Last month, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a report that looked at possible connections between Agent Orange and Blue Water Navy Veterans who served in Vietnam. The report concluded that there isn’t enough information available to justify tying a presumption of Agent Orange exposure to Blue Water service. But, like a lot of medical reports, if you’re not an expert, the results can be a little hard to interpret—to figure out what it actually means for Veterans.

Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans are those who served aboard deep-water U.S. Navy vessels, but did not dock or set foot on land in Vietnam.  On the other hand, Brown Water Navy Vietnam Veterans served on vessels that patrolled the inland shoals and waterways of the Republic of Vietnam.

With respect to Agent Orange, Brown Water Veterans who served in Vietnam during the war (and who have an illness which is presumed to be related to the herbicide) don’t have to prove an association between their medical problems and their military service. There are 14 diseases that fall under this presumption, and they’re referred to as presumptives.

Here’s a little bit of a timeline:

  • May 2010: Secretary Shinseki asked the IOM to evaluate whether Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans experienced exposures to herbicides and their contaminants comparable with those of the Brown Water Navy Vietnam Veterans and those on the ground in Vietnam. If so, the IOM was asked to compare the routes of possible exposure and evaluate whether such exposures would lead to an increased risk of long-term adverse health effects.
  • August 2010: A new Final Regulation was published, adding two additional diseases, and expanding our definition of an existing disease, on the list of Agent Orange presumptives.
  • November 2010: VA began paying benefits based on these additional diseases.
  • May 2011: The IOM released the report, concluding that, qualitatively, ground troops and Brown Water Navy Veterans had more “plausible pathways of exposure” to Agent Orange than did Blue Water Navy Veterans. But, because of the lack of data on environmental concentrations of Agent Orange contaminants, the IOM could not compare actual exposures among these groups and concluded that it exposure of Blue Water Navy Veterans to Agent Orange cannot reasonably be determined. VA’s subject matter experts are still in the process of reviewing the findings.

The results of this report do not mean that Blue Water Navy Veterans cannot submit claims and apply for benefits if they believe they were exposed to Agent Orange.

The current claims process for Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans follows the same path as most Veterans submitting claims to VA: They are taken on a case by case basis, but there is no presumed association between illness and service – there must be evidence to support the claim.

There is one disease that’s an exception to these findings:  non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Blue Water Veterans claiming non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma as a disability may be granted service-connection without showing inland waterway service or that they set foot in Vietnam. This is because VA also recognizes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma as associated with service in Vietnam or the waters offshore of Vietnam during the Vietnam Era.

VA has recognized claims from Vietnam Veterans whose ships entered inland waterways, and/or docked at specific times and locations, if they claim that they went ashore. So far, this applies to 140 ships and 51 classes of vessels. Veterans who were aboard these ships are eligible for benefits based on the presumption that their diseases are associated with their service in Vietnam.

For more information on Public Health and Environmental Hazards, like Agent Orange, you can visit:

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Published on Jun. 13, 2011

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  1. Robert Erhard Sr. April 30, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    READ IOM REPORT minor Rev. 3 Jan. 2012 (yes, minor Rev. 3 Jan. 2012). IT is “A must READ” for all Vietnam Veterans and their Offspring.

  2. Ken Mayes January 26, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    LLoyd. In the samo boat as you. ( not same ship) I was stationed onboaard the USS Intrepid. I have a lot of the diseases associated with the exposure to dioxins. No one in my family have any of these diseases. What you can do and tell everyone you kn ow is to call or email your US Senators and Reps. Tell them to respond favorably to the Agent Orange Equity Act of 2011 Bill S. 1629. The bill was introduced on Sept. 23 2011 by Senator Kirsten Billibrand (D-NY). Bill S.1629 is currently pending before the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs for review. Please tell everyone you know about this bill so it will come out of the committee favorably aqnd be voted on by your concressmen and women. Thank You Ken Mayes

  3. Llloyd Brickey January 20, 2012 at 10:27 am

    I was on the USS Hornet, from 1966 to 1968 . Last Nov. I as diagnosed with Multi myeloma. The illness hit very suddenly. When my wife and I researched this illness, (since no one in the family has ever had such a disease, and I only match two of the profiles for having the illness, male and 65 ) We found out it could be related to AO. But, we are finding it hard to prove that fact. Since my ship is considered a blue water ship.
    Were do we go to get information to support a AO claim? Is there anyone I can exchange information with? we can help each other?

  4. William Morton November 11, 2011 at 12:49 am

    I served aborad the USS Eversole DD 789 in 1965. We, like other ships of our division, were on the “gunline” firing WP and AAC. I read our ships logs and it was brief. It made mention of our off shore firing that stated we were 2 to 3 miles off shore but I remember being much closer maybe 1800 feet. I seem to remember we used the depth finder to station ourselves for firing. This could have been the time when the deck log mention we were heading for Corps Area I in the north. The deck logs were very hasty with their entries. My question is, what constitute “blue water, brown water and green water?” They seem so obituary to me in VA lingo. Our ship was in brown water period. Do you think the VA will recognize this fact?

