Did you serve in the offshore waters of the Republic of Vietnam between Jan. 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975? If so, then you’re considered a Blue Water Navy (BWN) Veteran.

On Jan. 1, 2020, the Blue Water Navy Act of 2019 goes into effect. This Act was signed into law on Jun. 25, and extends the presumption of herbicide exposure, such as Agent Orange, to BWN Veterans who served as far as 12 nautical miles from the shore of Vietnam and have since developed one of 14 conditions related to exposure. Some of these conditions include Type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, many forms of cancer and others. You may now be eligible for disability compensation and other benefits. In addition, if you’re a Veteran who served in the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between Sept. 1, 1967, and Aug. 31, 1971, you may also qualify for compensation and benefits for yourself and your family members.

How do I know if I’m eligible?

The best way to find out if you’re eligible is to work with an accredited claims representative or Veterans Affairs (VA) regional office to understand eligibility requirements before filing a claim. You don’t need to prove contact with herbicides to be eligible.

How do I file a claim for compensation benefits?

You can file an initial claim (that has not been previously decided by VA), by submitting Form 21-526EZ, Application for Disability Compensation and Related Compensation Benefits. CLICK HERE to initiate your new claim.

You can also contact an accredited Veterans Service Organization (VSO) to assist you with your application. To access a list of VA-approved VSOs, CLICK HERE. You may also contact your state’s Veterans agency should you need additional assistance with the application process.

What if I’ve previously filed a claim that was denied?

VA will be using the new law to automatically review claims that are currently with the VA review process or under appeal. However, if you had an herbicide exposure claim with one or more presumptive conditions denied in the past, you are urged to file a new claim.

When you begin the claims process, be sure to provide or identify any new and relevant information regarding your claim, such as the dates the vessel you were serving on traveled through the offshore waters of the Republic of Vietnam or updated medical information.

Submit a VA Form 20-0995, Decision Review Request: Supplemental Claim.

How should survivors and dependents apply for initial Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) Claim for a Veteran who died of presumptive condition?

Eligible survivors and dependents must meet certain conditions to receive DIC. To learn more about this process, CLICK HERE. If found to be eligible, there are several ways to file a claim, including:

  • By mail, using VA Form 21P-534EZ.
  • In person at a VA regional office.
  • An accredited claims representative or VSO.

What benefits will I receive if my claim is approved?

If you are deemed eligible, you may receive a monthly disability compensation payment and free healthcare related to your disability. The amount of compensation you may receive is determined by your diagnosed condition and level of disability.

Another important component of the Blue Water Navy Act includes changes to the VA Home Loan program. VA now allows the no-down payment option on guaranteed home loans, regardless of mortgage amount for ALL Veterans. In addition, there is a reduction in the funding fee required for Reservists and National Guard borrowers and other changes.

More information and resources on the Blue Water Navy Act, eligibility, how to file a claim, and changes to the VA Home Loan Program can be found online HERE.

Renee Johnson is a public affairs specialist for the Veterans Benefits Administration. 

Share this story

Published on Dec. 13, 2019

Estimated reading time is 3.1 min.

Views to date: 1,168


  1. Jerry January 9, 2020 at 1:18 pm

    The 12 nautical mile line is a joke. It does not include most of the Carriers and the Carriers are the largest and most important ships to the Vietnam War. The desalination units on the ships suck up the sea water remove the salt but not the Agent Orange then we drank the water, our food was cooked in the water and we showered in the water. So even if your ship was 12.5 miles off shore it is like the water was ok to drink then. What a joke we served and are now dying from poison our Country used. Think of this if they admit the water was poison within 12 miles would you feel safe drinking the water 25 miles off shore. The Australian Navy has no silly 12 mile line for their sailors who served. Thousands of us sailors who served our Country in Vietnam who were paid combat pay and received Vietnam Service Metals are left to die because of a line draw on a map at 12 NM offshore. It is very sad we served and are now forgotten.

    I served on the USS Oriskany while in VAW 111 Carrier Air Early Warning Squadron from July to December 1971. While off the shore of Vietnam I received combat pay and hazardous flight deck pay and the Vietnam Service Metal, plus a letter of commendation from my commanding officer for keeping the planes flying. Yet now because of perhaps a mile to far out to sea I am left with my Agent Orange diseases that are killing me and forgotten by my Country along with thousands of other Sailors who served on Carriers during Vietnam.

