Kate and Ron Copeland sent in these pictures of the traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall.  Carl Kollmeyer is on the wall: TheWall

Helpful VA Website: clickVA

VA Ships List: Ships_here

Thank you all for making the reunion so much fun for Carlene and me.

eMail pictures to popschew@cox.net

Hopewell Association by-laws approved and signed: by-laws_aug14 Just click on it and you should be able to view/download/print.

OK, guys, if you haven't registered and haven't booked the hotel, DO IT NOW!  We are not getting any younger and our collective love for the Lady known as the USS Hopewell DD681, deserves to have her crew sitting around telling sea stories, laughing and throwing down a pint or two.

Ed  PS Check out the shirts and hats page and message from Ken Davis.  He and Jack Natter have been working on a cool new golf/polo shirt, a forever shirt.

***************************************

IF YOU HAVE BEEN DENIED OR DELAYED RECEIVING HELP AT A VA HOSPITAL OR CLINIC, THE AMERICAN LEGION WANTS TO HEAR FROM YOU AND PLANS TO PUSH TO HELP:  Click on: AmericanLegion


Welcome to the official website of the USS Hopewell DD681, 2014 Reunion in Chattanooga, Tennessee. AND the dates are now established :  Oct 13 thru 17, 2014.  We will be staying at the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel.  Let Ken Davis know if you are coming..he has a lot of planning to do <kfdavis718@gmail.com> 

Reunion Schedule of Events as of 04/22/2014:

Schedule: SCHEDPDF

Schedule: SCHEDWORD

Hotel information:  Chattanooga Choo Choo, reservations 1-423-308-2406, Group Code US6H.  HURRY and make reservations before they run out of rooms.;)

Reunion Registration form, HOTEL registration must be done separately, this form is in PDF format for downloading and printing MUST have Adobe reader on your computer, OR in Microsoft Word which can also be downloaded and printed.  NEW VERSION AS OF 02/14/2014 from Ken Davis

Registration PDF click onPDFREG

Registration Word click on: WrdRegRev

******************************************************

USS HOPEWELL DD681 Association application for Membership, latest as of May 18th, 2-14:

Can be downloaded and printed.                            Word Document CLICK HERE, PDF document CLICK PDR

************************************************************************

And NOW FOR YOUR EDUCATION AND FUN: The Official US Navy Problem Solving Flow Chart:  

*************

Beware of Pension Scams:

Beware of Pension Scams: Do not be a victim. The Department of Veterans Affairs is warning veterans of pension poaching scams. Be cautious if someone offers to move your assets around for you to qualify for VA pension.
This type of scam is often directed toward veterans and family members who do not actually qualify for VA pension. You could be required to repay these benefits to the government. Examples of possible pension poaching scams include: (1) organizations that cold call veterans, charge money for assisting with a VA pension claim, and take credit card information from veterans over the telephone; (2) people who charge as much as $6,000 upfront to represent claimants before VA.

For more information about VA pension eligibility requirements -- which include special monthly pension benefits -- visit VA's Pension webpage at www.benefits.va.gov/pension/ or call 1-800-827-1000.
For more on military benefits, visit the Military.com Benefits
Center.

*****************************

VERY IMPORTANT: The VA ID Card bar code reveals your Social Security Number.  Even if someone scans it into their system, like your Doctor's office if you use it as a secondary ID, the bar code can be read from the scanned image and bingo, your SSN is compromised:

********************************

OK, Guys, our Shipmate, RAdm John T. Natter, USN Ret., aka Jack, has sent a piece from his last Master Chief, BMCM Robert J. Dobler, USN, Ret. that I think you will all enjoy:

A Sailor's Thoughts:

A sailor will walk 10 miles in a freezing rain to get a beer but complain mightily about standing a 4 hour quarterdeck watch on a beautiful, balmy spring day.

A sailor will lie and cheat to get off the ship early and then will have no idea where he wants to go.

Sailors are territorial. They have their assigned spaces to clean and maintain. Woe betide the shipmate who tracks through a freshly swabbed deck.

