IMPORTANT: Vietnam Vets: Birth defects in Agent Orange Study of children of Vietnam Veterans, i.e. conceived after serving in Vietnam war: click on Birthdefects  this is a PDF file that will open in a separate browser tab.  You can save it or print it. Plus you can link to the website of the Birth Defects Research Project here: ProjectBirth

VA Ships list and Agent Orange:


MORE good NEWS from Ray Bingham about our Agent Orange project success:

Ed: Do you remember the army fellow who I visited with at the VA? He was awarded 100% Disability recently. I think it is great for Vietnam group that the Agent Orange program is a life saver for us older veterans. I know what you did for me and others is a real blessing. I am proud to have served with you on Fort Marion. During my tours of duty I learned a lot about discipline and about being a sailor. How is Carlene doing and the rest of your family?

Thanks again for your help!


GOOD NEWS from Joe Velasquez

Hey Pops,

Just a final update, this past Friday VA called to inform me that they've made their decision on the PTSD and Agent Orange claims and awarded me 40% disabled. They also told me since I was over 30% that my wife is also eligible for benefits. I have to read the letter when I get it to understand what that last part (wife) means. Take care Pops and thanks for your help..

Joseph Velasquez

Helpful VA Website: Claimschool

Sad News from Gary Alley

Mr. Chew, I received a call from Carol Yates, 1-3-15, that Ken had died. I believe that his death was caused from Agent Orange. Before Ken joined the Marion, he was serving on a LST. He was in the thick of the spraying and unloading of THAT JUNK. After Ken's discharge he would have seizure's that lasted about twenty minutes. During the time of the seizure Ken didn't remember anything. Over the years Ken went to several specialist's. Unfortunately they could not identify the problem. Ken went to the VA in Los Angeles to be tested for Agent Orange .( You know how that turned out) Just wanted to let you know about Ken. There was a Movie called Mr Roberts. One of the lines in the movie was,"Thanks for the liberty, Mr. Roberts, thanks for the liberty." Thanks for the liberty, Mr.Chew, thanks for the liberty.

REUNION, REUNION, REUNION That is what Rex LLevares and Ray Bingham and I would like to put together. We need names, emails, etc., to get a contact list put together.  Also suggestions as to where. 

Use to email me.

Latest news from Joe Velasquez    We have been corresponding and he has been working his claims with the VA.  Here is his latest:

Hi Pops, (YES,guys I am known as Pops to all my grandkids and it is part of my email address. ;) )

Just an fyi on the latest developments on my PTSD and Agent Orange issues. My PTSD claim has been filed as of late April and I am presently awaiting the interview with doctors. Today I went to see a doctor at the San Francisco VA to get my Agent Orange Examination. It went favorably, and the doctor seems to think I am entitled to some degree of Service Connected Disability based on my Diabetes Mellitus II. The amount will be determined by whomever checks his report. I will keep you abreast of any and all new information. As discussed before, feel free to share this information with anyone concerned.


Joe Velasquez


IF you have been delayed or denied help at a VA center,  The American Legion wants to hear from you and plans to push hard to help.

GO TO: AmericanLegion

Agent Orange and the 1965-66 cruise of the USS Fort Marion LSD-22.

August, 2012. Over the last few months I have been dealing with the VA on an Agent Orange claim.  At the same time I have sent in deck logs to show we were in Saigon on the Mekong River in February 1966, to get our ship on the listing of "blue water" ships approved by the VA.

Well, my claim was approved after only two months, 100%, because I was able to present evidence that a. I had boots on the ground: Saigon, by a "Buddy Letter" from an old OCS friend I bumped into in Saigon; b.  The deck logs showed we were in the river system and up as far as Saigon;  c. my urologist, radiologist and hospital records to validate my tale of 15 years fighting cancer;  and d. I included an explanation why Danang Harbor was not just "open to the sea", but in order to get into Danang we had to go up the river for supplies, etc...that was fun...DANANG HARBOR

Deck logs LOGSHERE

VERY important video. VA ID card bar coding reveals your Social Security Number:

IMPORTANT:  for all who have been able to get VA approvals, follow Ray Bingham's lead:

Raymond Bingham I visited a Vietnam veteran (Army) at the Emergency room at theOklahoma City VA a couple of weeks ago. As far as I know he is elgible with heart and breathing problems. He has filed for the Agent Orange and I gave him information and he is pursuing the claim. My pastor knew I had filed and got the approval and asked me to talk to him. He and his wife were homeless. I am sure you are right about helping other veterans and not just the people onboard the Fort. I believe he will get it based on what I know. Thanks for the inspiration you have given me and others!!!!



