VA Information for Muxmen,
and others...

Updated 4 January, 2018

USS Mullinnix DD-944 in Straits Of Hormuz (2 Nov Unknown Year)

30 March 2011 is "Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day"
After 38 years, it's about damn time...

Important "Mullinnix" Dates To Remember

Specific Date
Event and/or Medal/Ribbon Awarded
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Cuban Missile Crisis)
24 Oct - 5 Dec, 1962
For participating in designated expeditions after 1 July 1958. As defined in the Navy and Marine Corps Awards Manual, service for this award was performed in the water area from 12 degrees to 28 degrees North latitude, and from 66 degrees to 84 degrees West longitude
Vietnam 1966
(Blue Water Navy)
2 Aug - 1 Nov, 1966
Between 2 August and 1 November 1966 Mullinnix was intermittently deployed off South Vietnam, ranging from the DMZ to Saigon River, providing valuable gunfire support. This was during the Vietnamese Counter-offensive Phase II (01 July 1966 - 31 May 1967).During bombardment of enemy positions, she fired 13,702 rounds of ammunition in support of the First Marine Division, the U.S. Army, and the Army of the Republic of Vietnam. She departed the Seventh Fleet on 17 November 1966 and continued westward around the world via the Indian Ocean and Suez Canal, arriving in Norfolk on 17 December 1966.
Vietnam 1966
(Brown Water Navy)

5-6 August 1966
From Jim Thur, Captain, USNR (Ret.) on 11 August 2010: "Please share with the members of the MUX Assoc. that I have submitted documentation to the VA that the USS Mullinnix operated in the Saigon River in August 1966. I did this in order to have the ship added to the list of ships that operated in inland waters during the Vietnam War and therefore the crew members are assumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange. I obtained documentation by reviewing deck logs at the National Archives. I was on the USS Holder DD-819 during this period and accompanied the Mullinnix up the river.

From Mullinnix Familygram dated 12 August 1966: "...operations in support of our forces and we actually anchored about tem miles up the Saigon River and destroyed Viet Cong sully dumps and buildings. While there in the Saigon River, the Squadron Doctor, the Squadron Chaplain, and our Supply Officer and Chief Hospitalman went ashore in MUX's motor whate boat. Doctor Josephy, of New York City, held sick call for the people of the village of Can Gio, thirty miles southeast of Saigon..."

Read full text of the Familygram at 1966 Vietnam

UPDATE (25 July 2011): It's official: USS Mullinnix DD-944 has been added to "Navy and Coast Guard Ships Associated with Service in Vietnam and Exposure to Herbicide Agents". Mullinnix was added for her service "operated on Vung Ganh Rai and Saigon River during August 5-6, 1966". View the actual PDF file by clicking on the above link.

REFERENCE: Veterans Exposed to Agent Orange
Vietnam 1969
(Blue Water Navy)
20 Feb - 3 Sept, 1969
At 1600 PM, 16 January 1969, the last lines connecting the Mullinnix to home port were taken in, the course for the Western Pacific was now set. On February 20, 1969, MUX was off the coast of Vietnam providing naval gunfire support to U.S. ground forces in the Republic of South Vietnam. Campaigns Mux participated in:
1. Vietnamese Counter-offensive Phase VI (02 Nov 1968 - 22 Feb 1969)
2. Tet 69/Counteroffensive (23 February 1969 - 08 June 1969)
3. Vietnam Summer-Fall 1969 (09 June 1969 - 31 October 1969)
4. Vietnam Winter-Spring 1970 (01 November 1969 - 30 April 1970)

MULLINNIX returned to combat for her second gunline patrol on May 1st. Spending most of her time on station just south of the DMZ, the Mighty MUX fired in support of the Third Marine Division. The MUX completed her third and final gunline patrol during this WestPac cruise on July 15, 1969. During the 83 days on three gunline patrols in the I and II Corps areas, MULLINNIX provided naval gunfire support to Allied forces south of the DMZ, Da Nang, and in the vicinities of Cam Rahn Bay, Nha Trang, and Qui Nhen. For her naval gunfire support performance for fiscal year 1969, MULLINNIX was named "TOP GUN" among the gunline destroyers. A proud crew returned to Norfolk on 3 September

