Richard Strandlof epitomized American heroism. Strandlof graduated from the Naval Academy, was at the Pentagon on 9/11, deployed to Iraq with the Marines, and survived an IED attack. Except, he didn’t do any of those things, and on Friday the FBI arrested him for claiming that he had.
In a rare charge of “stolen valor”, the fake veteran was arrested for falsely claiming “military decorations or medals”. The charge can lead to up to one year of jail and a $100,000 fine.
“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.”
Ryan Gallucci, a spokesman for AMVETS, agreed.
“Strandlof’s actions dishonor the actual sacrifices of veterans,” he told CNN Monday.
“Second, by commissioning his own advocacy group, Strandlof diverted philanthropy dollars for legitimate causes within the veterans community,” Gallucci said.
“Personally, it just sickens me,” Gallucci added. “As a veteran of the war in Iraq, it’s unfathomable that someone would propagate such a lie at a time when American men and women are actually putting their lives on the line, and American families are coping with the loss of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.”