While serving under Frank Castle in the Marines during the Vietnam War, Rich von Burian took out Vietnamese soldiers pinning down the rest of his troop, allowing them to escape. During his time in the war, he learned that his commanding officer, Colonel Ray Schoonover was heading a drug smuggling operation.
Assassin for Hire
Following the war, van Burian was hired as an assassin for his former officer, Colonel Schoonover. This was due to Schoonover's decision to run for the US Senate and his feat that his old team might speak out about his past as a drug smuggler and so van Burian began assassinating the members of his former troop on the chance that any of them had learned of Schoonover's secret. After killing off many of the team, he was tracked by Frank Castle, the Punisher who then learned the truth of Colonel Schoonover's connection to the drugs and other illegal activities. Castle manages to put a stop to Schoonover's attempt to become a senator, van Burian however manages to escape Castle's encounter with him.
Another encounter between The Punisher and van Burian occurs when Castle manages to track down van Burian's location. In an attempt to gain some leverage over Castle, van Burian takes a hostage but The Punisher manages to separate the two and stab van Burian in the chest and throw him into an open grave where he apparently died.