  5. DEWAYNE W. GARDNER October 4, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    I was on the USS Richard s Edwards DD-950, which was one of the four ships involved in the “Tonkin Gulf” incident. The incident I believe consisted of three incidents. The first incident involved one ship. The second incident involved 2 ships. The third incident involved 2 ships. All three incidents happened inside the “Tonkin Gulf”. I was in the third incident. I have 3 of the diseases that lead to numerous other side effects, all of which can be attributed Agent Orange, which I have been led to believe came from my time in Vietnam. I am not being compensated for AO because I did not set foot in Vietnam. My ship was close enough where we could see land and make out trees. We were in the “Tonkin Gulf”. This incident happened in September 19, 1964. All 3 incidents took about 1 or 1 1/2 months to happen, but the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution was its product.

  6. Kaye Kirkes September 19, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    My husband had numerous conditions and was boots on the ground when he had to fly out of Camp TienSha from the USS Joseph Strauss DDG 16. He was transported there by the USS White Plains AFS 4 on Feb 28, 1972. I have his original orders showing the stamps where he arrived at DaNang, but when submitted, my claim as his widow was denied. I will be appealing.

    • Ken October 24, 2011 at 5:12 pm

      I was on board the USS Everett F. Larson DD830 23rd squadron patrolling the Tonkin Gulf in the summer of 1969. The ship made a couple of trips and set anchor in Danang horbor. I know we were there for an entire day and night if not two. I remember at night a detail was put togeather to walk the perimeter of the destroyer and set off concushion grenades in the water to killed any viet cong trying to put a detonator on the ship, and it has been so long ago, but i beleive we pulled up to a berth to off load or load something. On several trips up and down the coast of Nam, we were very close to shore doing bombardment. My hair never grew anymore since that tour and in later years, i have had a heart attack, blurred vision and wondered if i was effected by agent orange. I know i am effected by asbestos, because the ship was full of that. I slep with it my entire time in the Navy.

  7. Robert Wicker September 5, 2011 at 11:09 am

    Bill, guess I will try this again. I am using the Texas Veterans Commission which I am told I will have to stay with until the VA makes a decision then I can change if I am not happy with there progress on my case. The “Exception” you refer to I submitted and this one also, see VA FORM SEP 2009 21-526 “If you are a veteran who is age 65 or older, or determined to be disabled by the Social Security Administration, you DO NOT have to submit medical evidence with your application unless you are filing for special monthly pension”. I am not looking to get a pension so that part doesn’t apply and I have been on Social Security Disability for the last ten years so you would think this would move on through. Sofar the VA had me go through their Agent Orange Screening and then they said my non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma was not a result of exposure while in the Navy. I can’t find non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma any where in my family going back four generations so I am as lost as the doctors that told me they aren’t sure why people get it. Looks like I am in a holding pattern until they get to my case. Again, thanks for your reply and have a great, safe day.

    • tim December 11, 2011 at 7:29 pm

      put into VA to expedite your case
      ask your service officer

  8. Robert Wicker September 4, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    Bill, thank you for your reply. I tried to write back but there was an error and lost it all. When I have more time I will be writting again. Have a great day.

  9. Robert Wicker September 1, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    I served on the U.S.S. Ranger (CVA-61) from 1965 to 1968 and as a vet I receive nothing from the VA and I have to pay what my medicare won’t pay. Being on Social Security Disability because of the non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma for the last ten years the VA now takes payment from my check. Having had non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Type II Diabetes, Pneumonia, Kidney Cancer and my right kidney removed, and Barrett’s Esophagus I still get nothing from the VA. The VA speaks with forked tongue as my ancestors would say. As a Blue Water Vet all I have gotten is screwed. Yesterday I was told I have Neuropathy all over my body where most people will have it in there hands or legs and feet. My congressman sure knows how to write a good letter and never say one damn thing so that avenue is hopeless. Yes, I already made that mistake of wasting my time. Now you have my medical history and what I am going through and hope I am the only Vet having to go through this. If it wasn’t for my family and the company SwissLog Translogic I worked for when I got sick I feel I wouldn’t be here today. Yesterday I also found out there is only 35,000 claims ahead of me so goodluck to us. Thank you for your time and have a great day.

    • Bill Miltenberger September 2, 2011 at 11:28 pm

      Robert, you should be covered. Get a good VSO and apply for SC disability.
      “Exception: Blue Water Veterans with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma may be granted service-connection without showing inland waterway service or that they set foot in Vietnam. This is because VA also recognizes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma as related to service in Vietnam or the waters offshore of Vietnam during the Vietnam Era.”

  10. Raymond A Ruggiere August 27, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    I would like to know if DDR 874 the USS Duncan is one of the Ship in the New Brown Water list.

    Thank You

    Raymond A Ruggiere

    • Bill Miltenberger August 28, 2011 at 8:01 pm

      Raymond, the USS Duncan (DDR-874) [Radar Picket Destroyer] operated on Saigon River during September and October 1965. If you on board during that time you are presumed exposed. If not, you will have to prove direct exposure. Somehow the DVA figures the contamination stopped as soon as the ship left the area.

