El Paso County sheriff’s spokeswoman Lt. Lari Sevene said Strandlof will be sent to Colorado Springs to appear before a judge unless he posts bond in Denver…

According to sources, federal authorities are trying to find out what happened to $25,000 Strandlof raised during a New Year’s Eve event in 2006 in Reno, Nev…

Strandlof also told his story in televised advertisements for Hal Bidlack, a retired Air Force officer and Democrat who ran unsuccessfully for Congress last year in the district representing Colorado Springs.

Bidlack told The Gazette on Wednesday that he never had a reason to doubt the veteran he knew as Duncan, who was a volunteer in his campaign

The U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., said the school has no record of a 1997 graduate named Rick Duncan.

Marine Corps spokeswoman Capt. Amy Malugani found no record of Strandlof or his alias Duncan serving in the Corps, and that the unit Strandlof claimed to have served with in Iraq doesn’t exist.

Under his invented identity, Strandlof proved to be a popular spokesman on veterans’ issues. He is quoted in stories as recently as March, when he was interviewed by The Denver Post about a measure before the state General Assembly to cut tuition for veterans.

He often spoke vividly of being in the Pentagon on Sept. 11 when a hijacked airliner was crashed into the building.

"The duality of that day, the good and the bad that I saw that day, are forever etched in my mind and in my memory," he told KOAA television in an interview last year marking the anniversary of the attacks.

The Gazette quoted Strandlof on issues concerning homeless veterans. The Colorado Springs Independent wrote about him in articles about veterans struggling to deal with their experiences in war and PTSD.

On YouTube, Strandlof appears in desert camouflage talking about his "wounds."

"I was involved in an IED explosion that killed four Marines," he said. "I have a plate roughly the size of a, like, cup and saucer on this portion of my skull."

In the video, Strandlof also claims to have had a hip replacement and to have "had a finger blown off."

Strandlof often spoke of his mistreatment by Defense Department officials, saying they dragged their feet on giving him a disability retirement

Garett Reppenhagen, a past chairman of the local chapter of Iraq Veterans against the War, said he saw Strandlof collecting money for CVA during an antiwar poetry reading at Poor Richard’s Bookstore in downtown Colorado Springs, telling donors it would be used for shipping care packages to men and women serving abroad.

It’s unclear if that money ever made it out of Strandlof’s pocket.

"I think that everybody kind of gave him the benefit of the doubt," Reppenhagen said.

"Every veteran should feel betrayed."

Naturally, ‘Mr. Duncan’ would turn out to be a member of the notorious Iraq Veterans Against War. Just like so many other bogus veterans before him.

And just like the others, he has been quietly flushed from their rolls. But you can still find the Google cache of the page here.

And here are some screen shots:

(Click images to enlarge)

And just as naturally, ‘Mr. Duncan’ was a longtime favorite of the America-hating left he shows up all over YouTube.

Indeed, our hero is so popular he even appeared in a campaign video for the IVAW’s favorite Congressional candidate, Democrat Hal Bidlack:

Alas, now we learn that ‘Mr. Duncan’ is a pathological liar and an escaped lunatic.

What a shock, huh?

(Thanks to BillK for the heads up.)

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, May 15th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

18 Responses to “Another Phony IVAW ‘Vet’ Gets Outed”

  1. BillK says:

    Here we go again.

    From Denver’s KUSA Television:

    Man accused of posing as war vet

    By Chris Vanderveen

    DENVER – Sure, he stuttered on occasion. He said strange things from time to time. But Rick Duncan was passionate about veterans in the state of Colorado. He told anyone who wanted to listen that he had served in Iraq on three occasions. That gave him an unofficial license to talk to journalists, politicians, and civilians about the war.

    So, many people simply ate it all up.

    The only problem was that Duncan wasn’t actually a Marine, a Naval Academy graduate, or a wounded Iraq War Veteran, according to those who have looked into his background.

    His name, according to the Denver Sheriff’s Department, isn’t even Rick Duncan. It’s Rick Strandlof, and as of Thursday afternoon, Strandlof remained inside a Denver County Jail cell.

    He was arrested earlier in the week on an El Paso County traffic warrant. His bond has been set at $1,000.

    Strandlof declined 9NEWS’ request for an interview.

    As Duncan, Strandlof actively pursued the limelight in many veterans’ issues. As the founder of the Colorado Veteran’s Alliance, he campaigned for the homeless in Colorado Springs. He made appearances at anti-war rallies and was interviewed by a number of media outlets during those rallies.

    “We took him at face value,” CVA spokesman Dan Warvi said on Thursday. “We thought he was a wounded warrior who almost sacrificed his life.”

    His anti-war stance apparently appealed to a number of campaigns as well. Last summer, Duncan/Strandlof appeared on an anti-Bob Schaffer television ad.

    “Too many veterans can’t get the help they need,” said Duncan/Strandlof in the ad.

    When Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colorado) was running for Congress last year, he appeared with Duncan at a rally at the Colorado Veteran’s Monument. When Democrat Hal Bidlack was trying to unseat Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado) down in Colorado Springs last year, his campaign opted to put Duncan in one of its television ads.

    http://www.9news.com/news/article.aspx?storyid=115722&catid=339

    Yep, another lefty poses as an Iraq “vet” and helps get Democrats elected by speaking out against the war.

