For those who served in the RVAH Community, their families, and friends!

For over four years I have been waiting for a decision regarding Agent Orange issue.

Since joining RVAHNAVY's association last week I have found three RVAH-5 members that

are affected by medical issues related to AO.

How many of us are there?

I believe if we ban together talk to other sailors with the same issues we can put together

a platform to our congress to do something about denial by the VA.

Research over the past four years and a few of congress personnel are willing to fight for our rights, BUT, WE must collectively show strength in numbers and fight together.

If interested and willing to work for results, please contact me

@ don-ddms@yahoo.com



Thanks for taking the time.

Don Frederking RVAH-5

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Hi, Donald,

I was in Heavy 5 on the Big "E" in 71-72.  I remember the planes being covered with dust that spelled like herbicide.  We constantly had to wash the crap off.   If you got it on your skin,  it burned.  The guys in VA-196 with the A-6s had it the worst. All of that shit washed down the deck to the elevator behind the island and coated the Stanton on the 03 level where we took all our smoke breaks. Nobody wanted to go out there. I remember flowing plane wash draining down the desk that also smelled like herbicide. It stained and rusted everything.  I got so sick of white-lead, red-lead, and grey paint, I had siding put on my house when I got home because I hated painting after that.  I had to fly from the ship the Da Nang Air Base twice to recover critical mission data from CO Everette's  plane (601) because he had tail hook problems, and there was barrels and barrels of Agent Orange everywhere. I remember we were taking a smoke break just off the flight line while waiting for the COD to refuel for the return flight, and the barrels we were leaning on were Agent Orange.  Of course we all leaned on the barrels, and I got it all over my left fore arm.  I had to throw out my shirt before I got back to the Big  "E". 

In my opinion, the VA will let use die before Congress will every allocate the moneys to help us, or admit they let private contractors sell them dangerous chemicals (Basically chemical warfare) that would eventually kill us all.

Shipmate, I look forward to seeing you on the other side.  Maybe we can do it better next time. 

Buddy, you wont believe what I found today.

I joined another organization BWNVVA "Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Association.

I started looking at how to navigate the system and found one of my squadron members that

filed a claim in, been denied twice and finally the court of appeals has told the South Carolina Regional Office

to further his claim, assist in locating shipmates that can support his deployment. I am that guy and I have been

looking for another shipmates that was on the TAD with me. I believe there is hope and I would suggest you

go to BWNVVA site and join. It doesn't cost anything and to join and it may be a great place to find some of your old mates for help. God knows it is almost impossible to get real help.

If I can be of service in anyway let me know. 

Buddy, can you send me this picture?

I would like to use it in my DRO presentation.

I tried to copy & paste, then I tried to just print and nothing.

I hope you can send it with the reply up above concerning my discussion of VA vs Blue Water sailors Agent Orange Benefits.


send to: don_ddms@yahoo.com


You are absolutely right about one thing.  It will take someone on capital hill to get the VA to respond to anything.  A few years back I filed a claim on EBenefits for a service related surgery on my right shoulder. I noticed there was a comment in my file stating agent orange exposure.  And, now it is gone. I am not having any medical problems that are commonly associated  with AO, but I would be glad to give any lay testimony needed.

One other thing.  You did not have to be in Vietnam to be exposed to AO.  I grew up in Gulfport, MS.  The CB base there stored thousands of barrels of AO.  You could smell it during the Summers if you were down wind.  I also have a friend that can verify this. He was stationed in Gulfport in the 60's and then later as a sand crab.

Hello Fellow Shipmates,

I was in RVAH-5 from Sept 63 thru Aug 66. I made the USS Ranger 64-65 West Pac and the 65-66 Med Cruise on the USS America. Went thru the Plane Capt. School and always worked nights on both cruise's. Upon exiting the USN I worked in private industry in the aerospace field supporting the D.O.D. with developing corrosion proof coatings and repairs on all types of Jet Engine components. I worked in this field about 40 + years.

