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AO Mother and Son of Veteran - Followup info from previous topic


Foxhound6

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Berta and all. Here is what I have so far from my friend and his mother that I was speaking about the other day. From what I can tell, They do have the DD214 and DD215's. However, there DD214 itself does not show any type of locations of service as the newer ones do.It does show a previous command which I assume is the one he deployed with. I took notice of the "Foreign/Seas service" section of his 214 and noticed he has Foreign service for 11 months and 20 or so days, just long enough to be in Vietnam... However, I feel I may have to dig up records pertaining to that unit at the time in order to prove it? I am unsure on that exactly. It was also strange they had 2 DD215's, also unsure what to make of that. *edit - I remember the wife speaking about the veteran making a stop in Okinawa before Vietnam. I found a unit that fits that timeline of when the veteran would have arrive in Okinawa to link up with as a support engineer. I dont have a way to confirm, but it fits...:

" On July 4, 1965, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines was ordered to Vietnam. During this first year 9th Marines took part in approximately 45 battalion-sized and several company-sized operations. During the next four years 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines operated in or around Danang, Hue, Phu Bai, Dong Ha, Camp Carrol, Cam Lo, Con Thien, Than Cam Son, Quanq Tri, Cua Viet, Vandergrift Combat Base and Khe Sanh. For its actions in Vietnam 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines was awarded a third Presidential Unit Citation, a bronze star in lieu of second award of the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal with two silver stars, and Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm. In August 1969, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines left Vietnam and returned to Okinawa. Its role in the Southeast Asian Conflict ended with the recapture of the Mayaquez and the landing on Koh Tang Island in May 1975 (Veteran completed his training sometime in 1969). In February 1979, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines became the first battalion to rotate to the United States as part of the unit deployment program. " via http://www.2ndbattalion9thmarines.org/About_Us

As far as medical is concerned, I believe I have enough to prove the VA wrong. The mother has HUNDREDS upon HUNDREDS of medical records pertaining to his disability. I couldn't copy them all but I found many pertinent ones that show the initial DX plus ongoing treatment. I am posting all of it here in hopes someone might make more sense of it along with the Rating decision. Sorry for some of the photos, the mother found more docs after I left and sent them via her phone.

 

DD214 Edited.jpg

DD215 69 Edited.jpg

DD215 72 Edited.jpg

Foreign Service Field Highlight.png

Rating 1 Edited.jpg

Rating 2 Edited.jpg

Rating 3 Edited.jpg

Rating 4 Edited.jpg

Matt Spina Bifida_Redacted.pdf

Edited by Foxhound6
Possible unit
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Foxhound6 If he was in Vietnam, that is where I would concentrate. I do not doubt that there was AO in Okinowa as well as many other stations. But to win for exposure, though not impossible, is very difficult. I found this article https://www.stripes.com/news/2-vets-win-agent-orange-exposure-cases-from-okinawa-1.457227

The point is AO is presumptive if the veteran was in-country for ANY length of time for Vietnam, but for just about anyplace else the VA will require proof of direct exposure. Example, the marine was unloading barrels of the stuff and has pics that show the containers indicating the labels and a sign showing the base in the background. They will fight tooth and nail to deny the connection, because it will open up another avenue for veterans to win claims. Of course if he was not in Vietnam, then you would have to concentrate on the facts that you have. One way might be to show his unit was deployed to Vietnam XXX time period; his 201 file (service records) would have some evidence he was in the unit during that time period; therefore, he was IN Vietnam. You have to be creative; looking a pics of him with a unit patch would help if you can I D the location. Buddy letters: if you can get confirmation via a buddy he served with, etc. is great evidence. Just keep digging. Best of luck.

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Foxhound 6 Sorry but I am having a hard time reading the doc's you included. I do see that he doesn't have any awards noted on his  dd214 for Vietnam medals. That would be a help but not necessary. I don't know what was included on the dd215. If the mom has more doc's, what you are looking for is something that would show he was in Vietnam. So, if there are any pay vouchers, if they included "combat pay", that would be evidence. If he was transported by ship (instead of flight) in-country, what was the ship's name and look up when did they doc and where? Does it match up with when he started getting "combat pay?" on the flightIf transport for R&R to Australia, etc. , any evidence of the flight going in or out? If she can come up with anything, then you submit a form to correct his dd214 (into another dd215.) Once they show "foreign service", she has a part of the puzzle. It is not unusual for Vietnam veterans not to show service there; way more frequent than one would think. The problem being that it is such an important doc, that it really takes very good evidence to correct or add info once it is signed off.