    It seems all the media is not aware of the situation or is just ignoring the situation.

    It is a sad story.

  2. Thomas Benjamin Bush January 6, 2020 at 12:39 pm

    Every Vet that respondened to this Blue Water Bull Shit are very correct. That’s what we get when we elect those draft dodging politicians( OUR current C and C ) and all his BUTT KISSING buddies who have no idea of what its like to serve your country. They ready don’t care about Vets.

    • Tom Thomasen January 7, 2020 at 9:31 am

      I also was on the USS Shangri-La (CVS-38). I submitted a claim over 10 years ago, and have always been turned down. I have leukemia, diabetes Type II, Neuropathy, and Hypertension. Wishing your brother Clint and others good luck. Have to see what the future holds.

  3. Jane Knudsen January 4, 2020 at 10:59 pm

    Clint my brother was on the Shang West Pac 1970. I have been working on this for him and presented a claim back in September 2019. I found the Command log. USS Shangri-la CVS-38 was in DaNang on June 21, 1970 @ 17:41. Also submitted a last cruise report from Cdr Jim Reid verifying ship as anchored in DaNang Harbor. Command History report stated “needed parts for #3 elevator” Per command report it was the only incident know of a U.S. aircraft carrier that entered a port area of South Vietnam. Also just found proof of log, type in google oldbluewater.com Shangri-la CVS38. Shows deck log highlighted in RED shows ship was inside 12 miles of Vietnam. His illness has not yet been oked but it is one that they are considering since June of 2019 but nothing yet thanks to VA Sec. Mr. Wilkie. Hope this helps!!!!!!!!!

  4. David McConnell January 1, 2020 at 7:38 pm

    I was on board the USS Durham, LKA-114 during 1972 – 1974 as a Radioman. I don’t remember how close to Vietnam we operated. Where do I find this information? I do remember a Radioman friend on the USS Anchorage which was in our Task Group, showing me bullet holes through the bulkhead of Radio Central when they got fired on from shore. I also remember re-enlisting onboard the USS Durham while offshore and getting it tax free as we were within a Combat Zone. I am a Prostrate cancer survivor.

  5. Danny E. Lundervold December 31, 2019 at 2:25 pm

    I was aboard the aircraft carrier Ranger CVA 61 from 1961 thru1964. I understand our planes gave ground support in Vietnam but have no idea how far off the coast we were. How would I find out if we would qualify for Blue Water disability?

  6. Raymond Shepard December 31, 2019 at 9:05 am


  7. Charles Ranzy December 29, 2019 at 6:35 pm

    I was part of the rescue team that went ashore to bring out vietnese and diplomats twice in 1975, and I’ve been denied several times. About six months I broke out with rashes and blisters all over my body. I had dry skin all over my body in my eyebrows, mustache, and beard. It got so bad I could no longer shave because of the breakouts. I was told I just had dry skin but never had dry skin before in my life. I had boils that would appear on my hands and fast which I had serguically removed. I also had bad jock rashes which they couldn’t explain to me, my entire 24 year career I’ve dealt with these skins problems which they later came back a label it, seborrhea dermatitis. That didn’t account for the toenail fungus I’ve carried until this day. No treatment seems to work except sopranos and limacel but they detoriate your kidneys, you have to checked regularly. I was on one or the other for years with 50% improvement nothing more. I also kept a sore throat and blistering lips, no one could explain this to me either. While out at sea you have no one except medical onboard the the ship to report but when we returned to our home I requested to be seem at the hospital. You needed a bill from congress to leave your ship to be seen outside your command, it was hard getting your request approved.

  8. ANTHONY ACCAVALLO December 27, 2019 at 8:55 pm

    When are we going to help the 93,000 Veterans that have thyroid Cancer, Bladder Cancer, and Parkinson’s like symptond. There is a letter explaining that the Sec of VA wants these
    Cancers but they were turned down the VA. I have these letter and I will send you a copy if you need it.

  9. Leon Briest December 27, 2019 at 7:44 pm

    I served in Vietnam 69-70 with 25th DivArty S3. How to I find the name of my Sargent with S2 that was killed by another soldier who shot and killed him. I can’t get the VA to research this matter.