  11. Bill Miltenberger August 22, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    Since the final IOM May report has come out I’ve been able to read it and in addition to the information imparted by Ms Slider above, it contains a very interesting statement that certainly should have been brought to everone’s attention.
    “It is possible that some fraction of Blue Water Navy personnel were not exposed to Agent Orange–associated TCDD, either directly or indirectly, but the proportion of personnel for whom that would have been the case is not known nor is it estimable with available information; there are similar uncertainties in estimating exposure of ground troops and Brown Water Navy sailors and the proportion of those personnel who might have been exposed”
    The important part of that statement is that some “fraction of Blue Water Navy personnel were not exposed”. It’s clear that statement must certainly mean the majority of Blue Water Navy personnel WERE exposed to TCDD.
    With that and this statement;
    “Moreover, the committee concluded that it could not state with certainty that exposures to Blue Water Navy personnel, taken as a group, were qualitatively different from their Brown Water Navy and ground troop counterparts.” there is no valid reason the Secretary does not return the presumptions of exposure to the Blue Water Navy.
    Of course, I’m using real logic, not VA logic in coming to my conclusion.

  12. Joey Clapper August 14, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    Does anyone know anything about the USS Denver, that docked at Da Nang Harbor? It is not on the list.

    • Bill Miltenberger August 22, 2011 at 2:02 pm

      Joey, if the ship is not on the current list, any claims that include it and show she was docked in Danang Harbor will get her on the list. It is being updated as the various vessels are proven to have spent time in what the VA considers brown water as well as docking to a pier.

  13. Ric Spry July 25, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    Where do I find the list of Brown water Ships I was on the Uss Midway and the Uss coral sea total of two tours

    • Kincaid July 27, 2011 at 9:39 pm

      Ric, the VA has a copy, usually VSO’s also. Attorney Chris Attig, Texas, also has the list on his web site if you were to google him. Kincaid

  14. Miss D Mason July 23, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    Realizing I have the luxury of distance and age…year born 1963, I cannot fathom the strength all you all display who lived this and live this today.
    I bet 5 to 1 there is more knowledge here than all the hallowed halls of Congress. I
    I want this betrayel stopped.
    here’s my prayer.
    on the official government appropriate department site.
    Dear Divine Creator of Mine(DCM),They kite so many bad checks in congress already what harm is it if they throw this on the debts honored pile. and off the debts due pile. It’s not like they work for a living not like my family and friends who are hurting
    p.s. Asbestos exposure and my step=father’s service in the south seas 1940’s paperwork STILL IS INCOMPLETE I hear…8 years after his passing. There are many others who live with similar incomprehensible unbearable still carrying these fatcats lazy yep pain.. D.C.M. please forgive Me if applicable and proper for I have lost faith in the congress people,And yeah please forgive Me if applicable and neccessary,for laughing at the public displays of FAITH made into official government and candid distric photo opportunities/rrr press releases, .I am almost ready to ask if you will forgive me if -applicable and neccessary- for wanting to go to Hell- cause I never fit in with such people as these kind and considerate self-sacrificing nice as them heaven bound congress member and congress types.

  15. Mac Thomas July 13, 2011 at 2:39 am

    I was diagnoses with prostate cancer in November 1999 at age 49 and type 2 diabetes a few months later. I filed my first claim with the VA in April 2002 and was denied and have re-opened several claims since that time, all of which have been denied. Maybe the VA is waiting for a few more of us to die off before they decide to do the right thing. If radiation from the earthquake in Japan reached the west coast of the United States, then common sense will tell you that the agent orange sprayed from aircraft affected sailors on ships off shore as well.

  16. Ken Mayes July 12, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    Thank You Tony:Will resubmit my claim. Was denied because I could not prove I had ” boots on ground ” I have IHD, sleep aphnea,Blood pressure problems, I take 21 meds every day, Plus 4 different inhalers and a nebulizer. Had two stents put in back in 01′. We do not have service reps like you in central Pa. Mine told me not to bother the VA, they have other things to do than to look through deck logs for me. Well I looked myself because they looked in the 67 era, and I had the dates that I was on line in 68. Well thanks again, Ken

  17. Tony Musolinp June 30, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    I am a service rep with Chapter 885, Wilmington, NC – I have submitted a claim on behalf of a Blue Water Sailer for Prostate Cancer – he never set “boots on the Ground” but he serviced helicopters that landed in VN daily. Proof that the dirt, debris and trash from VN came aboard his ship via helicopters has been submitted. We are waiting a response. It is currently with DRO and will probably go the full appeal gamut. If your ship had aircraft or helicopters go ashore and come back and you have a presumtive claim – submit it. You did not put the “boots on the ground” but the “boots came to you” When this is resolved it willhe be posted in the VVA Magazine “The Veteran”.

