Deception - Phony HQ Picture
"Headquarters" (Coon-owned Harco building, Beavercreek, OH)
Full credit for this photograph goes to The Graybeards
The "real" Building photo:
taken by Dale H. Brown, C-1-7 Korea 1951-52
About the above photographs
These two photographs depict the same building. In 2002 and until recently, the building (located at
4120 Industrial Lane, Beavercreek, Ohio) was owned by Harley Coon, National President of the Korean War
Veterans Association. It is also the building said to house the "national headquarters" of the KWVA until
the property was sold to new owners this year.
The picture at top--the one with the blue marquee at the top--was published on page 4 of the May/June
2002 issue of the Graybeards magazine, just prior to the 2002 KWVA election. The photo was accompanied by
these words as label text: "Korean War Veterans National Headquarters, 4120 Industrial Lane, Beavercreek,
OH." Under and next to this picture were published three other pictures purporting to be interior views of
the "headquarters." At the bottom of page 4, italicized words stated, "Space and everything noted is
donated by Harley Coon, National President, for use of KWVA. Photos requested by the Editor, The
Graybeards to show our members we are a 1st class association."
Immediately after the May/June issue of The Graybeards arrived in members’ homes, Mrs. John (Sheila)
Kronenberger of Belleville, Illinois, noticed something peculiar about the photograph of the so-called
headquarters building. The top half of the flag pole in front of the building appeared to be suspended in
air. On closer examination, it was obvious that the photograph had been altered. The blue marquee at the top
of the building was not a real feature of the building. Instead, it had been pasted onto the picture to
cosmetically alter the appearance of the building. Immediately, thereafter, e-mail messages about the
fraudulent picture began to be distributed over the Internet. "The picture is a phony," the e-mail message
said. The Kronenbergers arranged for a KWVA member in Ohio to drive over to Beavercreek and take photographs
of the building's exterior.
Coincidentally, Lynnita Brown, founder of the Korean War Educator, was planning a trip to the East Coast
with her family about that same time. Her family made a detour to Beavercreek, Ohio, so Mrs. Brown could see
for herself whether or not the e-mail message was true. She did not want to believe that leaders of a "1st
class association" would scam their members by publishing a fake picture in their national magazine. Sadly
for the members of the KWVA, Mrs. Brown found the KWVA national headquarters to be housed in an outdated,
shabby block building, located in an unkempt industrial park on the edge of Beavercreek. There was no
beautiful sign to identify the building. Instead, there was a small sign that read "HARCO" above the
doorway. There were two huge trash dumpsters by the front door. The interior of the building was stark and
unattractive, as well as very small and crowded. Mrs. Brown said that she thought it was cheap-looking. "It
was a place not fit to bring dignitaries, and definitely not '1st class' by any stretch of the imagination,"
she said. Her husband photographed the exterior of the building while Mrs. Brown's mother, Jean Aldridge,
served as witness to the photographing, and while Lynnita Brown spoke with Harley Coon inside.
In fairness to the other KWVA directors, perhaps they had never visited Beavercreek and were unaware of
the photo deception. Mrs. Brown believes that any director of the KWVA who had been to Beavercreek
personally, and then turned a blind eye to the fact that a fake picture had been published in Graybeards, is
just as guilty of perpetuating the deception of the members of the Korean War Veterans Association as the
person responsible for deliberately publishing the phony picture (just before election time, no less) in the
first place. "Over 16,000 members were duped by a fraudulent photograph in The Graybeards that was
distributed nationwide," Brown said. "Most members of the Korean War Veterans Association are still unaware
of the fact that they were deceived by a falsified photograph that was not a true picture of their national
Rent, Utilities, Insurance and More
A listing of the expenses associated with the main office, Beavercreek, Ohio, was printed in the
November/December 2002 issue of Graybeards magazine. The expenses were listed as follows:
- Telephone - $5,000.00
- Office Supplies - $6,000.00
- Insurance - $12,000.00
- Accounting - $5,000.00
- Legal Fees - $2,500.00
- Labor - $1,500.00
- Postage - $3,000.00
- Bank Charges NOVA - $500.00
- Travel Fund - $10,000.00
- Repairs & Maintenance - $3,500.00
- Utilities - $1,500.00
- Rent - $1,500.00
TOTAL - $52,000.00
Since the May/June 2002 issue of The Graybeards states that "space and everything noted is donated by
Harley Coon, National President, for use of KWVA," many members are at a loss to understand why rent,
utilities, repairs and maintenance, and insurance expenses were then listed on the itemized expense account
for the Main Office, Beavercreek, Ohio.
Issue No. 1 of "The Ferret," an informational flyer that is an outgrowth of the KWVA Ad Hoc Discussion
Group on the Internet, states this concern as well. Editor Ken Buckley said, "Being told we had a national
HQ with everything being donated by Harley Coon sounded too good to be true. But then we saw the expenses
for operation of the office in Beavercreek, Ohio, and the whole picture changed. A rent payment of $1,500
indicates it was not a free rent. Additional expenses including repairs, telephone bill, office supplies,
insurance, and labor all adding up to $52,000 a year." Buckley further noted that the "headquarters
building," with the real name "HarCo" (Harley Coon), has since been sold. "Now we operate out of a PO Box,"
Some members believe that rent was not charged to the KWVA until the new owners who purchased the
building began to demand it. This, however, is definitely a false rumor. Speaking on behalf of the three
partners who now own the former HarCo building in Beavercreek, Doug Miller (a veteran of the Vietnam War who
served with the 3rd Marine Division), managing partner of the Beavercreek Commerce Center (P.O. Box 340370.
