2nd Battalion 94th Artillery

 

VETERAN MEDICAL ASSISTANCE WEBSITES

 

AND INFORMATION WEBSITES AND URL'S

 

REGARDING AGENT ORANGE

 

Revision Date:  10-28-03

 

(Gathering Info, so not a complete page yet)

 

Note from website:  This whole scenario is a tragedy in the history of the U.S. Armed Forces.   For the Vietnam Veteran to have to file a law suit to get any kind of compensation should be a shameful blot on the Military and the U.S. Congress and its members.  We give Billions of dollars away for nothing in social and economic aid, not only in this country but other countries as well.  These programs are chock full of fraud and yet nothing is done.  So for the Veteran, who went to war as his country asked him to come home and suit, while the lawyers got over 50% of the settlement, is an outrage and a disgrace.  In addition, so much for the VA whose motto is supposed to be, "We Serve Those That Served."  I think their actions in this matter speak for them and how much they serve. 

 

There is still research going on as to the effect the sprays used in Vietnam have had and are still having on personnel of the U.S. Armed Forces.

 

Here is a list of areas sprayed and quantities sprayed in I Corps and II Corps.  Most of you 2/94th fellows will be surprised at how much you were exposed.

 

III Corps and IV Corps info is also available at http://www.vnnews.com/coci/ginc/dioxinrisk.htm

 

 

I Corps: 2,355,322

.

II Corps: 1,054,406

Location

Orange

White

Blue

Total

Location

Orange

White

Blue

Total

A Shau

53,550

2,550

6,128

62,228

An Khe, Camp Radcliff

37,810

6,400

5,610

49,820

An Hoa

6,500

1,800

11,250

19,550

An Lao, LZ Laramie

68,970

490

10,570

80,030

Binh Hoa

8,220

0

1,600

9,820

Ban Me Thuot

16,000

9,250

0

25,250

Cam Lo

80,375

8,660

12,785

101,820

Ben Het

80,495

7,230

3,000

90,725

Camp Carrol

78,200

5,400

5,050

88,650

Bon Song, LZ Two Bits

80,643

630

6,000

87,273

Camp Eagle

14,250

0

0

14,250

Bre Nhi

6,600

0

0

6,600

Camp Esso

53,410

5,600

5,500

64,510

Cam Ranh Bay

21,227

1,373

0

22,600

Camp Evans

18,690

0

880

19,570

Camp Granite

59,310

2,075

5,390

66,775

Camp Henderson

68,155

7,040

4,800

79,995

Che Oreo

0

1,800

0

1,800

Chu Lai

12,170

4,150

1,598

17,918

Da Lat

575

0

0

575

Con Thien

84,700

12,460

10,925

108,085

Dak To

49,460

600

34,800

84,860

Da Nang, China Beach

13,800

0

2,000

15,800

Firebase Pony

43,490

0

3,800

47,290

Dong Ha

54,385

5,060

9,935

69,380

Kontum

0

415

0

415

Duc Pho, LZ Bronco

46,225

14,400

1,175

61,800

LZ Dog, LZ English

63,073

630

6,000

69,703

Firebase Jack

140,875

11,900

3,280

156,055

LZ Oasis

No Data

Firebase Rakkassan

150,145

23,900

2,510

176,555

LZ Putter, Firebase Bird

50,095

0

7,200

57,295

Firebase West

15,405

3,690

18,480

37,575

LZ Uplift

43,455

3,220

275

46,950

Hill 63

20,500

3,200

0

23,700

Nha Trang

6,950

325

0

7,275

Hill 69

11,620

4,150

1,598

17,368

Pham Rang

110

2,075

0

2,185

Hoi An

17,520

3,000

13,950

34,470

Phan Thiet

5,000

330

220

5,550

Hue

41,395

0

5,070

46,465

Plei Ho, SF Camp

15,300

1,260

110

16,670

Khe Sanh, Firebase Smith

43,705

3,040

4,300

51,045

Plei Jerang

98,220

51,235

1,800

151,255

LangCo Bridge

50,610

5,600

3,500

59,710

Pleiku

1,210

11,640

1,950

14,800

LZ Baldy

15,430

3,000

13,950

32,380

Puh Cat, LZ Hammond

29,700

7,210

0

36,910

LZ Dogpatch, Hill 327

4,490

0

8,250

12,740

Qui Nhon

53,215

1,800

4,125

59,140

LZ Geronimo

22,535

14,000

468

37,003

Song Cau

5,650

55

0

5,705

LZ Jane, Firebase Barbara

91,150

6,750

3,700

101,600

Tuy An

13,215

3,740

0

16,955

LZ Langley, Firebase Shepard

72,105

7,040

4,800

83,945

Tuy Hoa

29,565

4,485

0

34,050

LZ Profess, Hill 55 39,300 13,000 17,209 69,509

LZ Rockcrusher, Hill 85

47,800

0

0

47,800

LZ Rockpile

110,050

15,440

7,650

133,140

LZ Ross

15,405

6,720

18,508

40,633

LZ Sandra

118,780

20,210

24,755

163,745

LZ Snapper, Firebase Leather

11,350

0

3,000

14,350

Marble, Hill 59

15,405

6,720

18,508

40,633

Phu Bai

54,300

3,000

120

57,420

Phu Loc, LZ Tommahawk

78,250

4,000

0

82,250

Quang Nai

25,605

0

1,800

27,405

Quang Tri, LZ Nancy

68,000

2,750

3,700

74,450

 

 

 List of known Conditions caused by Agent Orange recognized by the VA.