    • Ken Mayes September 15, 2011 at 9:07 pm

      Have you heard anything yet from the VA concerning the Blue Water Sailor with Prostate Cancer? The claim with “Boots Came To You”, where he worked on choppers? Thanks Ken.

  18. dominick ciano June 28, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    i would like know how they can list the uss oxford agtr1 under a/o presumptive and not list the uss jamestown agtr3 as our missions were the same up and as close to land as possible to carry out our spy missions even most good and smart sailors don’t know what an agtr is, i have a claim in for is cemic heart diease since 1996, yes i did’t make a mistake with the date, i new it then just as i know it now it was caused by a/o. while getting care at a va clinic i met many vietnam vets who had heart attacts, strokes and cancers, where dose the va think we got these illness’s from, why were we paid combat pay, why were given vietnam service medals, it wasn’t because we were hanging out in the US drinking beer and playing darts no most of us were drinking and bathing in a/o water ditilled by our ship thats why it had to be ordered to distill water inside 12 miles of shore, today they build homes give money, and va beniffits to anyone who comes back from the middle east, while we still suffer and die, no one cared about us then and they still don’t care about us, maybe it time to walk on washington an demand our bennifits. the smokes from fires 50 to 100 miles away blows into fl.carried by the wind.

  19. Allen Emmons June 28, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    Is USS Hornet CVS 12, on the list? I made 5 trips to Yankee Station. Last trip was in ’65. Iwas a MM1 at the time. I am approaching 72 years of age and have been seeing a neurologist for nerve damage. Could AO be a suspect?

    • Donna Ash October 7, 2011 at 9:55 pm

      My husband was also on the Hornet and was at Yankee station 1967. The Hornet is not on the list. My husband has type 2 diabetes and prostate cancer. Both Ao related diseases and no family history of either. We both know that he was contaminated while serving.

      • shannon October 28, 2011 at 11:06 am

        My father passed with agent orange exposure related illness he passed in 2004 still trying to fight for the benefits owed to him and his family. He was aboard the USS Hornet but I do not see it on the list. Have you heard of any other additions or awards from anyone who is listed on this ship. Information will be appreciated if you have any additional. thank you

  20. lawrence noon June 27, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    i am a disabled vietnam combat vet marine corp i was told agent orange was flown off carriers in the s.china sea that there were puddles of agent orange where ever they stored it and that salors were walking thru these puddles

  21. John Rossie June 20, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    This is an absolutely erroneous interpretation of the results and conclusions of the IOM report. It actually establishes probable routes of exposure for Blue Water Navy (Navy, Coast Guard and Fleet Marines) and states that there is no data to justify any quantifiable level of exposure for either the Blue Water navy OR anyone stationed on land. This totally pulls the rug out from anyone claiming personnel who served on land “were contaminated” and those who served offshore were not. Their chances of exposure were almost identical. But in ALL cases, there is total lack of medical and scientific data to state who, when and where contamination of land based or sea based personnel might have occurred. The VA has not made a conclusive statement on this report and this writer is definitely not someone capable of explaining ‘medical expert interpretations’ of the IOM Report.

    If you would like to review a solid, medical and scientifically backed report on conditions involving Agent Orange and, for instance, Da Nang Harbor, please refer to the Da Nang Harbor Report found at This write-up shows that a little information, in the hands of the ignorant, can be a very dangerous thing.

  22. Wayne Walker June 18, 2011 at 11:47 am

    My Boat finally showed up on the list but it was for 1966 -USS GURKE.
    Our DESRON (15) was home ported out of Yokuska from 1971 to 1975.
    We performed duty for gun fire support for two years in the North and the South then Plane guarding the big boys. attacked by Migs, Torpedo Boats, shore batteries, and 51 cal.
    Couldn’t say about duty about inland water ways but we almost ran aground many times (I don’t think this would be what the VA called Brown water). I do remember Operation Linebacker.
    I was a Boiler Teck back then and I do know something about where and how we got our fresh water. Traded my dungarees for Cammo later in my career and ended up in the desert in 91 and 2007-2008.
    Most people don’t appreciate the privilage of serving our country and keeping an eye out for your shipmates. Mission First “PEOPLE ALWAYS”
    I expect many more Ships (probably 713) to be added to the list it is just a shame it takes BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT to convince everyone.
    CMDCM (SCW) Retired
    Wayne Walker

    • Kincaid June 19, 2011 at 10:41 am

      Wayne, I was also a boiler tech during Nam and I remember punching tubes in both the mud and steam drums of the destroyer. It would take a long time to wash the sludge off of our dungarees and after several weeks when I blew my nose the sludge was still there.

      I have found in my life and career as a police officer that it is very hard at times to do the right thing, it is never an easy thing to do (the right thing) and unfortunately this is about money, bottom line, not about the care of vets who put themselves in harms way many years ago and are now experiencing negative affects of that time so long ago.

      I take solace in knowing that I did the right thing by volunteering and answering the call to our country’s needs. In brotherhood, Kincaid

  23. D-Gunner June 18, 2011 at 10:43 am

    They used Agent Orange to kill the weeds stateside for crying out loud.
    It was an illegal pesticide smuggled into this country from Germany all the while Dupont knowing how dangerous it was to human exposure. It was a criminal act and all who had been exposed to (most everyone in the military) are it’s victims to some degree or another.

