Message from the New 1st Recon Bn. C.O.

24 March 2008
Esteemed Members of the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion Association,

Greetings from Camp Pendleton, California. My name is LtCol Michael J. Mooney, and I am honored and humbled by the opportunity to serve as the new Commanding Officer of 1st Reconnaissance Battalion. As a quick snapshot of my background, I am a prior enlisted Marine infantryman, having joined the Corps in 1985, and this is my third tour serving as a reconnaissance officer. As I informed the Marines and Sailors of this superb battalion when I assumed command on 22 Feb 2008, the rank I wear on my uniform is a symbol of my complete servitude to each and every one of them as we prepare for yet another deployment to Iraq or wherever our Nation needs it’s Corps of Marines. I take this responsibility very seriously, as I firmly believe that the most precious assets our Marine Corps and Navy possess are the incredible young patriots which volunteer to serve our country during this time of war.
You, more than most of the citizens of our country, fully understand the sacrifices of being a nation at war. The men of this battalion are incredible Marines and Sailors, in great part thanks to your support and influence – the path you have blazed for us in the past serves as a guide as we prepare for combat operations on foreign shores. Currently we are in the midst of a rebuilding and training phase after returning from our fourth deployment to Iraq in five years. We have many men who are veterans of multiple combat tours, as well as new Marines who have just recently joined our ranks. Each day I am absolutely amazed by their dedication and determination as we begin a very busy pre-deployment training program. As you know, being a Reconnaissance Marine or Sailor is not for the faint of heart. You can be justifiably proud of what the current Marines or Sailors of 1st Recon Bn do everyday in defense of our country.
We are currently working to redesign and update our battalion website to ensure that it is current and provides open access to all our family and friends. It can be accessed at:
Please refer to it in the future for schedule updates, contact information, family readiness, and news stories about your battalion.
In closing, it is my honor to walk among these Marines and Sailors everyday. Thank you for all that you do to support them, and your service to our country. Together with the Battalion Sergeant Major, SgtMaj Justin D. Lehew, I pledge to you that we will do everything in our power to ensure that the Marines and Sailors of 1st Recon Bn are well treated and cared for, as well as properly trained and lead. To do any less would be a betrayal of the special trust and confidence the citizens of our nation demand of us as the leaders of this special group of outstanding Americans.
Semper Fidelis,


Las Vegas Get together

Nashville Reunion

Dan Vanbuskirk Bravo 67 - 69

New Organization Brings Music to Vets

Guitars for Vets, a Milwaukee based non-profit corporation, which supplies guitars and instruction to Veterans at VA Hospitals, is putting the healing power of music in the hands of heroes.

In May of 2007 Patrick Nettesheim was teaching Dan Van Buskirk his guitar lesson when they started chatting about how much playing the guitar has helped Dan manage
his Vietnam related PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Dan felt that it gave him focus and a great sense of happiness. They speculated that other Vets with PTSD might benefit from this meditation in motion.

Guitars for Vets was born of this conversation and originally started playing every Friday in the Spinal Chord Injury Unit at the Milwaukee, WI VA Hospital. It has since matured to include giving guitars, which were donated by, and music instruction to the Veterans. Recently they have grown to include the Tomah, WI VA.

“We have done some wonderful work at the Milwaukee VA so far. As a Vietnam Veteran suffering from PTSD I have found picking up my guitar on the difficult days that I have been able to reduce my medications.” Said Dan Van Buskirk, President of Guitars for Vets. He added, “It is so rewarding to see fellow Veterans just light up at the new found ability to make music.”

Patrick Nettesheim, Program Director for the organization said, “After teaching guitar for many years this has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career. We hope to develop our non-profit to a nationwide program. As word has spread, we have seen requests come in from all over the Country.”

According to Steve Benford of Benford Guitars, a custom guitar maker in Milwaukee, “We were recently able to pick up a large quantity of guitars from Westheimer Corporation (makers of Cort Guitars). The challenge is to raise the funds to keep up with the large volume of applications we are receiving.”

Guitars for Vets are currently seeking funds to expand the program. They are taking donations through their web site at and through the mail to Guitars for Vets, PO Box 617, Milwaukee, WI 53201.

Looking For

  • Byron Owen is a Plt. commander with the Present Delta Co. He is looking for past members of all generations of Delta Co. to help provide the command history and flicks of Delta.

  • Andy Finlayson is looking for anyone who served with the Provincial Reconnaissance Unit in Nam

    Article by Col. Andy Finlayson 1st Force 67 A Retrospective on Counterinsurgwncy Operation PRU

    Final Extracts

  • 7/?/07 Paul Barkmeier H&S 68/69

  • 2/8/8/08 John Townsley H&S June 66 - April 67

  • 3/11/08 Ernie Wallace Bravo 68/69

  • 3/?/08 David Verheyn (Frenchie) Alpha 66 - 68

    I am the niece of David Verheyn from Pensacola FL. He has passed away and I would like to get in touch with some of his platoon members to let them know. The obituary will be in the Pensacola News Journal and The Berkshire Eagle in MA.
    Kari Legault

    David Alan Verheyn, age 61, passed away, March 31, 2008 in Gulf Breeze FL. He was born October 11, 1946 in Lenoxdale MA, and has resided in Gulf Breeze for the past 20 years. He was a 1964 graduate of Lenox Memorial High School and a distinguished Vietnam Veteran. He was awarded the Purple Heart and Navy Cross, our nation's second-highest wartime medal, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a team leader with the Second Platoon, Company A, First Reconnaissance Battalion, First Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with operations in the Republic of Vietnam. His heroism was cited in the book titled, "Honor the Warrior," a Vietnam memoir, written by William L. Myers. The chapter entitled "The Longest Night" describes in excruciating detail, the battle of 11 Marines in the Central Highlands of Vietnam on February 3, 1967. Although wounded himself, his valor saved the lives of his fellow marines. He was an executive sales director with National Distributing Company until his retirement in 2004. David was an avid deep-sea fisherman and won numerous tournaments in the Gulf region as well as taking deep-sea fishing trips to Costa Rica with his buddies. His parents, Gladys and Marcel Verheyn, a sister Constance Rudnik and a beloved daughter, Brandie Lynn Veheyn, preceded David in death. His surviving family includes his devoted wife, Betty Baldwin Verheyn, his son Ryan Verheyn and grandson Nathan Stalzer of Austin, TX, a stepson Bryan Baldwin and step grandchildren, Aaron and Trevor of Gainesville FL, a brother Donald Verheyn of Flint MI and a sister Joan Wellington of Otis MA as well as 5 adoring nieces and a nephew. He also leaves behind another daughter, Christine Cole, and two grandchildren, Lindsay and Alex Cole of Center, MI. The family will receive friends Tuesday April, 8th at 11:00 am at Rose Lawn Funeral Home, 2942 Gulf Breeze Parkway, Gulf Breeze FL where services will be held. Internment will follow at Barrancas National Cemetery with full military honors. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to: Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund 825 College Blvd Suite 102 PMB 609 Oceanside, CA 92057