The Denver Post
Editor's Note: Veteran imposter, Rick Strandlof told everyone that he had seved in the military. It turns out all of it was a lie. For more on this story tune in to AC360° tonight.
A tattoo of an angel illustrates his right leg. A devil decorates his left.
But a trail of deceit has stamped Richard Glen Strandlof with another indelible mark: fake military hero who misled veterans, politicians and voters. Many had bought into the story of Rick Duncan, the wounded soldier rallying opposition to the Iraq war and support for struggling vets.
Like the contradictory body art, Strandlof's story winds between malicious deception and actual good works. And it muddies the issue of whether his offense was simply that he fooled the people he purported to champion or that he broke the law.
He awaits arraignment in the El Paso County Criminal Justice Center in Colorado Springs on a misdemeanor traffic charge after his
arrest May 12. And while the FBI is investigating possible fraud, no charges have been filed.
Strandlof, 32, spared no detail in his alleged resume: Annapolis graduate. Marine captain. Survivor of the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the Pentagon. Wounded three-tour veteran of the Iraq war. An American hero who, in his next act, would stand up for his band of military brothers on whatever stage was set before him — from the Capitol steps in Denver to the campaign stump.
He backed mostly Democratic candidates sympathetic to his anti-war views in the run-up to the 2008 election. Beyond politics, he worked on behalf of homeless veterans in Colorado Springs, an effort that earned him widespread respect.
Filed under: 360° Radar
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
Questions or comments? Send an email
Want to know more? Go behind the scenes with