  10. Kenneth W. D'Angelo December 27, 2019 at 3:22 pm

    I was a radioman and antenna maintenance supervisor on board the USS Oklahoma City com 7th FLeet from aug 1970 through Dec 1973. I have just been diagnosed with a bone marrow cancer which is a rare form not specified in the list of presumptives ( Chronic Neutrophilic Leukemia). I have documented chromosome damage which my VA docs say is likely due to chemical or radiation exposure- consistent with agent orange- we provided close gunfire support and spent time in Danang Harbor several times. My exposure is easily documented, BUT my disorder is exceedingly rare, so finding other documented cases among veterans is my biggest obstacle! If anyone knows how to find other cases like mine in records or if anybody else has a similar condition, it would help my case to be able to cite these. My only treatment option at present is a bone marrow transplant. I have other chronic conditions as well (hypertension, inflammatory bowel disease, sleep apnea) so if anyone can help me find a way to document a connection between chronic leukemia and AO exposure I would appreciate any ideas!!! my doctor thinks it’s likely but PROVING the connection is going to be the trick. THey have no other effective known treatments for this condition.
    Fair Winds and Following Seas!

    • Victor Trevino December 30, 2019 at 9:19 am

      My dad has the same issue. Very rare form of Leukemia that required a bone marrow transplant. VA states it is not connected, he was covered in the herbicide while on the ship.

      • Ronald Riml January 1, 2020 at 12:17 pm

        If you recall, the ‘Okie City’ had numerous search and fire-control radars – including the ones for the Talos missile systems.

        Now, if you were aloft performing any kind of maintenance, there is an extreme possibility that you were irradiated upon. My suggestion is that you join a ‘Service organization’ such as the VFW or American Legion which will provide you with advice and representation in filing a claim. That path was very helpful for me….

    • Robert Douglas Schmachten December 31, 2019 at 11:14 am

      I was an Okie RMA that time period.

  11. Raymond L. Gilbertson December 27, 2019 at 12:33 pm

    how do I find out if the carrier i was on qualifies for benefits i spent 3 tours from1965 to1969 on board the carrier USS HANCOCK CVA19. I have had Lung problems since 2009 and it’s getting worse va has tried lots of things but hasn’t
    fixed the problem. If you have any suggestions on how to proceed I would be grateful

    • CHARLES WEINACKER December 27, 2019 at 10:12 pm

      …I was in Brown Water Navy…Sadec/Binh Thuy…Home of Agent Orange…never blew 12 miles off…they want something for nothing…Cruise Ship out of Miami will be next…
      RIVER DIV 511
      COMBAT “V”

  12. ernesto andrade1616 December 27, 2019 at 10:33 am

    100% for snoring? what a joke ……try to get diagnose for neuropathy of arms and legs,you will be denied..though you received a 30% from diabetis and hypertension,30% of my salary from military and transferred to va to be tax free..my own pay !!!!!!

    • Robert Lacy jr December 28, 2019 at 3:20 am

      You should have some back issues also if you have Radiculopathy of the limbs because the nerve roots that send a signal to your limbs, comes from your cervical or lumbar spinal cord area. I just put in for my Radiculopathy rate increase of my rt leg 10% and left leg 10%.

  13. Leonard ( Butch) Wiggins December 27, 2019 at 3:05 am

    My husband was on The Peoria and Racine in Westpac waters; he served in the marines. We recd. a letter from VA to resubmit claim, which we did. He has dm type 2, hypertension, skin rashes diagnosed as tinea versicolor.
    He also used hand held and back pack sprayer in Okinawa on perimeters and base for weed control, but of course it is denied that this ever occurred.
    I hope this bill will help a lot of Veterans.

  14. L Kane December 26, 2019 at 10:20 pm

    All hands that served Aboard The USS Magoffin APA-199 Yrs.1965 Thru 1967 can make a claim to the VA .As we landed Marines On the Beachs. Was granted liberty Calls In Danang, And had Ships Partys On Danang Beachs ! The Magoffin & its Crew delivered barrels Of Agent Orange From Its Cargo Holds, some which were leaking to the bases in Danang. Commanding Officer Capt. Lacava USN . MG 199 / The Mighty Magoo

  15. L Kane December 26, 2019 at 9:48 pm

    I served on the USS Magoffin APA 199 /1965 thru 67 landing marines in the coastal waters Of veitnam.Our storage holds were full of bombs,trucks, ducks,also barrels of agent orange. We also had ship parties on Danang beachs, and the Capt.would sometimes grant us lliberty call,in Danang. I too was denied by the VA, for NO apparent reason, after having many medical problems,related to time served in veitnam. . Nic / The Mighty Magoo / MG 199 “The Last Commanding Officer” I beleive Was Capt.La Cava USN .