 

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3 hours ago, GBArmy said:

Foxhound 6 Sorry but I am having a hard time reading the doc's you included. I do see that he doesn't have any awards noted on his  dd214 for Vietnam medals. That would be a help but not necessary. I don't know what was included on the dd215. If the mom has more doc's, what you are looking for is something that would show he was in Vietnam. So, if there are any pay vouchers, if they included "combat pay", that would be evidence. If he was transported by ship (instead of flight) in-country, what was the ship's name and look up when did they doc and where? Does it match up with when he started getting "combat pay?" on the flightIf transport for R&R to Australia, etc. , any evidence of the flight going in or out? If she can come up with anything, then you submit a form to correct his dd214 (into another dd215.) Once they show "foreign service", she has a part of the puzzle. It is not unusual for Vietnam veterans not to show service there; way more frequent than one would think. The problem being that it is such an important doc, that it really takes very good evidence to correct or add info once it is signed off.

 

Yeah sorry about those. Ill get better docs when I go back over later. His dd214 DOES show  about 12 months of Foreign service. So that's what I am trying to focus on. He was in Okinawa for a short time as well which lines up with some deployments there. The mother is looking for photos of him in uniform (maybe see some unit patches). Also asking other relatives if they remember anything or have letters, etc. I found it very odd to have the foreign service time but no other record of it.

 

Note* Uploaded Older DD214 - New one shows 11 mo Foreign duty, have the 215s as well. Also found some older photos. Perhaps some may recognize object or the area? A camp name perhaps? These photos could be from when in Okinawa or Nam. Not sure. Not having too much luck with being able to show being in country so far..Or if maybe a camp in Okinawa possibly housed AO chems and being a loader, had some sort of exposure? Thanks for any info!

 

sam loader.jpg

sam 2.jpg

Old 214.JPG

Edited by Foxhound6
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GBArmy

That's exactly the plan. The wife found the NPRC records that Senator McCain got for her (she wrote him) at the time. I found a lot more info about his movements and things of that nature. I feel like I just need to show this unit was there at the time. It shows him going to replacement CO in CAMPEN then onto H&S Bn, 3dFSR FMFPAC. Here are the PDF files I created for these documents. If anyone could look them over with some knowledge of how things ran back then I would greatly appreciate it. It seems like the times he claimed to be in Nam, he is a ghost on paper except for being assigned to that SptCo at H&S Bn, 3dFSR:

 

Sam service record_Redacted.pdf Sam stuff.pdf travel Sam Edited.pdf enlist.ent Sam_Redacted.pdf

