The Passing Of A Good Marine/ Richard Vandemarkby Michael Patrick Brewer on Jul. 22, 2013, under Veterans Benefits
Richard Vandemark, co-founder of the Mindful Veterans Project, USMC 1964-67, First Battalion, First Marine Regiment, Republic of Viet Nam 1965-66, has passed away due to ALS, a condition presumptively linked to exposure to Agent Orange.
Letter from Dr. Teri Davis, founder of Purple Mountain Institute:
14 years ago, I told Richard I wanted to start a nonprofit organization and he provided seed money. Purple Mountain Institute was born.
5 years ago, I told Richard I wanted to start a program for veterans through Purple Mountain Institute. He suggested I teach Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction because it was the only thing that had helped him with his own debilitating PTSD. He then made a donation that covered all expenses for me to begin instruction towards becoming an MBSR instructor. The Mindful Veterans Project began with that conversation.
He continued to support my training and the program, both financially and physically. He jokingly referred to himself as the thug in the corner, taking every class and continually encouraging the participants to do their homework. He embodied the practice and the benefits of the practice.
He spoke often about the manure of your own experiences. He found peace through that teaching and shared it. His combat experiences were the manure for the flowering of awareness and his demons were slowly transformed into his sweeties. Like a bell of mindfulness, his memories called him back to this breath every time they surfaced.
He was my teacher and my friend and his fierce devotion to veterans will continue to inform and guide the Mindful Veterans Project.
From the Halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli, he was once and always a Marine.
with a very deep bow,
Richard was a friend, mentor and Marine to the calcium in his bones. Richard embodied a level of honesty that was penetrating and draped with compassion. His linguistic twists would twirl me through the dark nights of the soul back to a better place.
Every encounter with Richard was like having your very own combat Sufi!
He simply knew every psychic sidebar of war.
Sweet Jesus, you will be missed Richard.
“If the Army and the Navy ever look on heavens scenes/ they will see the streets are guarded by United State Marines”
Thanks for walking “point” for us. The Supreme Commandant has promoted you to Heavens Counselor.
Semper Fidelis Richard