  16. Thomas Richard Scobey December 26, 2019 at 9:11 pm

    I served on the USS Comstock LSD-19 from April 1963 -April 1967. We made 8 different trips from San Diego California to DaNang, Chu Lai and even R&R in Saigon and various other places delivering Combat soldiers and their supplies in those ports. I never knew anything about Agent Orange until about 6 years ago. I too filed a claim for some problems I am having but to no avail. The VA said they don’t recognize my claim and denied it. What a shame we risked our lives and don’t get what we deserve for it.

  17. Robert W Bushley December 26, 2019 at 5:13 pm

    How do I find out if the USS Rosevelt CVA-42 qualifys as Blue water in 1966. We did 2 campaigns in Tonkin Gulf.

  18. Clint Eugene Dixon December 26, 2019 at 2:46 pm

    I served aboard USS Shangri-La CVA-38 during 1970. The ship went into Danang harbor to have elevator cables heloed too the ship. How do I get deck logs for the ship in 1970?

    • John Lyons December 26, 2019 at 4:48 pm

      My name is John Lyons and I was onboard for that cruise and have a copy of the official deck log. It gives date and time we entered Da -Hang harbor. Im rated 100% by the VA.

    • Richard M Hauzinger December 26, 2019 at 11:39 pm

      Clint, the VA did that years ago for every ship, blue water navy that was in Danang Harbor. That is not your responsibility, the VA did this when General Shazinski was VASecretary. I know I misspelled his name, but he was the secretary responsible for doing this. Good luck. Rich

    • Jane Knudsen January 4, 2020 at 11:15 pm

      Clint: My brother was on the USS Shangri-la West Pac in 1970.We submitted a claim in Sept 2019.
      Shang was in DaNang on June 21 1970 At 17:41 for parts for #3 elevator per command History. Also if you google
      oldbluewater.comShangri-la CVS38 shows deck log highlighted in RED as it shows ship was 12 miles in Vietnam. Hope this helps. Also a last cruise report from CDR. Jim Reid verified above information in this text. Thanks for your service…………

  19. Franklin Reed Sr December 26, 2019 at 11:04 am

    I am currently receiving benefits does this mean that I will be evaluated again.

  20. Richard A Mareesco December 26, 2019 at 10:36 am

    I understand that Mr. Bush signed a executive order that Unless you served ON LAND IN Vietnam you are not a vietnam vet,but still a vet. Now if you served on a ship with in 12 miles of Vietnam you a entitled to vietnam benefits if you qualify .If I served on a ship ,USS ticonderoga, 1n1964_65 in Vietnam WHY does the VA NOT CONSIDER ME A VIETNAM VET?

  21. Daniel J Wills December 26, 2019 at 9:42 am

    If you live in Dakota County Minnesota, make an appt. with Tim Mosey @ the county offices. He is knowledgeable and a bulldog for vets. I applied in July of 2019 & I am now @ 100% thanks to him. Good luck and don’t give up!

    • Ronald Riml January 1, 2020 at 12:21 pm


      You understand wrong – get a ‘Service Representative’ through the American Legion or VFW to get the correct information.

  22. Michael K. Reed December 26, 2019 at 8:55 am

    My apology to any veteran of Vietnam. I did a tour of duty aboard the USS Independence. From 1966 thru 1967. In that time period we did one West Pac cruise. It was the initial build up of ships and troops in country. I was part of a team of men that spent time loading drop tanks and other insidery devices for the sole purpose of destroying the foliage in Nam.
    I was one of those ship board sailors that most likely will never be compensated for any of the illnesses that have come up since that time.
    I have had nothing but trouble with my legs and hands since that time. I agree that we should be considered disabled just because they can.
    I have talked to several Vets from later years and they receive 100% for what I consider normal disorders of life.
    Oh well , again this country can call us killers but not keep us from being killed from “that” undeclared war.

  23. jim meehan December 26, 2019 at 7:59 am

    It is mind blowing the Blue Water Act ends at the 12nm mark. What a slap in the face to the Navy veterans that were stationed beyond it. I am not affected as I served in the Marine Corps in Quang Nam so its not about me. The language in this bill needs to change to include all.