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Fleming Veterans Law Judge Board of Veterans’ Appeals https://www.va.gov/vetapp20/files4/20029600.txt But in this case the BVA stated: "The Board previously denied this claim in a February 2019 decision finding the most persuasive evidence of record did not support a nexus between hypertension and service or his PTSD.   With regard to Agent Orange exposure, the Board noted recent NAS findings (the most recent Agent Orange update) indicative of “limited or suggestive” association between hypertension and herbicide exposure, but found such association was not conclusive in this Veteran’s specific case.  Rather, according to a June 2018 VA examiner’s opinion and the examiner’s research into the relevant medical literature, a connection between Agent Orange exposure and the development of hypertension would only be possible within individuals in the Army Chemical Corps whom directly handled herbicides. Since the Veteran served as an M-113 armored personal carrier and not in the Army Chemical Corps, the June 2018 VA examiner found a nexus in this case unlikely.  The Board denied the claim mainly relying on the June 2018 VA examiner’s opinion." Yet in this case ,the BVA stated: "The February 2019 Board denial was vacated and remanded by virtue of a February 2020 JMR.  Therein, the parties agreed that the June 2018 VA examination relied upon by the Board was inadequate.   In particular, the parties agreed the matter was previously remanded in September 2015 and again in September 2016 for a VA examiner to specifically consider the 2012 NAS conclusion that found suggestive evidence of an association between herbicide exposure and hypertension notwithstanding that VA has not added hypertension to the list of conditions presumptively associated with Agent Orange exposure.   In contrast, the June 2018 VA examiner noted review of the Journal of Occupational Environmental Medicine, but no specific mention or consideration of the NAS Agent Orange update.  The examiner found a nexus between hypertension and Agent Orange exposure unlikely because “[e]xposure to herbicides is not presumptive for service connection.”  While the examiner noted suggestive data of a connection between hypertension and Agent Orange exposure where a serviceman had more direct handling of herbicides, there is nothing in the VA examination report that indicates the examiner specifically considered the NAS Agent Orange update as directed in two prior Board remands." This case was decided  a little over 3 weeks later than the other one I posted first here.  SHEREEN M. MARCUS Veterans Law Judge Board of Veterans’ Appeals https://www.va.gov/vetapp20/files5/20032464.txt Yet the two AO Hypertension awards ( maybe there are more by now) clearly refers to (as I did in the accrued claim I have pending) tothe most recent AO HBP NAs report which Ihave posted here in the AO forum months ago: "In the alternative, as explained above, the Veteran is presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange in service and the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) moved hypertension from the “limited or suggestive” category and indicated that there is now “sufficient evidence” of an association between hypertension and Agent Orange exposure. See Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 11 (2018). Also, early onset peripheral neuropathy is a disease that is presumed to be associated with herbicide agent exposure. 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Veterans Law Judge Board of Veterans’ Appeals https://www.va.gov/vetapp20/files4/20029600.txt But in this case the BVA stated:   "The Board previously denied this claim in a February 2019 decision finding the most persuasive evidence of record did not support a nexus between hypertension and service or his PTSD. With regard to Agent Orange exposure, the Board noted recent NAS findings (the most recent Agent Orange update) indicative of “limited or suggestive” association between hypertension and herbicide exposure, but found such association was not conclusive in this Veteran’s specific case. Rather, according to a June 2018 VA examiner’s opinion and the examiner’s research into the relevant medical literature, a connection between Agent Orange exposure and the development of hypertension would only be possible within individuals in the Army Chemical Corps whom directly handled herbicides. Since the Veteran served as an M-113 armored personal carrier and not in the Army Chemical Corps, the June 2018 VA examiner found a nexus in this case unlikely. The Board denied the claim mainly relying on the June 2018 VA examiner’s opinion."   Yet in this case ,the BVA stated: "The February 2019 Board denial was vacated and remanded by virtue of a February 2020 JMR. Therein, the parties agreed that the June 2018 VA examination relied upon by the Board was inadequate. In particular, the parties agreed the matter was previously remanded in September 2015 and again in September 2016 for a VA examiner to specifically consider the 2012 NAS conclusion that found suggestive evidence of an association between herbicide exposure and hypertension notwithstanding that VA has not added hypertension to the list of conditions presumptively associated with Agent Orange exposure. In contrast, the June 2018 VA examiner noted review of the Journal of Occupational Environmental Medicine, but no specific mention or consideration of the NAS Agent Orange update. The examiner found a nexus between hypertension and Agent Orange exposure unlikely because “[e]xposure to herbicides is not presumptive for service connection.” While the examiner noted suggestive data of a connection between hypertension and Agent Orange exposure where a serviceman had more direct handling of herbicides, there is nothing in the VA examination report that indicates the examiner specifically considered the NAS Agent Orange update as directed in two prior Board remands." This case was decided a little over 3 weeks later than the other one I posted first here. SHEREEN M. MARCUS Veterans Law Judge Board of Veterans’ Appeals https://www.va.gov/vetapp20/files5/20032464.txt Yet the two AO Hypertension awards ( maybe there are more by now) clearly refers to (as I did in the accrued claim I have pending) tothe most recent AO HBP NAs report which Ihave posted here in the AO forum months ago:   "In the alternative, as explained above, the Veteran is presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange in service and the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) moved hypertension from the “limited or suggestive” category and indicated that there is now “sufficient evidence” of an association between hypertension and Agent Orange exposure. See Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 11 (2018). Also, early onset peripheral neuropathy is a disease that is presumed to be associated with herbicide agent exposure. Lastly, the Board has awarded service connection for diabetes mellitus and hypertension and neuropathy are recognized by VA as being potential complications of diabetes." And "The clinician must provide reasons for each opinion given. In this regard, the clinician should address the NAS’s determination that there is now sufficient evidence of an association between hypertension and Agent Orange exposure (See Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 11 (2018)). The fact that hypertension is not yet on the list of diseases presumed to be associated with exposure to Agent Orange should not be the basis for a negative opinion." https://www.va.gov/vetapp20/files4/20024447.txt This case was decided on 04/09/20   Jonathan Hager Veterans Law Judge Board of Veterans’ Appeals   Right ---the 2012 report is clear- "sufficient evidence of association between AO and Hypertension." Geez, if the BVA judges are not all up on the latest NAS report- they have denied some vets of their rights- because the report might not award all AO exposed vets for HBP, but it is still at a high level that should prompt consideration. "Sufficient" is a higher level of association then many past AO disabilities have had in NAS reports.
      Any takers on this?????? I was stunned to see how two of these law judges were not aware of the NAS 2018 report.
      Tomorrow I might find more BVA judges don't know about it either---- this means on remand, the veteran might get a lousy C & P exam and be denied again, unless the veteran finds out about the NAS 2018 report.
       
       
             
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