  24. desert June 17, 2011 at 9:29 am

    I have yet to see anyone state the fact that “all or most” the weapons (defoliants) dropped by air came off Aircraft Carriers…yes indeed, blue water sailors could very easily have been contaminated! I was on a carrier in 1959/1960 and have diabetes….no one else in my immediate family had it….kind of speaks volumes doesn’t it!!

    • Frances Porgal June 21, 2011 at 5:06 pm

      My husband was on board the USS Constellation off Yankee Station in 1966 launching and recovering aircraft 24/7 during the Rolling Thunder operation. As a matter of fact he re-upped and his DD 214 has the latitude/longitude where that occurred.
      He was found to have a very agressive form of Prostate Cancer in 2001 for which he had surgery. It is now back. He also has Type II diabetes as well as some high blood pressure.
      When the cancer occurred I contacted VA to question a claim under the AO cause only to be told not to bother due to the fact that he was a “Blue Water Sailor.”

  25. George Hooton June 16, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    As a crewmen of a WHEC that served in VN in 1969 and according it a VA notice all WHECs that was there was declared to be operating in contaminated areas. I have about 5 of the deceases that were declared could be caused by AO. I submitted a claim and was turned because I made too much money. When I asked about that, and reminded that I served in VN, I was told that I have to prove I was aboard a WHEC in VN. I told them that they had my DD214s and was awarded a couple of metals and I was told that was not enough. Our Cutter tied up in Danang a couple of times fired NGS close to shore, and made several MedCaps. But I’ve got to prove it. I think with that much info the VA should have to prove I didn’t serve in VN.

    • Bob Armstrong ENC Ret June 16, 2011 at 11:01 pm

      You get copies of your ships deck logs that shows time & dates you were in the RVN harbors you must supply the wide time frame ie may 23 1972 to may 30 1972 there my be a small cost for the logs but the will stand up to any court of law.

    • Michael June 17, 2011 at 11:25 am

      George, The latest VA list of ships that were extended the presumption of exposures includes ALL USCG cutters with hull designation WHEC. Go to the below link to the latest VA list and point this out to the VA with your appeal of the decision to deny your claim.

  26. Kenny King June 16, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    The IOM study had a selected set of Parameters to go upon rather than a specific target area to investigate. They came to conclusions without any scientific supported evidence that was taken during the conflict which only allowed them to draw a conclusion on limited information given to them by the DoD and the VA.

    One would imaginge that the review of the Austrailian report and the test the IOM also did and found an increase of the contaminats, would certainly create the reasonable doubt ruling created by the CFR manual. They say it was in the water supply, so, the big question becomes, “How did it get there?”

    With the response of the report not being able to determine if the contamination source was any greater or less than Brown Water or Land Forces getting to the BWN vesseels, this should more than anything confirm the Reasonable Doubt and return the original Agent Orange Act of 1991, which was established and put into law just for the reasons that we are dealing with this issue after all these years.

    It was known then, and is more importantly known now that, contamination of our troops no matter where there were stationed had the possibilty of being exposed, just that simple.

  27. Michael Turner June 16, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Agent Orange was sprayed, so it had to be affected by wind to dipearse. Right? So if the tiny little droplets(mist if you choose) had to be carried by the wind. Just like fog or rain. So if the wind direction was blowing toward the Tonkin Gulf, and temprature is added to the equation(heat still rises doesn’t it?), wouldn’t it stand to reason that there had to be atmospheric drift of AO? Dust I would think weighs more than mist particles and look how far dust travels. Fish from the sky! Rain travels great distances with no problem. So I just can’t believe the “experts” when they try to make the wind carried AO a non-reality.

    • bob coleman March 20, 2012 at 2:52 pm

      Thunderstorms came from the shores to the ships. Many times I hid under the wings of the aircraft to keep from getting soaked by the rain not to mention the monsoons, The AO was in the rain. My non-hogkins lymphoma is proof of that. Even the Canadians stated they would not distill and water in or around Nam.

  28. j.l. meiers June 16, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Well this is another of the 40+ years of LIES ! as it does NOT deal with the specific plant pathology or plant physics of the triple canopy of the specific micro climate of the coastal region. as to plant transpiration, nor evaporative effect, or evaporation, and humidity, or migration of evaporated, suspended moisture, to off shore coastal regions there ! I was then and am now a farmer. and used 24D on crops on our farm in U.S. so, when working with MediVac and Graves Registration for almost 2 years in Vietnam, just offshore in coastal waters, and knew of the smell and taste of Agent Orange, and other herbicides used. as we sprayed them on our crops in north central states region. thus they did not seek or consult with the Vietnam government or scientists. just another bunch of BUNK !