    • Deborah Muth Marell December 26, 2019 at 4:58 pm

      It really sucks , my husband 101st airborne , purple heart , went thru hell in Vietnam had severe PTSD was already 80 percent and developed liver cancer and he was put in hospital and they brought him home at 9:30 at night without telling me . They told me he has 6 mths. of appts and so on . Well he was gone in 6 days so I never got him to the DAV to get him to 100 percent even though on all paperwork from VA hospital said he was 100 percent the big wigs still had him listed at 80 . Well as you know that’s a pay difference of 178.00 . So I struggle every day ( I’m disabled 55* curve in my back & more) so it’s hard . Yet a man I know that is 56 & NEVER had boots on the ground or any type of warranty is receiving 3,000 mthly ! I’m outraged !! Plus I now have PTSD from him … wives are getting it !

  24. Paul M. Rarick December 26, 2019 at 6:17 am

    I was a Marine in an amphibious assault battalion (Amtracs). We were always going back and forth to the ships offshore. We made many landings from those ships, carrying the infantry to shore. We spent many days in the rivers also.
    I just wonder if I would be eligible as I have a couple of the maladies listed?

    • Wanda Baier-Bordeaux December 26, 2019 at 10:58 am

      Yes. Go to a VSO to get the correct info on your claim.

  25. Jim December 26, 2019 at 5:42 am

    The Three Ds of the VA:

    1. Delay
    2. Deny
    3. Die

    I’m on the third D now…

  26. David Badillo December 26, 2019 at 2:34 am

    How about Marines who helped the Sea bees build a base in Nam Phong Thailand (The Rose Garden). They sprayed agent orange to kill the vegetation in 1972.

  27. Gerald Steven Wendt December 25, 2019 at 10:24 pm

    If anyone who thinks the do-nothing Congress, or the Trump administration is going to do the right thing for Vets who were exposed to Agent Orange, you’ve got another thing coming. I developed Juvenile diabetes about three years after I got out of the Navy. and the VA said it was hereditary, even though I’m the only one in my families history who has the disease. On the ship I was on we had leaking barrels of Agent Orange that we transported to Vietnam. No problem, some idiot in Minnesota said. To tell you the truth, I think the government just wants us to die. Then when most of us are gone, they’ll enact some lame-ass assistance for the few who are left.

  28. Bill Feldman December 25, 2019 at 10:14 pm

    I served on board the USS America CVA 66 in 1968 & 1969 in off shore support of the Vietnam War effort by the U.S. I have heart problems , cancer (castlemans disease), I have Type II DB, I have skin leasons; this has gone on for decades. VA is dragging thier feet; we got combat pay . Why can’t we get
    medical help promised us when we enlisted
    (Not drafted). My brother just died of heart disease 3 weeks ago. He also served on the USS Enterprise (CVN 65) 1967, 1968 off shore in Vietnam. He make one or two trips to DaNang to repair aircraft. Why can’t the U.S. come forward an accept responsibility
    For BWS…..

  29. Timothy L. O'Neil December 25, 2019 at 9:58 pm

    Merchant Mariners crewed US GOV (MARAD) owned RRF ships carrying supplies to US Forces in Vietnam and transit Vietnam coastland less than 12 miles off shore. Are they eligible?

  30. Ken Overton December 25, 2019 at 9:24 pm

    I’m happy for all who will be benefiting from this law. What happened to the Guam issue? I had read that those stationed on Guam, where they stored agent orange and other items, would also be included in this BWN bill.

  31. James Nixon December 25, 2019 at 9:00 pm

    I served three tours off the coast of Vietnam aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard, in 1968 1969 1970. I flew into Da Nang South Vietnam to repair aircraft three times. I have type two diabetes and several other conditions listed As presumptive conditions from exposure to agent orange. But for the last 10 years veterans benefits administration has denied All disability benefit applications.. Deny…Deny….Deny! The same will probably will be same for the BWN Disability Application. As Rambo said: “I didn’t give up on AMERICA, AMERICA gave up on ME!” When I returned to the United States in 1970 I went to a VA medical center, and was called a “baby killer”and a “dope addict” by employees inside that VA medical center, , even though I never saw a Vietnamese baby while out at sea, nor during any of my trips to the Da Nang air base. I did not use drugs before, during, or after Vietnam, despite what the VA seems to think of all Vietnam veterans. America, especially the Department of Veterans Affairs continues to treat VIET NA M VETERANS with distain and disgust.
    The BWN Legislation is just another way to get VIET NAM Veteran’s hopes up, only to bury them with letters of requests for further proof of disability and then DENY….DENY….DENY.
    In 1966 When called to serve: “I didn’t give up on AMERICA, but after serving, AMERICA gave up on ME!”