Sailors constantly complain about the food on the mess decks while concurrently going back for second or third helpings.

Some sailors have taken literally the old t-shirt saying that they should “Join the Navy. Sail to distant ports. Catch embarrassing, exotic diseases.”

After a sea cruise, I realized how much I missed being at sea. We are now considering a Med cruise visiting some of my past favorite ports. Of course I’ll have to pony up better than $5,000 for the privilege. To think, Uncle Sam actually had to pay me to visit those same ports 25 years ago.

You can spend two years on a ship and never visit every nook and cranny or even every major space aboard. Yet, you can know all your shipmates.

Campari and soda taken in the warm Spanish sun is an excellent hangover remedy.

E5 is the almost perfect military pay grade. Too senior to catch the crap details, too junior to be blamed if things go awry.

Never be first, never be last and never volunteer for anything.

Almost every port has a “gut.” An area teeming with cheap bars, easy women and partiers. Kind of like Bourbon St., but with foreign currency.

If the Guardia Civil tell you to “Alto,” you’d best alto, right now. Same goes for the Carabinieri, gendarmes and other assorted police forces. You could easily find yourself in that port’s hoosegow. Or shot.

Contrary to popular belief, Chief Petty Officers do not walk on water. They walk just above it.

Sad but true, when visiting even the most exotic ports of call, some sailors only see the inside of the nearest pub.

Also under the category of sad but true, that lithe, sultry Mediterranean beauty you spent those wonderful three days with and have dreamed about ever since, is almost certainly a grandmother now and buying her clothes from Omar the Tent maker.

A sailor can, and will, sleep anywhere, anytime.

Do not eat Mafunga, ever!

Yes, it’s true, it does flow downhill.

In the traditional “crackerjack” uniform you were recognized as a member of United States Navy, no matter what port you were in. Damn all who want to eliminate or change that uniform.

The Marine dress blue uniform is, by far, the sharpest of all the armed forces.

Most sailors won’t disrespect a shipmate’s mother. On the other hand, it’s not entirely wise to tell them you have a good looking sister.

Sailors and Marines will generally fight one another, and fight together against all comers.

If you can at all help it, never tell anyone that you are seasick.

Check the rear dungaree pockets of a sailor. Right pocket a wallet. Left pocket a book.

The guys who seemed to get away with doing the least, always seemed to be first in the pay line and the chow line.

General Quarters drills and the need to evacuate one’s bowels often seem to coincide.

Speaking of which, when the need arises, the nearest head is always the one which is secured for cleaning.

Three people you never screw with: the doc, the paymaster and the ship’s barber.

In the summer, all deck seamen wanted to be signalmen. In the winter they wanted to be radarmen.

Do snipes ever get the grease and oil off their hands?

Never play a drinking game which involves the loser paying for all the drinks.

There are only two good ships: the one you came from and the one you’re going to.

Whites, coming from the cleaners, clean, pressed and starched, last that way about 30 microseconds after donning them. The Navy dress white uniform is a natural dirt magnet.

Sweat pumps operate in direct proportion to the seniority of the official visiting.

Skill, daring and science will always win out over horseshit, superstition and luck.

We train in peace so that in time of war the greater damage will be upon our enemies and not upon ourselves.

"Pride and professionalism" trumps "Fun and zest" any day.

The shrill call of a bosun's pipe still puts a chill down my spine.

Three biggest lies in the Navy: We're happy to be here; this is not an inspection; we're here to help.

Everything goes in the log.

Rule 1: The Captain is always right. Rule 2: When in doubt refer to Rule 1.

A wet napkin under your tray keeps the tray from sliding on the mess deck table in rough seas, keeping at least one hand free to hold on to your beverage.

Never walk between the projector and the movie screen after the flick has started.

A guy who doesn't share a care package from home is no shipmate.

When transiting the ocean, the ship's chronometer is always advanced at 0200 which makes for a short night. When going in the opposite direction, the chronometer is retarded at 1400 which extends the work day.

If I had to do it all over again, I would. Twice.

When I sleep, I often dream I am back at sea.