    • Kenny King June 16, 2011 at 8:46 pm

      M. Turner, the spraying occurred with petrolium added for a more direct drop according to fly boys reports. Wind drift took it and no matter how fast it dropped, it moved through the skies in an easterly direction. Now as mentioned with petrolium products, oil floats on top of water, so the chemicals did not evaporate as so many want folks to believe. Proof of this is the recent Gulf disaster of how far oil will travel. As in the Tonkin Gulf, ask any Topside watch underway and see how many oil slicks and accumulation of debris was seen floating. Much of this was very capable of being sucked up into the water supply system and processed through the distilation process, and they all very well know it. Dioxins were unable to be extracted with a filteration system aboard the ships, only the larger particles that would find it’s way in. “INGESTION” is the source to the illnesses of the US NAVY because we drank it, cooked with it and took our showers with it. I have talked to many ground troops that have been directly sprayed with AO, and many of them had the opportunity to clean themselves up afterwards either in the rivers and streams or showers. If the rate of illnessness are a higher percentage rate as the Auzzies state about their Naval personnel, it appears by intaking it to your body with foods or drinks is pretty obvious why they very well had more of these diseses. Did I mention Common Sense?

  29. John B Wells June 15, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    Ms Sidler errs when she says that “The report concluded that the IOM report found that there isn’t enough information available to justify tying a presumption of Agent Orange exposure to Blue Water service.” What the IOM report found was that there was no greater or lesser basis for extending the presumption to blue water vets than there was to land based or brown water vets. Their report also stated that the issue should be based on policy and not science. Finally this reprot did not abrogate the findings of the 2009 report that there was no reason to not extend the presumption to the blue water vets

    John B Wells CDR USN (Ret)

  30. Steve June 15, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    Her is a quote right from the report – As presented in Chapter 4, the committee found that Agent Orange-associated TCDD could, under some circumstances, contaminate marine waters off the coast of South Vietnam.
    Blue Water Navy ships may have distilled those marine waters, so TCDD contamination of potable water aboard those ships was possible. Use of potable water containing Agent Orange– associated TCDD could result in inhalation exposure to TCDDs in water vapor during showering or other uses of hot water, such as cooking, and could result in volatilization of TCDD from the water during other uses, such as cleaning. Use of the water for showering and cleaning would also result in dermal exposure to TCDDs. Finally, the use of the potable water for drinking itself and for food preparation could lead to ingestion of TCDD.

    So tell me what part of that statement you don’t understand? The IOM said it is possible for BWN vets to be exposed to Agent Orange.

  31. Bill June 15, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    It’s obvious the idiots in the VA heirarchy either have not read or do not understand what the IOM report really says. Plain and simple there is, other than the possible number of plausible routes of entry, no difference in the possibility of exposure to Agent Orange between the three specified groups.
    40+ years after the fact there is not enough quantatative data available for any of the groups contamination levels to be studied.
    Qualitatively however, there are plausible routes of entry and there is a 10 fold increase in the concentration of TCDD so though while there may not be as many routes of entry the routes of entry for the Blue Water Navy are more extreme.
    What is interesting is the VA’s calling for a study between the three groups rather than a morbidity study of the BWN. I think they know what they’d find and are very afraid of it.

    • terry putnam March 26, 2012 at 2:37 am

      i read your comments on here. have you seen what the bush administration did in 2002 in regards to agent orange? it is in an article dated march 25, 2012, i believe in an new england paper. i’m sure if you google it you will find it. i think it’s sad but true, they are only looking out for corporations and their rich friends.

  32. Corey K June 15, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    Simply amazing. No matter what anyone thinks as to the “case by case basis review” fed to claimants w/o Presumptive Service Connectivity your claim will most likely be denied. I mean come on can’t the DOD and V.A. understand that common sense dictates that aircraft returning from missions in and over Vietnam or flying over ships were contaminated with Agent Orange? What about crew or service men/women with boots on the ground and then evacuated to ships with AO on their clothes, equipment, etc? I mean we have virus there are spread by air and they are saying there is NO link for Blue Water Sailors in Theater to AO? Well I guess we are simply pawns in a bigger game. So sad.

  33. Joe June 15, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    Two questions, Ms Slider, 1st, why did it take 40 years for the VA to do a study of this nature, when it was only 10 years ago that they decided that the Navy Veterans with not eligible under the 1991 act? What this report actually indicates to most reasonable thinking persons; is that the action of the VA in 2001 was completely unwarranted simply because there was not any medical or scientific basis for their decision to remove the Naval Vets from coverage, only political!
    2nd, you claim that “The report concluded that there isn’t enough information available to justify tying a presumption of Agent Orange exposure to Blue Water service.” That is not true. The report only said that after all this time that is no way to determine if anyone, blue water, brown water, ground troops, was affected. It did say that there were plausible routes of exposure to all of the veterans, regardless of the class that the VA has invented for this war.
    Just because you work for the VA, that is no reason to falsify and misconstrue the evidence. You have to be honest and truthful not matter where it leads.

  34. Bob June 15, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    It is truly a sad day for the Blue Water Navy Vet. After being infected with such horrible affects from Agent Orange and then your country turns it’s back on you. Shame on you VA…… Why do you do this to people you put in Harms Way?