    • Jerald L. Hanson December 29, 2019 at 7:07 am

      James Nixon my husband Jerald Leroy Hanson also served aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard during the same years as you. He refers the ship as the Bonnie Dick!! It’s always good to touch base with former shipmates. We just recently heard about this Blue Water and have been reading up on it.

    • Jerald L. Hanson December 29, 2019 at 10:53 am

      I was also aboard the Bonhomme Richard in 1969 and 1970 I was a plane caption for VF53 we flew f8’s my name is Jerry Hanson

  32. Sherman Patton December 25, 2019 at 8:13 pm

    If you are a bonafied Blue Water elgible claiment and are having difficultities with VA, send a email to local your state senator thru their web site. Vern Buchanan from Florida makes things happens for vets!

  33. HENRY LANGLOIS December 25, 2019 at 7:34 pm

    Station were they tested agent orange,, so there was higher and lower amount at base…don’t expect anything from VA or Government….why should they, I was drafted

  34. Greg o December 18, 2019 at 9:07 am

    My ship spent a long period off the Vietnam coastline in 1976. I developed bizarre rashes not long after and after discharge, dr.’s at the va stated that it was surely agent orange related rashes. So, I’m to be left out and suffer until death with this condition? Nice.

    • Ed Ball December 25, 2019 at 8:16 pm

      Greg, you may want to consider looking at the EPA Superfund sites, I’ve created a worksheet to show the EPA Contaminants to Homeports, Naval Shipyards, ports visited etc.. of military installations. It’s crossed referenced with the CDC ATSDR Profile for each chemical found in the military installation that would suffice in generating the medical evidence for your condition that you could easily share with your doctor to review your VA Claims folder and utilize in obtaining the Independent Medical Opinion. TRAVIS AFB groundwater is contaminated with TCDD/Dioxin, along with 19 other military installations.

  35. Dallas Snell December 17, 2019 at 4:01 pm

    Fascinating. So I take it just vanishes on the 1st of September 1971 like it did on the DMZ in Korea. Magical stuff. Forgive me if I just don’t get it.

  36. Fernando Martinez December 16, 2019 at 3:14 pm

    fellow veterans, please don’t get your hopes up high! Me and my fellow Thailand Agent Orange exposed Veterans have all but exhausted our efforts in filing for disabilities. I have two of a number of maladies identified by VA as presumed exposure to this herbicide. I was stationed in Thailand in Jan 68-69, period and location identified by VA as required situations to accept a claim. They have disapproved my claims 3 times in the last 10 years! Sendings reams of proof, you want to know what the ask me? PROVE IT! Forget your congressmen, they either don’t care to answer or they’ll send you forms on which to apply for disability, there are no supervisors or whom to complain to, you will never speak to the same person twice, you never know at what stage your application is at. I’ve heard many times that VA’s policy is DENY TIL THEY DIE! You know what? They are succeeding. Almost everyday I see in our veterans blog where more and agent orange exposed veterans are dying. Don’t give up, apply, apply, they’ll try o discourage you. Good luck,

