Theodore D. Van Staveren
Lance Corporal
United States Marine Corps
Salt Lake City, Utah
November 30, 1948 to April 10, 1968
THEODORE D VAN STAVEREN is on the Wall at Panel 49E, Line 12

Combat Action Ribbon
Theodore D Van Staveren
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Theodore D Van Staveren

Lance Corporal
United States Marine Corps
30 November 1948 - 10 April 1968
Salt Lake City, Utah
Panel 49E Line 012

22 Apr 2005

Before Theo went to Vietnam, he was stationed at the Marine Base in San Diego and we lived in La Mirada, California. We used to visit him there and we also brought him to our home. Our small children enjoyed his visits with us.

From his then-sister-in-law,
Rina Evens

31 May 2007

I graduated basic training with Ted in 1967.

This same photo is also in my graduation book. He was a great guy with a friendly smile and like all of us was young and eager to serve our country.

Though we were in Viet Nam at different times his picture on this site and memories of boot camp bring sadness and reality to me in my current day struggles to make sense of it all.

Perhaps Ted's lesson and message to me is that there was a cause and we both wanted to serve regardless of the final outcome or the criticism for what we took on as young patriots.

From a Marine brother,
Sgt Michael S. Miller

09 Jul 2007

I knew Ted in Salt Lake City, Utah and we both were in Platoon #165 C in San Diego basic training after enlisting on a delayed entry program in Utah.

Theo was more than likeable and had a calmness about him even during the physically and mentally gruesome basic training.

I was stationed at MCAS El Toro when I received the news of his fatal wounds. I was taken back like never before as I knew him as a civilian, a Marine Recruit and a Graduated Marine. I really liked him.

Me heart and prayers go out daily to him and his as I view The Virtual Wall often.

God speed, Ted. You are still missed.

I wrote this poem in 1970 while assigned TAD in Dak To, Vietnam. I pray these words are accepted with the spirit they were written.


The chopper lifts us off the ground defying gravity
It dives again and sets us down we scramble to be free
Elephant grass and thumping blades no freedom in this place
The stark reality of this war with terror on every face

Though young and dumb we never bargained for a hell like this
We still fight on and duck and run hot bullets striking tin
No more pretend we must defend those hungry war lord mouths
The blades hit hard and pull away we stay and wonder how

While chaos fills the smoky air with fear and stench of death
A young Marine is hit and down I wonder if I'm next
The fight is long the sleep is short the sky is crimson red
I now believe that death is near I pray in whispered breath

Three of ten have fallen now so young and quick to serve
Who sent us here, why are we here, is this what we deserve
I came to fight for truth and peace for what they said was right
Moral cowards drive the War Machine but never do they fight

The chopper picks us up again the days now meld to one
We eat and sleep and think of home and listen for guns
Sleep broken now by chopper blades an Insert on the roll
The body, mind and soul now spent the war will take its toll

The Stars and Stripes are still alive
Patriot's courage cannot be denied
A noble symbol for the free in red and white and blue
We didn't ask, we didn't balk, just did what we had to do

We fly again we fight again same thing just different lies
The enemy will not sleep or rest just works to our demise
We ride the bird and speed toward black jungles in our eyes
A part of me fights on to live another part to die.

From a friend and Marine brother,
Sgt. M. S. Miller - USMC
DaNang, VietNam 1970


A Note from The Virtual Wall

Exerpt from the 7th Comm Bn Ops Log, 10 Apr 1968

The two Marines from the RR&C Company killed in action by gunshot wounds on 10 April 1968 were

The Virtual Wall was able to locate their Squad Leader, who advises that
"Walensky and Van Staveren as radio relay operators in April 1968 were attached to and supporting the Korean Marines (Chung Young Brigade) south of Da Nang. On the day they were killed they were traveling up the beach toward Da Nang in a 3/4 ton utility vehicle and were killed in a VC ambush. The truck was hit by an RPG and disabled, Walensky and Van Staveren took up a defensive position and were killed by small arms fire as a result of enemy action.

"Walensky and Van Staveren went out with me on many a night ambush (which led to enemy contact on several occasions) and day patrols from that location and both clearly demonstrated their courage to everyone in the squad. I know I speak for the whole squad when I say we were and still are proud to have known and served with both of these fine young Marines."

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