    • Michael H June 15, 2011 at 2:53 pm

      The Va is never going to treet Vets Right, i applyed for the AO conection because i was there in Da Nang and on the cost i have profe this is true.
      But the VA Keeps teling me i was not in Viet Nam EVEN that the service metels are there in my service recored. I have been fighting this sence 2001 I have come to one thing The Va does not read the profe and if the stall is on you be lucky to get anything i Have 64.5 % and it been like that sence the first
      even the Va Doc cant understand the rating he recomend total !00% and then i get just what they want to hand out never mind what the recored says its the number they looking at. We as Vet need to march on washington to get the politition to get off ther ass and help the Vet or there will be no fair care to the vet untill somthing is done. Thes ASS Holes in the Va Have life long Jobs off the Hurting of othere. when some SOB tells me i was not there then i sure did feal like a fool thinking the country cared for the Vet this is the way it is in oklahoma and i know that i am not alone.

      • Michael Turner June 16, 2011 at 1:27 pm

        To Michael H. Let me offer you a case law solution. Do your best to locateVolume * of the Court of Veterans Appeals. In the front is a transcription of a “Third Judicial Conference”. The pages are numbered in Roman Numerals so you will have to match the symbols. CCII starts the “Fifth Plenary Session”. Go to page CCX and down at the bottom of the page, the next to the last paragraph that starts with 38 C.F.R. section 3.102. So if the VA keeps stating you were not there, make them produce clear and convincing evidence to support there contention. Otherwise they must honor your word and your evidence. I am a certified service representative.

        • Ken Mayes June 17, 2011 at 10:47 am

          Thanks for the info. Been trying for years to find answers. Was on the USS Intrepid CVS-11 in 67-69. Back in 68 my commanding officer told me to go repair ar exchange a printer for someone in Nam(don’t remember where, can’t even remember who the guy was that I worked with over there) getting old I guess. I flew there by chopper, but can’t find any records of it on the deck logs because they weren’t entered. When I got back to the ship my commanding officer called me to his office. He told me as far as he is concerned this never happened. And that I was to forget it ever did. Don’t have evidence that I was there”Boots on Ground” so they denied my benefits. Is there still a chance for me?
          Thanks Ken

      • Michael Turner June 16, 2011 at 1:29 pm

        That was volume 8. I held down the shift key by mistake!

  35. NavyBrat June 15, 2011 at 10:11 am

    My father served aboard the USS Clarion River LSMR 409. He has battled respiratory/colon cancer for several years now….you have not rec’d the care and compensation you deserve. My father probably will not pursue this but I will try for him!

    • MtMike June 15, 2011 at 2:39 pm

      Navy Brat — USS Clarion River is on the Presumptive list too. If your father served on her between 1962 and 1975 he may be eliginle for service cionnection.

  36. MtMike June 15, 2011 at 9:20 am

    Ronnie — Valley Forge is now on the list (see the Blue Water Navy Veterans page linked above).
    I urge all of my Blue Water Navy Brothers to file a compensation claim as soon as you you are diagnosed with any of the 14 diseases listed in the Presumption rules. If you are denied service connection now, and the coverage rules change next year, the effective date of coverage will be the date you first applied (read: backpay!).
    I also urge you to write your Senators and Representatives and tell them you want to see the Agent Orange Equity Act re-introduced and passed this year.

    • Ken Mayes June 17, 2011 at 11:09 am

      RIGHT ON!!!!!!!!!!!! Every one NEEDS to contact their congressmen or congress women. They NEED to get the Agent Orange Equity Act HR# 812 passed this year. (R) Mr. Jeff Miller (Florida) Is the House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman. His address is: House Committee on Veterans Affairs; 335 Cannon House Office Bldg.; Washington, D.C. 20515. His phone Number is: 202-225-3527. He needs to be contacted also. I’ve been in the hospital or the emergency room 9 times since Thanksgiving. I Have all kinds of problems, which none of my other family members have. Been denied AO Benefits bacause I can’t prove I had “Boost on Ground”. But on my Va disability it states one of the reasons for my disability is IHD. Can’t figure…

  37. Michael June 15, 2011 at 9:08 am

    This “Dispatch” from the VA distorts the findings of the I.O.M. The VA is only half right when they say: “The report concluded that there isn’t enough information available to justify tying a presumption of Agent Orange exposure to Blue Water service.” The VA conveniently left out the I.O.M’s findings that “[the] lack of information makes it impossible to quantify exposures for Blue Water and Brown Water Navy sailors and, so far, for ground troops as well.” See the I.O.M.’s conclusions on page 93 of their report of Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans and Agent Orange Exposure.

    If the VA is so confident of the reasonableness of their policy in this regard, why do they find it necessary to distort the facts?