    • William Selman December 26, 2019 at 3:42 am

      hey, try contacting a James McElfresh, Veterns Angels LLC, Parowan, Utah. He will help you get your claim thru to approval. The VA hates him. That and the DAV will help. You need to join the DAV first but that’s inexpensive considering the hell you’re putting up with now. Note: one of the things they’ll ask you is why your discharge medical papers don’t reflect Agent Orange medical problems. You need to ask them to write out that request in writing; you, the vet. need to show proof you were exposed to AO at the time you were discharged via your medical discharge papers. Why? Well, in 1968-’69 Agent Orange was still being used and the government insisted they didn’t know there was any problem with Agent Orange until about 1972. So, if the government (VA) insists you need medical data from your discharge to prove you had exposure problems with Agent Orange, one could surmise and prove in court that the government knew there was problems with using Agent Orange in 1968-69!!! Imagine the brouhaha that would cause. What a lawyer could do with that info; the gov’t knowingly and willingly using a dangerous and poisonous substance on their troops. Press the point. As long as you can prove/show that the VA wants you to prove you were exposed to AO in ’68-’69 (the only way is thru your medical discharge papers), you have them by the nuts. Good luck and remember that your payment goes back to the first date you filed your claim (the VA states there is a 7 yr limitation but if you are not the reason the claim has gone on for more than 7 years, then you press the point that the VA is responsible for the delay – not you). Oh, McElfresh will go anywhere to assist; he’s not stuck in Utah, legally or otherwise.

  37. Kristy L O'Keefe December 15, 2019 at 12:05 am

    Spell check changed some words, my apologies, compensation not complicated. ..

    • Forrest December 26, 2019 at 7:28 am

      Kristy Okeefe, I agree with everything you just said. You could have written my letter, it is so close

    • Tina Baldwin December 26, 2019 at 8:19 pm

      Check out internet the chart has the amount of Agent. Orange that was sprayed for each year in Vietnam the highest year was 1967-1968. My husband was there and he only received 30%f for heart. Make sure if you go VA hospital get all your medical records. My husband passed away prior to his death he was denied increase of compensation. When he passed I requested his medical records I found that his medical records were copied and pasted. When you go for increase in compensation you have your medical records make sure they are correct. Thank God I received DIC.

    • Kim December 31, 2019 at 12:29 pm

      Just letting you know you do not have to join the DAV to get help with any claims. It a service we do to help veterans for free.

  38. Kristy L OKeefe December 14, 2019 at 11:53 pm

    People also don’t realise that we also drink the Ocean water, yes recycled but you can still taste the salt, our food is made from it, our drinking water, we take showers, so many health problems come from the water…These issues should also be taken a hard look at, so many veterans suffer do to the fact of salt water…we should be taken care off, all veterans should be 100% taken care for life and be calmlpicated!

    • Kristy L O'Keefe December 15, 2019 at 12:01 am

      People also don’t realise that we also drink the Ocean water, yes recycled but you can still taste the salt, our food is made from it, our drinking water, we take showers, so many health problems come from the water…These issues should also be taken a hard look at, so many veterans suffer do to the fact of salt water.. skin problems, hair loss, stomach problems and so much more, .we should be taken care off, all veterans should be 100% taken care for life and be compensation…

  39. Steve Ramirez December 14, 2019 at 11:51 am

    Your blog is incorrect. “This Act was signed into law on Jun. 25, and extends the presumption of herbicide exposure, such as Agent Orange, to BWN Veterans who served as far as 12 nautical miles from the shore of Vietnam… “ – It should read: not more than 12 nautical miles seaward from the coordinates listed in PL 116-23. That’s NOT 12 nm from shore!

  40. Ed Ball December 13, 2019 at 8:43 pm

    Work smarter, not harder! BWN Veterans who served as far as 12 nautical miles from the shore of Vietnam? Negative!! Procopio v Wilkie and HR 299 / Public Law 113-26 both allow out to the Straight Baseline (demarcation points) plus 12nm beyond the straight baseline known as the Territorial Sea IAW U.N. Convention and Law of the Sea 1982, Part II articles 2, 3 and 7. For those receiving denial letters in Clear and Unmistakable Error on the VA’s part, submit for appeal.

    The Agent Orange Act of 1991 has been reinstated based on Congressional intent, and the Federal Circuit Court’s Haas decision overturned.

    Recommend plot the USS Intrepid CVS-11, July 1966 deck logs while Alfred Procopio served onboard, you will find the closest approach to shore was 26.8nm off Dixie Station in the Mekong Delta region, as determined by the Federal Circuit Court decision of Jan 29, 2019, unlike the 12nm from shore as erroneously cited in this blog.

    To further deny Blue Water Navy claims based on your reasoning from shore, is not only unprofessional but a waste of limited taxpayer’s resource dollars that leads to a major bottleneck in your appeals process. Blue Water Navy Veterans deserve better. Ed Ball, RMC(SW) USN, Ret.

