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Common VA Disabilities


14 Questions about Veterans Disability Compensation Benefits Claims 

When a Veteran starts considering whether or not to file a VA Disability Claim, there are a lot of questions that he or she tends to ask. Over the last 10 years, the following are the 14 most common basic questions I am asked about when it comes to filing VA Disability Claims.

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Rodney White

Agent Orange Was Leaking In April 1972 On Johnston Island. Fw: In Memory, My Health, Our Day In Va Appeals Court


Subject: [VeteranIssues] Agent Orange was leaking in April 1972 on Johnston Island. FW: In Memory, My Health, Our Day in VA Appeals CourtDate: May 30, 2011 10:41 AM

From: Paul E. Travis [mailto:poppy0200@hotmail.com]

Sent: Monday, May 30, 2011 12:32 PM

Subject: In Memory, My Health, Our Day in VA Appeals Court

Importance: High

We probably all know someone in the Military that gave the Ultimate Sacrifice for our Country.

This may have happened in some far off place, or back home from their wounds, exposure to God only

knows what (AO or other deadly contaminants) or even suicide due to PTSD. Also don't forget those

that were contractors and those in USO Tours that were supporting our troops! Many are fighting

deadly diseases due to Agent Orange exposure in Vietnam and elsewhere.

Every year in Washington DC, the Rolling Thunder Ride takes place with thousands of Motorcycles

that rides through DC to honor our fallen Vets. For the last few years, some of my sons and my

grandsons take part in this ride and proudly displays the US and MIA flags (could be t-shirts or flags)

on their ride. Just their way of saying THANKS to our Veterans!

To ALL Veterans and Families, from all eras, Thank You For Your Sacrifices For Our Country!!


Many of you already know that on April 28th a growing tumor (3.7 x 3.7mm) was found during a follow-up

PET Scan. This tumor was significantly larger than the previous PET in Oct 2010, but was confusing because

the nuclear isotopes didn't "light up". Not surprising because liposarcoma's are extremely hard to detect and

determine the size using any current technology (MRI, CT, PET).

In the past, every time that a tumor was found and a surgery performed, the surgeons found additional tumors

and/or much larger tumors. The 1st one in 1999, CT and MRI indicated a large tumor, but when the surgeon

went in, the liposarcoma weighed 26 lbs and was the size of 2 footballs. This was the 1st time I was asked if

I was exposed to Agent Orange.

My Oncologist sent me to a top rated Oncology Surgeon to see if the liposarcoma could be removed. After

meeting with a special Medical Tumor Board, they decided that a further MRI scan was needed. They were

also confused as to the size that showed up in the PET scan films. Then another Tumor Board evaluation.

The following Tuesday, 5-24-2011, we seen the Surgeon again. The tumor is extremely large, attached

to my back muscles again, extending high up in my left side and down into my pelvis. It also encases a large

portion of what is left of my small intestines (remainder my large intestine were removed in 1999). The

surgeon then told Sandy and I that he was sorry, but there was nothing he could do as the tumor is inoperable.

We went to see our Oncologist's Nurse with our news and we have started the process of getting Medicare and

Tricare to pay for chemo. Chemo may start late this week or next week. We believe the tumor is rapidly growing,

around a foot long and Stage IV. We know that again, God has stepped in and will STOP this Tumor!!!


We want to THANK EVERYONE that helped us with our fight with to get VA to recognize that Agent Orange was

leaking on Johnston Island starting in April 1972. Our VA Appeals Court date was on 5-26-2011. This is a

synopsis of what we used during our presentation to the VA Judge. Scott, An American Legion VSO prompted us

on questions that we had already decided on using. After reviewing our documentation, he indicated it was one of

the strongest cases of proof for a win he had seen. I was on JI, an island 1/2 mile wide by 2 miles long,

Nov 1972 thru Nov 1973. Impossible to get away from dangerous conditions.

As those of us hunting for others that were on JI in the early 70's we found out that most were gone, primarily

because of AO on Johnston Atoll. I hope we can get this information to their families, plus others still here

and fighting AO. We remember Harvey Hollister, a very close friend that we fished and worked together. He

went to be with God last year. Another of Harvey's, Richard's and my close friend, is Wilbur Bubb. He was the

Protestant Chaplin on JI and has proved that it pays to be one with God -- he has no illnesses from AO.

VA states that AO did not start leaking on JI until 1974 (based on Alvin Young's documentation),

and then only a minimal amount. I had a Alvin Young document where he took 200 samples on JI in 1972

and found TCDD as high as 47 u/ug (ppm, gets deadly on anything over "parts per trillion").

With Gods help finding documentation from all over, we found a Johnston Atoll History document that included

proof from Contractor Holmes & Narver (they managed the Agent Orange storage) that 8,990 55-gal drums of

AO were leaking in April 1972 on Johnston Island.

We used another strong Johnston Island (JI) History document that Richard put together a few years ago that

proved AO, deadly nerve and mustard Gas, asbestos and radiation were everywhere, including AO in our

potable water.

We used three VA Appeals Court wins by other JI Vets that proved our living quarters were near the AO storage area,

an open Pit of AO 75' by 100' (probable re-drumming area) of AO and the 3rd, just granted AO Exposure.

We used Charlie's VA DRO win document and Richard's VA DRO win documents (with their permission letters).