Mullinnix fired 20,849 5-inch rounds and 83 3-inch rounds. Total missions 1,627; 229 structures destroyed, 156 structures damaged. She received credit for about 200 KIA.
Vietnam 1969
(Brown Water Navy)
Vietnam 1972
(Blue Water Navy)
16 May - 9 Oct, 1972
On April 8th Mullinnix was ordered made ready from immediate deployment to the Southeast Asia combat zone. On Wednesday, 12 April, Mullinnix got underway from D&S Piers with USS Biddle (DLG-34) for its deployment. The two ships were joined on 14 April by USS Glennon (DD-840) from Charleston, South Carolina and USS Sarsfield (DD-837) from Mayport, Florida.This was part of President Nixon's actions in response to the North Vietnamese Easter Offensive of 30 March 1972.

Tuesday, 16 May 1972: At 0357 Mullinnix commenced maneuvering on various courses and speeds to affect rendezvous with USS Vesuvius AE-15. At 0512 she commenced to receive pallets of 5”/54 powder. Next, she commenced approach to USS Hassayampa AO-145 at 0638 to talk on fuel. At 0754 the ship secured the refueling detail and set the “Gold Team”. Until she’d leave the gunline, the ship’s company was broken into two teams – Gold Team and Blue Tam – 6 hours on watch, 6 hours off – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Mullinnix arrived at Point Allison at 0810.

At 1307 on 16 May 1972, Mullinnix survived enemy fire (first of several enemy shellings). Check out 1972 Vietnam for the picture of the shelling and further details.

Vietnam 1972
(Brown Water Navy)
15 July, 1972
According to a letter I wrote home to my parents on Sunday, 16 July: "We pulled into Da Nang yesterday (15 July) to re-barrel MT51, along side the tender." I've confirmed this with the enclosed Mullinnix deck log from 15 July 1972 from the National Archives.

Agent Orange and the Blue Water Navy

Da Nang Harbor -vs- the Blue Water Navy
How to add our ship to the "Agent Orange" list for 1972
We need to document any and all contact that anyone from the ship had with the shores or inland waters of Vietnam. Documentary evidence includes deck logs, ship histories, and cruise book entries, etc. We can obtain ship deck logs from the National Archives at College Park, Maryland. The specific page that has the listing of ships is at Navy Logbooks or Vietnam Era Logbooks

EXAMPLE: Our best bet may be the "mail run" that CO Cannon made in his Captain's gig. As you recall, he grapped several shipmates he saw between the bridge and gig, loaded them up, and headed to shore. You may also remember there was an altercation at the officer's club on base in which CO Cannon was bodily removed.


1. Do any of you have reference to the date of that mail run? If we had it we could order just that ship's log. If not, we'll have to systematically order ALL deck logs from Vietnam to see if we can find it.
2. Do any of you have letters to home, etc. that may mention when this mail run occurred.

We must scan our documentary evidence (into PDF format) and email it to the Veterans Benefits Administration's Compensation Service at

LINKS (VA And Other Related Links)

Veterans Affairs (VA) Home Page
If you are new to the VA, this is the place to start for almost anything.

For Vietnam Vets, you'll find information on asbestos exposure, Agent Orange exposure, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and hearing loss just to name a few
RAO (Retiree Assistance Office) BULLETIN
First, you don't have to be a retiree to get value out of this bulletin. I've been subscribing for years. It always contains good solid information. AND its FREE!

To subscribe: Email Lt. James “EMO” Tichacek, USN (Ret) @ OR, visit James' website at
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened. Traumatic events that may trigger PTSD include violent personal assaults, natural or human-caused disasters, accidents, or military combat. Second Life provides T2 a limitless space on the Internet where servicemembers can learn more about PTSD causes, symptoms and resources for information and care.