    • Robert Carroll December 23, 2019 at 2:52 pm

      I served in the Tonkin Gulf aboard the aircraft carrier USS America, 1968. The claims for thousands of carrier sailors are being denied. The VA has come up with a way to cheat us all. They came up with a phony excuse that the carriers served outside the 12 mile limit. Who made this up? We appealed to Congress for relief from this stupid premise and we were denied. So everyBlue Water Navy Vet will now get benefits EXCEPT those of us that served on carriers. I expected to be screwed when the BWN act was passed and I was right.

      • Bonnie Fletcher December 25, 2019 at 7:34 pm

        Curious if you have been able to locate deck records for your time on the America. We have for the time my husband was on the America in 1972 showing the carrier was within 4 nm.

        We plan to continue with the claim.

        • George C Atkinson December 26, 2019 at 11:39 am

          I also served aboard the USS America from July 1972 to April 1973 and would like to see the deck records showing the ship was within 4 nm off the coast of Vietnam. I have tried to find that information without success. There were thousands of sailors onboard during that time, they should not be excluded from the BWN disability benefits.

        • Bonnie Fletcher December 27, 2019 at 9:54 am

          Navy Deck Logs: The National Archives has digitized a sizable number of deck logs for Navy ships. The digitized deck logs are available on this site: https://www.archives.gov/research/military/logbooks/navy-online

          (2) Carrier Reports: The Blue Water Navy Association prepared a series of very useful reports presenting information on when Aircraft Carriers entered the territorial seas off Vietnam within the required 12 nautical miles of the baseline.

          Impressively, these reports provide you with the page number of the ship’s Deck Log where the information about the ship entering the territorial seas can be verified.

          Here is the link to their collection of reports: http://oldbluewater.com/carriers/carrierreports.htm

          I hope that this helps. Have a great evening, and thank you for all that you do for Veterans and their families.

    • Jerry January 9, 2020 at 1:30 pm

      So are you saying Alfred Procopio will not win his claim, because of being to far out to sea?

  41. Victor Sellers December 13, 2019 at 5:57 pm

    I was boots on ground in Vietnam, was hospitalized for 21 days before being medivac’d out under mis-diagnosis, spending another week hospitalized before being released. 28 hospitalized the first time, but I never recovered, never got well, and deteriorated for decades, and hospitalized again and again. My medical records were intentionally withheld for 44 years, along with all medical care, all service connection, and all benefits unjustly withheld including the medical treatment records still withheld today. My medals were even withheld, and I was hospitalized due to Agent Orange causing a skin disease. Boots on Ground, Hospitalized for a month with a skin disease (Agent Orange), P-3 Permanent Profile on DA3349, Permanent Defects acquired in my Physical Capacity and Stamina due to Service in Vietnam, was non deployable, could not perform my physical requirements, but was Honorably Discharged. My dependents were also denied all due benefits even though I was documented having permanent defects being acquired in Vietnam. I was deceived all my adult life and the evidence purposely withheld.

    • Victor Sellers December 26, 2019 at 12:07 am

      I am still waiting for justice since I first became ill in the service during basic training in 1970 where I was hospitalized with tonsillitis or worse, but literally and physically picked up By two Drill Sargents out of bed, dressed, and carried out against the medical officers orders. The officer cowed down in fear and allowed it. After being hospitalized a month in Vietnam and immune system weakened, I acquired Group A Streptococcus with Pharyngitis, Group B Disease, a TBI made permanently worse with brain lesions and a hypodensity, a stroke, “undetermined organism “ in my lungs and blood, peripheral neuropathy, chloracne, urinating blood, liver damage from a Tropical Disease, parasites in my eyes, Migraine Headaches, extremely low blood pressure, spinal stenosis, degenerative bone disease, permanent defects in my physical capacity and stamina, tendinitis, tinnitus, hearing disability, knee injury, broken coccyx, unexplained fevers, fibromyalgia and a dozen more problems and deceived about my medical records being lost, but never were lost. I should have been medically retired, but instead denied all justice, all access to medical records and all service connection.

Comments are closed.

More Stories

  • A claims representative has been assigned to Little Rock VA hospital satellite office to assist Veterans, spouses and survivors with their VA benefits needs.

  • No matter what stage of life you are in, VA’s Insurance Service has a program tailored to fit the unique needs of you and your family.

  • In the aftermath of Hurricanes Fiona and Ian, VA has benefits and resources for Veterans and families impacted by this natural disaster.