Beavercreek, OH 45432), told Lynnita Brown of the Korean War Educator that his company has never charged
rent or anything else to the Korean War Veterans Association. "In fact," he said, "one of the stipulations
in the buy-out of Harley Coon's building was that the Korean War Veterans Association had to be completely
vacated from the building before the sale could be final. The area they left was in poor condition. You
should have seen the trash we hauled out of there when we took possession of the building. It was a mess. We
had to do a lot of fixing up and painting of the walls." As of September 5, that portion of the building
that had been used by Korean War veterans had not yet been rented out. Miller also told the Korean War
Educator that there was no marquee at the top of the building, either before or at the time (some 90 days
prior to Lynnita Brown's phone call) that his company purchased the building. He further told the Korean War
Educator that the space that once housed the Korean War Veterans Association at 4120 Industrial Lane in
Beavercreek, Ohio, was by no means "first class."
The issue of the altered KWVA Headquarters photograph has been discussed in depth on the KWVA Ad Hoc
Discussion Group on the Internet. [See Dissenting Voices - KWVA Ad Hoc Group.] Because Lynnita Brown of the
Korean War Educator actually visited the headquarters building in Beavercreek and saw for herself that the
photograph in the Graybeards was fraudulent, she strongly voices her opinion about what she considers to be
a lack of integrity on the part of the person(s) responsible for publishing the photograph in The
Graybeards, and thus deceived the membership of the KWVA. Her voice of protest on the KWVA Ad Hoc Group was
not received well by the editor of The Graybeards magazine, Vincent Krepps.
On September 23, 2003, the advertisement for the Korean War Educator (pre-paid two years in advance) was
pulled from The Graybeards magazine by Krepps. He sent the following message to Mrs. Brown:
It is with regret I am sorry for the need to inform you that your Korean War Educator Ad as shown in
May-June and July-August issues due to your letter below and what I have read today on your web page will
not be printed in September-October issue nor any future issue.
You will be refunded the remaining funds paid for 2 years except the amount of $215 for the 2
printings. Along with the above your web page will be removed from the KWVA web page. Please remove ours
from yours. Your actions are hurtful to the Korean War Veterans Assn. and all its valued veterans and
members. If you have any questions contact President Harley Coon. I have made him aware of this e-mail
being sent to you by phone. - Vincent A. Krepps
Editor, The Graybeards
From: "Lynnita Jean Brown"
Date: Mon Sep 22, 2003 8:34 am
Subject: I take that back
There is one instance when the Korean War Educator's new KWVA News page goes one step further than just
stating the facts. One accusation is made outright:
A fraudulent picture of the headquarters was deliberately published in the Graybeards to deceive the
members of the Korean War Veterans Association.
Whoever did it knew just exactly what they/he were doing, and they/he also knew that the membership in
general would likely be deceived by the photograph. The timing for the deception couldn't have been more
perfect, since it was done right before the votes were to be cast in the annual election.
Those who played any role whatsoever in that deliberate deception do not deserve to remain in their/his
leadership position within the KWVA. The publishing of that photograph definitely showed a lack of
integrity on the part of the person(s) who requested and/or allowed it to be published.
Whoever did it needs to immediately step down. The board needs to make the deception publicly known to
the membership via the Graybeards magazine. If the guilty person(s) refuse to use what little integrity
they/he might have left in their/his body to willingly step down, the board of directors of the KWVA
should FOLLOW THE RULES set forth in its governing policies to rid this fine organization of the
perpetrators of this crime against the members. There should be an official motion. There should be an
official second. There should be discussion. There should be a vote. Members of the KWVA need to then be
publicly informed as to which way the various directors voted on the motion that dealt with this CRIME
against the members of the Korean War Veterans Association.
In addition, any member of the board of directors who did not officially condemn and officially
reprimand the conduct of the person(s) who published that fraudulent photograph immediately after the
deception took place needs to take a hard look at him and her in the mirror. They need to question
themselves on whether their own actions in this sordid incident were in the best interest of the KWVA --
or in the best interests of themselves. It is my personal opinion that any national director who turned a
blind eye to this fraudulent activity is not working for the best interests of the members of the Korean
War Veterans Association.
The sad truth is, people who find it fairly easy to get away with one fraudulent deed sometimes go for
another one - and another one - and another one. For the board of directors to not condemn the deception
is tantamount to giving the deceiver(s) the green light to do it again.
I'm not wrong on this, Harley. I am dead right. - Lynnita Brown
Lynnita Brown, Associate Member KWVA, Founder Korean War Educator, 111 E. Houghton St., Tuscola, IL
61953; ph. 217-253-4620
Readers of this page on the Korean War Educator can view messages from KWVA members about the fraudulent
photograph and other KWVA-related issues by joining the KWVA Ad Hoc Group. [See Dissenting Voices section, KWVA News page, Korean War Educator.]
The national KWVA treasurer (Thomas J. Gregory of Kettering, Ohio), in a telephone conversation with Mrs.
Brown on September 27, 2003, told Brown that the publishing of the phony headquarters picture in The
Graybeards was 'no big deal.' Mrs. Brown disagrees. "I believe that to deliberately set out to deceive the
members of the KWVA is a VERY BIG deal," she quoted for the KWVA News page. "Whoever is responsible for the
deception should be held accountable."