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Colorado Veteran's Alliance Disbanded, Founder A Fraud

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Subject: [VeteranIssues] Colorado Veteran's Alliance Disbanded, Founder a FraudDate: May 20, 2009 6:44 AM

o www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30768735

http://www.gazette.com/articles/veterans-5...p-colorado.html

Ex-Nevadan ousted; allegedly posing as ex-Marine

By ALYSIA PATTERSON

(Published May 15, 2009)

http://www.fortmilltimes.com/124/story/566274.html

DENVER — A Colorado-based veterans organization has voted to disband after members accused its founder - a former Nevada man - of fabricating an identity as a former Marine captain who served three tours in Iraq and was at the Pentagon on 9/11.

Richard Glen Strandlof, 32, who used the name Rick Duncan, founded the Colorado Veterans Alliance in Colorado Springs about two years ago. Major Carl Redding, spokesman for the U.S. Marines, said there is no record of Richard Glen Strandlof or Rick Duncan serving in the Marines.

The accusations were first reported by The Gazette of Colorado Springs.

Strandlof's grandfather, Richard Kenneth Strandlof of Dayton, Mont., also said his grandson never served in the military.

Alliance Spokesman Dan Warvi said, "We feel his actions permanently damaged the reputation of Colorado Veterans Alliance to the point that no future efforts can go forward."

Police arrested Strandlof Tuesday night on an outstanding traffic warrant from El Paso County. He is in custody at Denver City Jail on $1,000 bond.

David Walsh, a member of the alliance, told the Denver Post the group found evidence that Strandlof was 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.

The group contacted the FBI field office in Denver, which began investigating in early May and arrested Strandlof on Tuesday night in downtown Denver on a traffic warrant originating in El Paso County.

According to Walsh, federal authorities are looking into fundraising by Strandlof conducted under his real name in Nevada. He purportedly raised $25,000 during a New Year's Eve event near Reno on Dec. 31, 2006.

Strandlof declined an Associated Press request for an interview made through the Denver sheriff's office.

Strandlof was quoted as Duncan - a wounded veteran and advocate - by numerous news media organizations, including The Associated Press, and was featured in a commercial sponsored by a veterans' group on behalf of Sen. Mark Udall, a Democrat from Colorado.

"It's sad to see someone take advantage of veterans and their causes. It's not right," Udall spokeswoman Tara Trujillo said. "Our bigger concern is that his actions should in no way reflect on the credibility of real veterans and the important issues they work on."

Strandlof also brought attention to the plight of homeless veterans in Colorado Springs.

Colorado Springs city council member Jerry Heimlicher said, "He acted as a spokesperson and was responsible for good things happening for the homeless veterans."

Strandlof lived with his grandparents in Montana as a teenager.

"He could have been really brilliant. I think he was a child prodigy," the elder Strandlof said, adding that Rick would use the Internet to create aliases and fake identities. "It was amazing the stuff he would come up with - that he had a Ph.D. from Europe. And people would believe him!"

"Keep on, Keepin' on"

Dan Cedusky, Champaign IL "Colonel Dan"

See my web site at:

http://www.angelfire.com/il2/VeteranIssues/

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