Virtual PTSD Experience: The Department of Defense has launched a website, "Virtual PTSD Experience", that will allow users to explore the causes and symptoms of post-traumatic stress in an anonymous setting on the Second Life virtual world platform.

UPDATE (14 February 2012): There are two basic steps to receive a disability from the Veterans Administration for PTSD. The first step is filing a claim with the VA for PTSD. The second, and most Important, is submitting a stressor letter. The VA does not go looking for the combat veteran with PTSD. You must make the effort to receive the earned benefits.
Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma
Of all U.S. veterans, Navy veterans who served on ships built between the 1940s and 1970s were perhaps the most likely to suffer asbestos exposure. Virtually no area of a ship built during this time was without asbestos — mess halls, boiler rooms, navigation rooms, sleeping quarters, and engine rooms were all places where a Navy shipman might be exposed to the hazardous fibers. The risk asbestos exposure was only increased by the vast amount of products used on ships that contained asbestos, such as gaskets, valves, cables, adhesives and many others.

Remember any of the "full power runs" when the ship would fill with dust and particulates? Check out assistance with filing your VA claim. For more information or assistance regarding VA benefits, programs and eligibility, call (800) 615-2270.
Agent Orange
Office of Public Health and Environmental Hazards: Agent Orange is the name of a specific blend of herbicides used during the Vietnam era. The military sprayed millions of gallons on trees and vegetation that provided cover for enemy forces. Some Vietnam-era Veterans were exposed to these herbicides. Learn how Veterans may have been exposed to Agent Orange and other herbicides during military service, including outside Vietnam.

VA published a final regulation on 31 August 2010 that makes Veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam and who have been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, ischemic heart disease, or a B-cell (or hairy-cell) leukemia eligible for health care and disability compensation benefits. Vietnam Veterans covered under the new policy are encouraged to file their claims through a new VA Web portal at Fasttrack. Vietnam Veterans are the first users of this convenient automated claims processing system. If treated for these diseases outside of VA's health system, it is important for Veterans to gather medical evidence from their non-VA physicians. The portal guides Veterans through Web-based menus to capture information and medical evidence required for faster claims decisions. While the new system currently is limited to these three disabilities listed above, usage will expand soon to include claims for other conditions.

UPDATE: Agent Orange Newsletter - Summer 2016 (PDF)

Things You Should Consider

Find your orginal DD-214! Look as hard and as long as you must, but find it! Make copies (including a soft copy on your computer AND a CD [or 2]), then secure the orginal in a (very) safe place.

The VA does not maintain records of veterans' military service, except as necessary for providing benefits from VA. To obtain or amend a copy of your military service record and/or your Official Military Personnel File (DD-214, OMPFs), go to the website for the Military Personnel Records Center (MPRC) in St. Louis, which is part of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). If you have been discharged from military service, your personnel files are stored at NARA, the official repository for records of military personnel who have been discharged from the U.S. Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Coast Guard
Is your DD-214 correct?
Review your DD-214 thoroughly. Remember, back in ‘our day’ most military and government documents were manually typed on a typewriter by human beings. Meaning? Potential for errors, errors, and more errors.

As an example, insure you medals and ribbons are correct and complete. Make sure your service dates are correct. Insure there is reference to any war-time service. No sh-t! I have one shipmate who served with me in Vietnam and his DD-214 does NOT reflect that service. He is in the process of providing the VA with several “buddy letters” (one of which I wrote) that say he served in Vietnam with us. We understand that the VA will accept these “buddy letters” as proof of service in Vietnam.
Is Box 26 (Decorations, Medals, Badges, Commendations, Citations, and Campaign Ribbons Awarded or Authorized) correct?
My own DD-214 (includes the 1972 WestPac) lists 3: National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Combat Action Ribbon.