    Lastly, why should anyone whose ship anchored in DaNang Harbor have to claim boots on the ground to be accorded the presumption of exposure mandated by the Agent Orange Act of 1991 which clearly and unambiguously extends presumption to anyone who has an Agent Orange related condition if they had active military service in the Republic of Vietnam. For those geographically impaired, including the VA, DaNang Harbor is in the former Republic of Vietnam and, therefore, anyone who was aboard a ship in DaNang Harbor was, in fact in the former Republic of Vietnam. Regardless of what the VA says, the law does not require boots on the ground. And despite claims to the contrary, there is absolutely no legislative history of the Agent Orange Act of 1991 to indicate that Congress intended to only extend presumption to those who set foot on land in RVN.

  38. Ronnie Hall June 15, 2011 at 7:42 am

    I was aboard the USS VALLEY FORGE in 1969. Were in the harbor of DaNang each day when not supporting troops on the the ground. They still haven’t declared The Valley, Brown Water. If your in the harbor sitting, and you cruise the shope lines, then you are grown water.

  39. Anne June 15, 2011 at 7:41 am

    My husband served in Vietnam on the USS Battleship New Jersey BB62. The were off the coast but also went up one river. They are not on the list. Do you know why? The water used on board was desalted from the seas. Which had to have run off from the land.

  40. Bob in Tulsa June 14, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    I agree with Rich, except it was both the Royal British and Australian Governmental studies that found the same findings. Desalination of sea water to make it potable concentrated the AO. They paid their Navy claims quickly. Also, has anybody from the IOM ever looked at photos from space? Just like the views of the Mississippi, Amazon, Nile and other major rivers shows a large muddy cloud billowing out into the oceans, Look all around the rivers that have flowed through Viet Nam, Laos and Cambodia. Same muddy cloud. That cloud is made up of silt and other surface contaminates being washed out, Now, is it just me or can anybody else surmise that the silt carried AO out into the ocean.

  41. Concerned Vet June 14, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    According to Wiki, there are 1.3 million troops. With a million Veterans waiting on the VA to process their paperwork, the new presumptives will probably soon mean there are more Veterans waiting on their benefits than are serving our country at any given time. What a disgrace.

    • James Mustian June 15, 2011 at 5:44 pm

      A little late for my brother who went in healthy, had 3 blue water tours in Nam and died at 56 years old with liver, kidney, pancreas failures and diabetes. We buried him after he threw up all his own blood from a ruptured spleen or pancreas.

  42. Rich June 14, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    The same standard applies to blue water navy vets that applied before they came up with this brown water navy list. That is that you have to prove that you went ashore when the shipped docked over 40 years ago. I have trouble remembering what I had for breakfast yesterday.

    I am 50% mentally disabled by PTSD from combat, and I also have Diabetes Type 2. How am I going to be able to connect the two without the presumption of exposure to AO.

    The New Zealand/Austrailian Navy did a study of the high cancer rate amongst their blue water sailors and found out something very interesting which the IOM stated. That is that distilling methods to make salt water into fresh water for engineering propulsion, drinking water, and washing actually congealed the AO. Subsequently they gave their sailors a 40k settlement.

    Our government is in the process of figuring out the damage to the people of Viet Nam from AO and will make a financial settlement with them, and the blue water navy veterans, mostly in their teens and early 20’s , who volunteered are now dying in their 40/50, 60″s because the government does not want to recognize their veterans. To me this is as atrocious as the way that our government treated the WW1 Veterans who camped on the grounds of the Whithouse in the 1920’s seeking their rightful benefits. They were ridden down and shot by General Pershing and the calvary. Whats wrong with this picture?

    Rich-Blue Water Nam Veteram, Vietnam Campaign-Vietnam Service-Combat Action and National Defense Medals-USS Lang-De 1060

  43. Ed Ball June 14, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    I applaud the VA for it’s advances in presumptive cases over the last decade for many Navy veterans.

    Naval vessels at sea in the Gulf of Tonkin or Yankee Station, contributed significantly in the war effort during Vietnam. Best known for it’s carriers and numerous air missions over enemy targets, fulfilling anti submarine warfare duties, search and rescue missions, as well as the spur of the moment Naval Gunfire Support to rescue our brothers pinned down by enemy forces deep in the jungle areas inland RVN.

    The majority of the ships during that time frame were conventional, or steam driven. Boilers required distilled feedwater to maintain power and propulsion. As well as provide excess potable water to provide cooking, laundry, drinking and shower capability for the crew.

    On occassion, ships would have engineering problems, and potable water would be scheduled for delivery by tankers well outside of the 12 natuical mile limit. These same tankers would pull inport RVN, such as Da Nang, which is known to have an open water resevoir, that easily could have been contaminated with TCDD, loaded into the tankers and delivered to ships out to sea.

    Water was such a precious commodity on any given ship, that if water levels shipboard were to run dangerously low, as is frequent on smaller ships, the Commanding Officers would have granted the operating of distilling plants inside the 12 mile limit in order to maintain power and propulsion and complete their assigned task.

    I look forward to further talks and progression towards presumptive claims for even Blue Water Naval vessels.

    RMC(SW) USN, Ret. having served onboard CV-64, FF-1069, CG-32,
    SSBN-610, LPD-8, LKA-116, and AFG-11.

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