Monday, April 22, 2024

Army man proposed to 50 women

At least one woman in Hawai`i is among dozens of victims who received gushing love letters and a marriage proposal from an Army officer. Col. Kassem Saleh, 50, is now the subject of a military investigation after he allegedly duped at least 50 women into thinking they were his fiancé, according to a story in today’s New York Times. So far, a group of Col. Saleh’s would-be wives have found kin across the country, from Hawai`i to Alaska, from New York to Washington State, as well as in Canada.

According to the Times, Col. Saleh — who is married — found his victims via online dating sites, notably Tall Personals, a service catering especially to tall people. While the 29-year Army veteran helped coordinate humanitarian efforts in Afghanistan, he wrote them love letters, sent gifts and photos, and called them via satellite phone. Some received engagement rings, and others had already started planning their weddings.

But then KNDU-TV aired a sentimental story that profiled a Pasco, Wa. woman waiting for her fiancé.

“Love struck Kathy Richardson when she met army Colonel Kass Saleh,” the piece began, and went on to detail Col. Saleh’s background. He was of Palestinian decent, and spoke Arabic. He was stabbed and shot during the fight in Somalia when the Blackhawk helicopters went down.

The story went national via MSNBC, several women called the station, and the fairy tale quickly unraveled.

Now, as a group, they are calling on the Army to punish him, meanwhile counseling those among them who were especially devestated by the news that they weren’t alone. At least one victim has attempted suicide, the Times noted.

Col. Saleh, who has been posting personal ads online for at least five years, apparently recycled portions of his letters for several women. He wrote of his New York childhood, his mother, a supposed divorce 10 years ago and his celibacy ever since.

“We are not a group of stupid, naïve women — we are bright, intellectual, professional women,” 33-year-old Maine woman Sarah Calder told the Times. “I can’t tell you how much he wooed us with his words. He made us feel like goddesses, fairy princesses, Cinderellas.”

While Army spokesman Col. Roger King confirmed Col. Saleh’s identity and that an investigation was underway, it’s unclear whether military regulations are applicable in the case.

Hawaii Star Wire

Press releases, media advisories, and other announcements submitted to the Hawaii Star.

12 thoughts on “Army man proposed to 50 women

  • Jenny Johnson

    That’s crazy.

  • Mendie Campbell

    I am not surprised to hear of Kass’s lies to so many women. I figured out his dishonesty 2 years and broke off ties with him. I would like to hear from others who have fallen to his charms.

    Thanks- Mendie

  • I too was a victim of his. I’m sorry to hear there were more. My sympathy goes out to you, but at least you found out before it was too late. I strongly urge if you have any of the things that he sent you or can prove anything, you contact Ft. Bragg and file a formal complaint. Most of society is focusing on the women and how we should not have been so naive, but the army, as well as the women, want to know how he got ANY work done. His use of military equipment, satellite phones, government email accounts, and computer time, should also be under investigation.

  • I feel it’s sad that Kassem disappointed and hurt the feelings of much people. But I don’t feel that he should be punished for this. People should be allowed to live lives as they see fit without interference of the gov’t even if they make mistakes. Punishing him would be silly. The objectives of punishment are ‘protection of the public’ but he is not a dangerous threat, ‘rehabilitation’ and ‘deterrence’ but we can’t just demand everyone to stop being unfaithful. He made a mistake but if he were to be punished for hurting other people’s feelings than everyone some point in their life has made hurt and as well has big mistakes but should be shown a bit understanding and forgiveness.

  • Mendie Campbell

    “It takes two to tango”. We are responsible for our own lives and even when we are hurt & angry, that is no reason to destroy Kass’s military career. Move on with life, ladies. There is a big world out there and many adventures to be had. Even if you travel the road alone, you can still make your own happiness and fun!!!
    Follow your intuition. Allow God to heal your hurts!

  • P Benjamson

    Does anyone happen to have Saleh’s current or recent e-mail addresses? I’d really appreciate it if you’d e-mail them to me. Thank you very much. PBenjamson

  • Obviously, Kass was not only a loser in his own life, his family suffers as well. Yet, there has been a serious disservice to the American public, who paid this man to protect and serve our country. I think it is obvious that there were many more than the 50 stated women affected by this poor excuse for a man. Think about the time and expense that was paid for by American tax money so that he could have his fun. He is a grown man, with many years of service and this is not a one time indiscretion. This escapade extended many years, and he should have known better. I think there were laws broken with misuse of government property and I certainly hope he pays for this. I do not want my taxes paying for his retirement after already funding this sort of activity. (Yes, I too, was courted by Kass)

  • I couldn’t believe it when I came across this article! Add me to the list of women romanced by Kass Saleh. When he ended our relationship over three years ago, I was completely baffled. I’d begun to question some things, sure. Now, thanks to these revelations, I see that even though I was devastated (emotionally destroyed is more like it) at the time, his easing out of the relationship was the best thing that could have happened. As for revenge, I think the worst punishment for Kass is one he’s suffering now: his real mistress, the military, has found out about the kind of man he is and may end the relationship painfully and publicly.

  • truth_be_told

    What Kass did was morally wrong. Should his military life suffer because of it? The answer is a big resounding NO! Should he be punished otherwise? Yes. I say for every woman that can prove he misled them, he should spend two days in jail per proof of damage. should his wife leave him if she aalready has not? That’s between her and her God!

  • Michigan lady

    Well, i truly think that the Col. should be held accountable for his actions,He used government resources for his bad behavior and also ruined a lot of lives!…….However,the internet is a powerful tool and we as humans can become addicted to it……..on the other hand the woman that he emailed have to understand that you can’t believe everything that you hear….(expecially from military men!)…..These guy’s are away from home and lonely and trying to pass away the time…..I am talking from experience!!…..I feel that it takes a trully uncaring person to promise the world to these woman!!……I feel very bad for his wife and family…..So,i take this story as a lesson and i hope these woman will also……

  • The Colonel was found guilty of adultery and fined $7000. He asked to be retired and is now living the divorced life in Florida mending fences with his son.

  • Sydney

    CNBC just (re?) aired his story tonight. Quite surprising. Unfortunately, per some of the comments, the US Military (not to mention the entire Government) is filled with a bunch of non-performers. As tax payers, Col Kassem’s offense is really but a drop in the ocean. The biggest offender is Bush, himself. Anyway, enough of my soapbox. I was wondering, are his letters posted online anywhere? I’m curious what was so compelling about his writing. I felt the media coverage really simplified his charm, “Long moonlight walks on the beach”… that’s not charm, that’s copy and paste.


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