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Ao - Presumptive - Blue Water - Federal Register



"After careful review of the IOM report, Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans and Agent Orange Exposure, the Secretary has determined that the evidence available at this time does not support establishing a presumption of exposure to herbicides for Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans. VA will continue to accept and review all Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veteran claims based on herbicide exposure on a case-by-case basis. The Secretary's determination not to establish a presumption of exposure does not in any way preclude VA from granting service connection on a case-by-case basis for diseases and conditions associated with Agent Orange exposure, nor does it change any existing rights or procedures."

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That just continues the VA's current and past treatment of Blue Water Veterans. (What else is new)

The "paucity" of data has been a long standing problem, along with it's use to deny claims.

Given that the military and the government had the ability and responsibility to gather and preserve data,

this excuse should be looked at very closely.

Many of the blue water ships were scrapped at or towards the end of the Vietnam war, or totally refurbished and sold to other countries.

In 1967-68, the "Brown Water" ships I was assigned to had the linings of the fresh water tanks removed and replaced.

The linings are believed to have helped "concentrate" A/O residue, and the fresh water systems on the ships were designed to remove salt,

with no ability to remove dioxins. Indeed, the process very likely concentrated dioxins.

Some of the shop's captains refused to "take on" fresh water at certain ports/bases in Vietnam.

I later found out that the ports were those in areas that had extensive A/O use for defoliation.

Vung Tau/ China Beach comes to mind as one.

I believe that there was some knowledge of a problem at command levels, but don't know the details.

Perhaps the most obvious evidence of the VA's entrenched position is the Da Nang harbor debacle.

A river, along with runoff from the adjacent ex USAF base drains into the bay and harbor.

Upriver A/O spraying (Defoliation) was fairly extensive.

A/O spray aircraft and A/O storage existed at the base, and remediation efforts funded in part by the US exist today.

An interesting example of the VA's inconsistency might be that of helicopter pilots assigned to recovery missions flown from "Blue Water" ships.

The pilots, if mission logs or other information show recovery missions, etc. in or around Vietnam, are presumptive for A/O.

Helicopter crew on the same mission, as a general rule, were not. ????

Edited by Chuck75

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Chuck, you are so right as to not only the word “entrenched”, but using the word “debacle” to describe the Danang Harbor situation.

One only has to look at topographical maps of the area of Danang Harbor (to include the actual spraying maps I put link to here years ago) to realize how faulty some of these studies are.

You made some great points here.

Nothing has changed and I expect the ship's list to even grow more.

But that will take some solid research on the part of more Blue Water claimants....who, in fact, have ensured the VA AO Ship's list has grown to this point ..... but time is the enemy of veterans, not the VA or the IOM.

Yesterday Gold Star Wives sent me this documentary link regarding AO in Okinawa for any vet interested:

I think it is about 45 minutes long ...have not had time yet to watch it.

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