For You Retired Navy Guys: Navy Lodges just click on LODGE.

Danang Harbor information just click on:MORE_Danang


USS Fort Marion LSD-22

USS Fort Marion (LSD-22) was a Casa Grande-class dock landing ship of the United States Navy. She was named for the Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine, Florida, which was named Fort Marion from 1821 till 1942. 
Launched: May 22, 1945


Federico Llevares, aka Rex, had his VA Claim approved.  It can be done if you follow the formula.

NOW some very good news:  Ray Bingham had his Agent Orange Claim approved 100%. AND it was 18 months retroactive.  YAY. Be Tenacious.  The reason that is good news is that he followed the formula:  Identify the elements you have to prove, provide evidence to prove those element (deck logs, Doctors records, diagnosis of your ailment, hospital records, biopsy records, etc.) and make sure your submission is as complete as possible.  Adding data later only delays the process.  His was approved in 6 months, mine in 2.  Note, we have provided on this site deck logs proving the Fort was in Saigon in February 1966.  If you were on the Fort later, obtain your deck logs showing where you were that proves boots on the ground or ops in the river system.  The Fort is on the blue water list now.  Good luck.  Contact us if you need help at, former Supply Officer, USS Fort Marion LSD22 in 1965-66.


 FIRST THE GOOD NEWS:  The Ships on the Agent Orange Listing now has the Fort.  Here is the email confirmation.

Sent: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 13:24
To: Ed Chew
Subject: RE: USS Fort Marion LSD22 Should be added to the listing

Mr. Chew,
Thanks for the information. The ship has been added as follows.

USS Fort Marion (LSD-22) navigated Saigon River to dock in Saigon during February 1966

From: Ed Chew []
Sent: Thursday, November 08, 2012 9:34 PM
Subject: USS Fort Marion LSD22 Should be added to the listing
See attached deck logs showing the ship in Saigon and in the Mekong Delta. In addition I am enclosing a view of Danang Harbor and my explanation of why excluding ships that anchored and worked there for long periods is incorrect as we had to go up the river to Danang for logistics of all kinds. Fort Marion was in Danang Harbor for 28 days in Dec 1965 repairing landing crafts being used to offload bulk cargo ships…there was no pier facility, cranes or anything else. Plus the VA decision on my case. I also have several pictures I took in Saigon of other Officers from the Fort Marion. Our crew had liberty in Saigon.

Edward Howard Chew Jr


Another link to my USS Hopewell DD-681 website that has more VA-Agent Orange related material: ORANGE for you.  NOTE: at the bottom of the email from Merv Cecil are several links to more information.


How about them apples?  Don't you love it when something works after a whole lot of work.

How many remember this:

Swift Boats, in the well deck.  We carried the first ones into Vietnam and others later, plus PTFs for Jack Natter, aks RAdm. John T. Natter, USN (Ret.), a Lieutenant at the time....My best friend.

To Start Us Off a video of the New Navy:

USS FORT MARION LSD-22 a special, hard working part of the Amphibious Forces US Pacific Fleet. I really enjoyed my time on board the Fort. After leaving the Fort, I had Christmas dinner with CDR Jack Waterman, USN, our former Skipper...just a week before he and 16 other officers died in a plane crash in the Rockies. I thoroughly liked working for Captain Jack..a real gentleman.

The process is sometimes frustrating as you need to get your records together and be ready to file a claim in a database that wants all sorts of personal and family data.  You will need your DD214 showing honorable discharge, that covers the years involved and showing your decorations (i.e. the Vietnam ribbons)

If you need help, email me at  and I will try to help point you in the right direction Stuart Steinberg gave me a kick in the butt to get started and gave valuable direction.  Stuart was Army, but is helping other vets in their claim actions.  I had other old shipmates kicking me in the butt, too, but it took me awhile to decide to go forward with the claim.