The plaque pictured below was presented to Cpl. D. L. Barben upon leaving Vietnam. During mid 1998 as I was assisting in the planning our squadron's mini reunion at Pensacola, Florida many letters were written (we did not have a web site at that time) to generate renewed interest in gathering with our former squadron mates. GySgt. Barben was one of many who agreed that emphasis should be directed toward bringing the former Marines of HMM-364 together by any means possible. He signed up for the San Diego gaggle and was looking forward to being there. A few days prior to my departure for the convention I received a telephone call from Dan indicating he was ill and could not participate. I offered to refund his money but he declined and suggested that it be used to defray the costs of the beer, tent, snacks etc. associated with our mini reunion functions. Further, he asked that I send his regards to as many of the '65 - '66 "Purple Foxes" as I could identify.
A few months afterward I received another telephone call from Dan. This time he was quite depressed due to failing health but he had a very unusual request. He thanked me for the work I had done on the reunion, the new "Purple Fox" website, and the rejuvenation of squadron spirit among many of his former Vietnam friends. Further he said he was sending his HMM-364 Vietnam plaque and requested that I take custody of it, and display it at all subsequent gathering of "Foxes" to show his deep-felt love and gratitude toward the Marines of HMM-364 in Vietnam.
Recently I corresponded with Dan's daughter, Linda B. Rutledge, in an attempt to get a picture of Dan taken during the 65-66 time frame for publication under the "Taps" section of this site. It occurred to me that a reproduction of his plaque placed upon this web site would satisfy his request. Below is Dan's plaque and the original has been given to Linda B. Rutledge.
D. L. Barben, GySgt. USMC (Deceased)
Linda B. Rutledge, Dan's daughter
F. A. Gulledge, Jr., Maj. USMC(Ret)