Three days after I retired (July 2011) I wound up with a strangulated umbilical hernia and had to under-go emergency surgery, just prior to that I was showing my doctor some lumps in my groin which turned out to be my lympnoid's. He delayed surgery to get a quick scan and determined all my L-nodes where ready to pop. By the end of that week I found out I had. stage 4a non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

I had put one claim in to the VA about a year prior to this for a list of bodily defects that where never a big problem, but I was advised by a good friend to put that list in to the VA, which I did. It was a paper claim that I mailed in. 

I had to undergo 8 each heavy duty chemo (CHOP 5) treatments, plus a year and one half of maintenance chemo. I felt very blessed that I did not have all of the crappy side affects that a lot of folks get (Thank you Lord).

Having a computer made it very easy to do my research and get a new claim in ASAP.  Part of my career was Director of Military Programs which gave me insight on how to be successful marketing to the civil service portion of the government, which is similar to the VA.

I submitted my first claim for NHL in Jan 2012 and received VA notification and compensation of my 100% disability by Feb 2013. I did this on my own and was pleased with this result.

I would like to share with you all how I did it and how you can do it.

The first 2 things you need to do:

#1.  Register for an e-benefits account. (VA website)

#2.  Apply for a Level: Premium Account for you eBenefits account. You will be able to do much more with a premium account. There is no cost involved for any of these accounts.

Once you have this account, get a little familiar with it, you will be able to get immediate updates on all your claim(s), upload claims paperwork, do research, check all your pertinent medical files and much more.

I knew I was exposed to A.O. due to just being off shore NAM and climbing all over a reccon jet that flew treetop level to avoid Anti A/C gun fire, after completing their mission.

I will review my claims and post more in a few days.... I have a house full of company currently and will work in between.

Very Important - Don't get down on this claims stuff. A lot of people in the VA mean well, a lot of them are Vet's just like you and I. The way I did it was similar to, a "Fully developed claim".

Start gathering any info you have on your disability and keep it one place, pick up some file folders.

I'll be back shortly.... My Best to All..... Bob B.


One important thing about EBenifits,

You need to start the claim asap whether you currently have all the documents or not. You have a year to complete it, but the "Intent to File" will be your back pay date.  If you don't complete the claim in one year it will just expire. 

Hi Guys,

I'm new to the group. I served on the USS Ranger in RVAH-9 and was based out of Sanford Florida. As an AMS we washed down the aircraft with Toluene and was not only exposed to that chemical which has long term effects to include cancer, depression, and learning deficits to include short term memory loss but also the AO we were washing off the aircraft surfaces. I just learned about the effects of Toluene recently, but considering we know the AO was present in the air, even if the planes on the the Ranger weren't dumping the AO (and I don't know that's the case), they were certainly flying through it and bringing it back to the hanger bays. I could smell the odor of horse manure when the aircraft returned to the ship. And there weren't any horses on the ship that I remember. That's why I believe that all aircraft carriers that conducted sorties in Vietnam should be qualified for AO disability reimbursement. My claim was denied. I'm appealing the claim on the basis that I used Toluene on a daily basis which it's long term effect are documented. If anyone can comment further on their firsthand knowledge of the practice of washing down the aircraft by hand with rags and a bucket of Toluene, a letter to that effect would be greatly appreciated. My deadline is June 27, 2016


Dave Small

280 Highland Ave

Quincy, MA 02170

617-953-6799 cell

Bob burlander,hi this is bedell. I served with
You . Rvah5 uss rànger 1964
I have problems also doesn't w
This is Vernon Bedell please call me on my cell phone 203-206-6464. Thank you.

I just received your reply and I believe you are an hour ahead of me so I thought I would call you Monday if that is ok. Let me know or give me another time that is good for you. I'm so busy that I have to schedule my time, you know with honeydoo's and all that.

Certainly glad to hear from you.



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