We used a strong Buddy Statement from Richard who has leukemia and 100% due to AO on JI. He was on the Rock

at the same time as me and we worked together in the Comm Center, the AFRS radio station with Harvey Hollister

and photography. We were both there on the day in the late summer of 1973, that Capt Alvin Young told us not to

worry about AO in our water, they only found traces. They never documented the water contamination until the

later 1970's.

We used another strong Buddy Statement from Norbert and a "Reverse Osmosis" study document that proved AO

could get through the RO process (from scientists in Australia). Norbert is 90% with 100% UI because of JI.

We used a NOAA document that proved Hurricane Celeste hit Johnston Island on Aug 19, 1972 with winds measured

at 105 kn. All people were evacuated from JI before it hit. This blew AO from the open to all over the Atoll.

We used a www.cancer.gov document that stated Soft Tissue Sarcomas come from primarily Radiation or

Herbicides, and that cancer can take up to 30 years to develop. Govt's own website.

Used an VA Agent Orange Registry Exam results letter that stated "liposarcoma is a Agent Orange disease".

Lesli provided a Congressional Research document on VA Presumptive exposures of AO.

I also found and used many documents from VVA, Neils' Johnston Island website, Col Dan, Charles Kelly's website,

Chuck and Chuck who provided lots of help, and so many more who is part of the fight with VA and Congress to

provide real help for the ill Veterans.

When I arrived on JI in Nov 72 and when Richard arrived in Jan 73, we could smell a strong odor we later found out

to be Agent Orange. We were more worried about the reasons we were issued a Gas Mask and Atropine to be carried

24x7 (for protection from nerve and mustard gas leaks). We also noticed lots of rabbits, who would 1st react from leaks.

At the end of our presentation to the VA Judge, she Thanked us for a great presentation and we stated we would send all

of our proof to them, even though we had some duplicates from my VA File (our 3 1/2 inches of documentation is easier

to go through than the 2 1/2 feet of my VA file).

Our VSO stated that he was 99.99% sure that we won our case, even without providing our documentation, just based

on our testimony. We are also sure we won because of God's help!!

Remember the Vietnam people who are ravaged with diseases many generations after being exposed to AO.

Thanks to all , family and friends and strangers, from all over that Prayed for my health!! Couldn't be here without you!!

Again, Thank You to all who has helped us in our fight!!

God Bless!!

Paul and Sandy.....

AGENT ORANGE -- The Unwanted Gift From The Govt, That Gives Until Death !!

__._,_.___ "Keep on, Keepin' on"

Dan Cedusky, Champaign IL "Colonel Dan"

See my web site at:



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3 answers to this question

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I was on Johnston Island from July 20, 1971 through July 21, 1972. I now have medical issues and believe they are related to agent orange exposure. I need any help I can get to prove that we were exposed. Thanks so much for any information you might have

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There have been Agent Orange awards over the years regarding service exposure to herbicides that was not incountry-Vietnam service (such as Thailand and Korea DMZ vets- the actual AO regulations and criteria for those vets are here at hadit under a search.)

I posted this BVA case here a few years ago:

In part:

“The service records document that the appellant was stationed

on Johnston Island from June 1975 to July 1976. In support

of his claim, the appellant submitted a letter from the

Department of the Army, dated in May 1975, welcoming him to

his assignment to the 267th Chemical Company on Johnston

Island. An orientation packet notes that the mission of the

267th Chemical Company, noted to also be known as "Red Hat,"

was to provide for the storage, maintenance, security,

issuance, and surveillance of chemical munitions.

In a July 2005 statement in support of the claim, the

appellant stated that upon arriving on Johnston Island, he

was provided with a gas mask, and that on his way to his

guard post every day, he passed by oxidizing drums of Agent

Orange. In correspondence received from a fellow service

member in July 2005, the individual noted that during his

service on Johnston Island from July 1975 to August 1976, he

observed hundreds of barrels of Agent Orange that were stored

in 50-gallon drums in an open air compound in close proximity

to the post and barracks. It was noted that the barrels

appeared to have been "oxidized" as a result of exposure to

the salt water surrounding the island, and that on two or

three occasions, alerts of possible wind shifts were issued

nearly causing the island to be evacuated during monsoon



These claims require

1.diagnosis of a presumptive Agent Orange illness (the presumtive list is here under a search)

  1. And proof of direct exposure to AO or, as this BVA decisions says,

“In the present case, while the appellant has not established

that he was personally exposed to the herbicide agents, there

is sufficient evidence to imply that the appellant was at

least in the vicinity of the Agent Orange herbicide. The

evidence of record establishes that the appellant was on

Johnston Island and that there were at least residuals of

Agent Orange on Johnston Island and/or Agent Orange was

stored on the island. Applying the reasoning of Pentecost

and Suozzi, supra, the Board finds that this evidence tends

to establish that the appellant was exposed to herbicide

agents while serving on Johnston Island. Thus, having

resolved doubt in favor of the appellant, the Board concludes

that there is sufficient verification that the appellant was

exposed to herbicide agents on Johnston Island.”

Here is another AO Johnston Island award:


If a veteran has a presumptive AO illness, with internet research,military personnel records, buddy statements, and by using some of the same types of evidence this vet above used, these claims can succeed.

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