I'm not saying that this isn't correct, but has recently as early 2016, a sailor posted on "Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club" Group on Facebook, stating that after he had contacted the National Personnel Records Center, he found out that in addition to the National Defense Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, and Vietnam Service Medal, he found out he was also awarded (1) Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, (2) Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon, (3) the Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation, and the Korean Defense Service Medal. In addition, his Vietnam Service Medal now has 2 bronze stars.

He went from 3 to 7 awards. His thought was that some awards are made well after the action(s) take place.
Replacing a DD-214
Go to The National Archives site for Veterans

This site gives instructions to submit a SF 180 - Request Pertaining to Military Records. It also has links for: Personnel Files (OMPFs), Request Service Records or Proof of Military Service, Locations of Military Service Records, Medical and Health Records, Correcting Service Records, and Discharges, Replacement Medals, and Awards Military Service Records. At the National Personnel Records Center's Archival Research Room NARA has an online document request service called eVetRecs which allows you to Request Copies of Military Personnel Records online. This system provides a customized order form to request information from your, or your relative's, military personnel records
"Enroll" with the VA
The simple fact that you served your country in the military provides you medical and other benefits through the VA for the rest of your life.

Go to Veterans Affairs (VA) Home Page and click on link "Enroll / Update Medical Benefits (10-10EZ)". You'll have the option to fill out an on-line PDF form, print it, and snail-mail to the VA 'OR' you can print a blank copy, fill it out by hand, and snail-mail it to the VA.

OR, go straight to the enrollment page at VA Enrollment Page. The fastest and easiest way to apply for enrollment and health benefits is online!

VA provides a Medical Benefits Package to all enrolled Veterans. This comprehensive plan provides a full range of preventive outpatient and inpatient services within VA health care system. Also, once you enroll in the VA’s health care system, you can be seen at any VA facility across the country (1400 medical centers). VA applies a variety of factors in determining Veterans’ eligibility for enrollment, but once a Veteran is enrolled, that Veteran remains enrolled in the VA health care system. You may also be able to receive assistance with prescription medication. VA health care is portable. Once enrolled, you may receive care at your home facility as well as the nearest VA facility while traveling.

Woody's personnel experience: About a year ago, I enrolled with the VA. I failed to provide the VA with my financial information (as I'm stilling working fulltime). They sent me documentation back stating that my financial info was required. The 2nd time I enrolled I provided the VA all the required information. However, I never heard back from them that they had accepted my enrollment. I called them last week (Jan 2011) and I WAS IN THE SYSTEM! Lesson learned: If you successfully enroll you many not hear back from the VA. Sounds strange I know --- maybe part of some paper-reduction act.
Picture ID from the VA
UPDATE 2 February 2017: YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE A RETIRED VETERAN to get a picture ID from the VA. I have had one for several years now. It just has a different colored background that a retiree's card. I use it all the time at the VA hospital here in Fayetteville, AR.

Did You Know?

Difference between "Blue Water Navy" and "Brown Water Navy"?
The VA distinguishes between “Blue Water Navy” and “Brown Water Navy” duty. Particularly as it pertains to possible Agent Orange exposure and subsequent claims. Check out Veterans Affairs (VA) Home Page for details and explanations
Lowes Home Improvement

Home Depot
With proof of your military service, both Lowes AND Home Deport will give you 10% on anything and everything you buy - no limit(s) what so ever! If you don't have a picture ID, they will accept a Xerox copy of your DD-214 (No shit - I've done it!)
Many Hotel Chains
With proof of your military service (like a non-retiree VA card like I have), with give you the "government employee" rate - which many many times is the lowest rate offered. I've found that inside larger chains of hotels, it is best to call the specific hotel and simply ask, "I have a VA picture ID, does that qualify me for the government employee rate?". Most say yes. Check it out...
ALL official government websites concerning VA information ALL end in ".gov".

Watch out for imposters and scammers!!!

Trust your anti-virus software. If it tells you NOT to go to a site, don't go. Rather, search again, and go to a site that ends in .gov.

A Good Seaman Is Known In Bad Weather


© 2010 by Frank Wood, All rights reserved.