    Notice a pattern here?

    • catie says:

      Thanks Bill. What a disgusting pig but then again these tend to be the ones the Dims prop up as the “true heroes”.

  2. proreason says:

    More rapid research you can’t find anywhere else. Thanks Steve.

    If the number of stories like this begins to exceed the current 5 figures total, I may have to conclude the lunatic left makes stuff up a lot just to suit their manias.

    • Steve says:

      “More rapid research you can’t find anywhere else. Thanks Steve.”

      And we should also thank the ever-watchful BillK.

      In fact, this is a textbook example of how the site works.

  3. Barbie says:

    Wouldn’t you think you’d run a background check on someone like this before you appeared in a campaign commercial with that person? Wouldn’t that just be using (a LITTLE) common sense? This punk is a despicable liar, but the politicians who appeared with him are out and out fools.

    • jobeth says:

      , come on….the libs don’t even vet cabinet members! LOL

      So long as you say what they want you to say…your in! :-D

    • Barbie says:

      True. What was I thinking?

    • pdsand says:

      We’ve all been treated to the fascinating details of exactly what’s medically wrong with Mr. Limbaugh, and what draft ineligibility he had 40 years ago, but they didn’t even determine whether this guy attended the Naval Academy? I think something like that is certainly easily attainable public information. Forget trying to check a 214.
      What’s really funny is he almost has a worthwhile cause if he were honest with his organization and wouldn’t open his fat mouth.

    • wardmama4 says:

      The IVAW has almost no criteria (even failing out of Basic is ‘serving’ in the military to them), only having ‘served’ since Sept 11, 2001, and ask for no DD214. Which of course belies their own name (and one would think mission).

      http://thisainthell.us/blog/?p=10593#more-10593
      Read this, Kris Goldsmith leaves the IVAW – it is a long letter but well worth the read. He points out very well – exactly how IVAW is a sham and failing the very people they ‘claim’ that they are representing and wanting to help.

      For a bunch of wackos who hate despise the military with a passion akin to pro-lifers, Christians, George W. Bush and Rush Limbaugh – they are awfully damn eager to pretend to be one.

    • MinnesotaRush says:

      And what the heck .. we got a lunatic imposter posing as commander-in-chief!

  4. Confucius says:

    Another under-medicated liberal on the loose.

  5. Gila Monster says:

    Holy mackerel, shades of Jesse McBeth and Gordon Soderberg..!!

    Truthfully, this should surprise no one. The liberal Left anti-war crowd is permeated with con-artists, grifters, mountebanks, shysters, poseurs, thugs, mugs, pugs and lawyers.
    Hell, just look at the current House and Senate leadership and invoke the trickle down theory and voila’, we should expect this further down the socialistic food chain.

    In all seriousness, I respect the right of any and all Veterans groups to put forth their political views in the public arena, they have certainly earned that right. Unfortunately, for groups like the IVAW, the VFP and others of their ilk, the existence of a**hats like Strandlof, Mcbeth and many more like them, strains their collective credibility.

  6. Howard Roark says:

    Great work, here, BillK & Steve.

    And isn’t it telling that the Colorado Springs Gazette tries hard to bury the fact that this f*ing punk lunatic was a righteous member of the IVAW? In fact, the two writers’ only mention of this scumbag and the IVAW was at the bottom of this article, placing him by proxy with the IVAW at a bookstore while collecting money for his bogus CVA “organization.”

    Obviously, the Gazette was trying to shield the IVAW from yet another embarrassment. How much longer until we have a revolt against these propaganda machines?

    Thanks to Steve’s screenshot of the IVAW’s membership roles in Colorado, I now see that this flaming puke was, indeed, a celebrated member of the IVAW.

  7. canary says:

    No, that doesn’t look like the rawer, skinny,” pimpled faced “marines in their 20’s with teenage bodies, Obama describes he saw at the Marine base in Fallujah, hours after “5” marines were killed. Not “4” as the other pathological liar says. pg 300
    It would be interesting to question the marines about both the liars. Obama’s pathetic discription of America’s finest; evidence of his little man complex.

    Hopefully, Hillary and Chelsea dodging bullets in Bosnia, and Chelsea’s majical jogging near 9/11 WTC while she sat drinking coffee in front of her tv, will come to his defense.

  8. canary says:

    How this group did not get on the DHS extremist list is beyond me.
    Member of the Week’s profile on home page, also honors soldier suicide art.
    Bogus name, There is no Camp Shell or A.O. Paradise he served.
    http://ivaw.org/member/sholom-keller Complaint letter to VA shrink

    (While my vitals were being taken in the emergency room, one of the guards had the audacity to approach me and state, “Thank you for being a veteran.”

    Although I specifically requested vegetarian meals, the trays that were handed to me at breakfast, lunch, and dinner did not contain sufficient foodstuffs to qualify as a meal; … I am a reasonably well-balanced individual, and that “I find the universe to be a happy joyous place filled with all kinds of things that make me smile, like sunshine and puppies and rainbows and unicorns and pink bubblegum and dead cops.”

  9. Liberals Demise says:

    For his punishment he should be turned over to the Marines who cleared Fallujah……for a sure and just treatment. (they won’t kill him)

  10. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Maybe now, the libtards understand waterboarding.

    Then again…..


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