Good shipmates are friends forever


******************

IMPORTANT FOR ALL: Ray Bingham is one of my old USS Fort Marion LSD22 shipmates who I was able to assist/guide to get his Agent Orange claim approved.  Below is his message to me.

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!!!!

WHAT RAY IS DOING WE CAN AND SHOULD ALL BE DOING.  HELP A FELLOW VIETNAM VET WITH ISSUES NO MATTER WHAT SHIP OR BRANCH OF SERVICE. 


NOW GREAT NEWS from Merv Cecil:

From: Merv Cecil [mailto:mrcecil@netscape.com]
Sent: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 3:18 PM
To: Ed Chew
Subject: Fwd: RE: Request to Add Ship to Ships List


Dear Mr. Chew,

I just received this message I'm forwarding. The Seattle Regional Office that processed my claim dropped the ball as you can read, but Hopewell will be listed on VA's AO Ships List, finally. That should come in January given the last update to the list was in July. This news might be worthy of posting on the reunion website.

Mr. Cecil,
Thanks for the information. Your VA regional office neglected to forward your deck logs to me. I have added the ship as follows and it will appear on the next update.

USS Hopewell (DD-681) operated on Mekong River Delta during June 15-16 1966

*******************


1968-69 Deck Logs Now Available for viewing, downloading and or printing.  You would need these for Agent Orange or other claims with the VA: click LOGS


******************************************************

GOOD NEWS:  Our shipmate, Brad Mills in San Diego underwent treatment for bladder cancer.  WELL, it has worked and the Big C is in retreat and his Doctors feel confident he is out of trouble.  Brad was a major reason our San Diego Reunion in 2008 was a success.  He had my back all the time, arranged for our very successful bar operation and thru those efforts ensured we didn't go in the hole financially.  Thanks, Brad.


******************************************************************************************************************

For retired folks: NavyLodges Just click on NavyLodges and you can learn all you need to know.

SPECIAL link: Agent Orange VA Claims information: ORANGE


Just discovered the Crew Picture from Branson, Missouri in 2004  CLICK to view and download or print

***********************************************************************************************

Blast from the past, Glenn Miller Orchestra and "Chattanooga Choo Choo".  Just click



Latest version of I Was A Sailor Once:

Not sure who or how many added to the original which is on our 2012 reunion site, but here it is in PDF format you can save or print or whatever.  Or in Word format, too.

Good Memories are made of this:

Anyone remember Nashville, the Banquet, the Memorial and Jason Coleman at the piano, well refresh those memories now:



And this:


AND MAYBE THIS:

St Patrick's Day is almost here and all the Irish folks around the world will celebrate the Patron Saint of Being Irish. I met such a lass in the Waltzing Matilda Inn, Kowloon, HK, Crown Colony, in May 1963. Her father was Irish, her mother Chinese. Molly was about 45 in 1963 and had been expelled from China for running a brothel named "The House of 1000 A--holes". Her story was verified by our Commador who knew her in Tsing Tao when the fleet first arrived in 1946 after the war. Anyway, she was quite a lady and had many yarns to spin for us young Naval Officers. The Waltzing Matilda Inn was an Aussie tourist watering hole and she was the hostess. We all listened to her for about two hours and she gave us her card. She told us that the movie about Suzie Wong was about the wrong person, Suzie was an amateur!!! Anyway, after we left the bar we went to a reception over in Victoria, HK, and had a few drinks with the Commador, a Navy Captain, who couldn't believe our story. I showed him the card and he took us all back over the the Waltzing Matilda Inn where he and Molly had a great reunion after 17 years. Yes, she was real



And for good measure: PT 658, a video worth watching and sharing with your kids and grandkids.





NEWS:  Sad news about Russell Wilson, CO of the Hopewell.  Halma Wilson's email says it all:Just to let you know Russ died Saturday (8 Nov 2014) at 5:30 PM with a beautiful "red sunset, sailor's delight" in the sky. He will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery at a later date. Halma

Chattanooga was a great time.  I will be posting pictures when I receive more and can sort through and pick the best and edit and rename as necessary.