 

**** Special Note: VA presumes that all military personnel who served in Vietnam and who have one of the listed diseases were exposed to Agent Orange.

 


 

Conditions Recognized as Service-Connected for Vietnam Veterans Based on Exposure to Agent Orange or Other Herbicides:

 

Chloracne

Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma

Soft Tissue Sarcoma

Hodgkin's Disease

Porphyria Cutanea Tarda

Multiple Myeloma

Respiratory Cancers (lung, larynx, trachea and bronchus)

Prostate Cancer

Peripheral Neuropathy (acute or subacute)

Diabetes Mellitus (Diabetes Type II)

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)

 

Conditions Recognized in the Children of Vietnam Veterans:

 

Spina Bifida

 

 

On the Peripheral Neuropathy thing. I did not realize but it looks like another lawsuit is going to be filed regarding a lot of the new problems that have developed. Neuropathy being one.

There is also a Neuropathy registry you can sign up on.

Also there is a question and answer site for problems.


http://www.soft-vision.net/ao_vets/



On this site you will find neurologist who differ with the VA's opinion on the effects of dioxin and the nerve system, who can be effected, how one can be effected, and how long after exposure in life one can be effected. Or whether diabetes has to be uncovered first. They say no.

 

If you go to http://goiv.com/ao/ (Agent Orange Debrief) there is a description of the disease and some of its characteristics.  For ones that are not there you can input that into your computer as subject and should be able to come up with description/characteristics.  I use AOL and most of the information they use comes from the Mayo Clinic.  I recommend you use the Mayo Clinic as it seems to be more clear and concise in their descriptions.  But that is what I would expect.

 

In addition, http://goiv.com/ao/ (Agent Orange Debrief) has many links that I could not possible show.  So go there and browse through all the information posted.

 

**** Special Note: VA presumes that all military personnel who served in Vietnam and who have one of the listed diseases were exposed to Agent Orange.

 


 

How to apply for Compensation from the VA

 

Here are some helpful hints from John Heritage, 5/4, who has gone through the process and also works for the VA in the education section.

 

My recommendation is as follows:

1.  Call your private doctor first to set up an appointment for a complete
evaluation.  It takes a longer time to get an appointment with VA but do
call VA also to set up an appointment with them.  The reason you want to go
to your private doctor is that you can probably get an appointment right
away and you can submit those medical records sooner when you file your
claim.  The reason you want to go with VA is that the VA records that you
submit with your claim will have their own doctors verifying your current
condition.  You can submit the records from your private doctor to get your
claim started right away, then at a later time submit the VA records to
reinforce your claim.  VA's records can be added to your initial claim any
time.

2.  I recommend that you use DAV (Disabled American Veterans) to submit your
claim.  They are a nationwide veterans service organization, deal only with
assisting disabled veterans, and are located in very VA hospital.  Other
organizations such as VFW and American Legion, and County veterans service
officers can help you as well but are not located in the hospital and do not
specialize in dealing with disabled vets. The DAV will act as your direct
representative between you and the VA Regional office that will process your
claim.  They will also be there when the VA medical board adjudicates your
case and fight for you to receive the highest possible disability rating you
are entitled to.  You will need your DD-214, your military medical records
as well as any records from any private civilian doctor.  If you do not have
any of those records,  DAV can get them.  They will need them in order to
file your claim.  You will need to sign a power of attorney so that they can
retrieve those records.  I strongly field that DAV is the best way to go.  I
base this on my on personal experience.       

3. Once your claim is filed by DAV, within a couple of weeks you will
receive a letter from VA acknowledging receipt of the packet.  A few days
letter you will receive a latter stating that they set an appointment for
you for evaluation at the VA hospital closest to you.  They will give you a
time, date, and room number to report to which is the Compensation and
Pension clinic.  The VA regional office will have their medical team there
to evaluate you and about 20 other vets that day.  If necessary, they will
send you to get lab test as well as x-rays done.  When you finally get to
see the evaluating doctor, that is the time to tell him, "I hurt here, I
hurt there, I can't bend, stoop or kneel, I can't stand for a prolonged
period of time on a hard surface floor".  Tell him anything that you feel is
wrong or you have difficulty with.  This will be your only opportunity to
tell him about all of your ailments.  Most doctors will have a small tape
recorder and will transcribe any thing you tell him.  He will submit his
findings to the VA Region medical board.  It will take approximately 6 to 9
months before you hear from VA again when they will send you an official
disability rating letter.  Be sure to make several copies of this letter
because you may need it to submit to different agencies if they request it.


4.  If you ever buy a home through VA, be sure to give the mortgage company a
copy of your VA rating letter.  You will save $3,000 to $5,000 because you
will not have to pay the VA funding fee.  If you get a disability rating of
20% or more, you will be eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation through VA.
This is a vocational training program or a degree producing program that you
can participate in.  VA will pay for the school, any equipment that you need
to go to school, pay you to go to school, and pay for additional funds for
any legal dependent you may have.  I have a client that is required by her
course to have a computer.  VA bought her a computer.  But you can also use
Voc Rehab to get a degree at any school of your choice.  You have 12 years
to use it after receiving your disability rating.  I urge you to check and
see what programs your state may offer if you receive a disability.  As an
example, if you get 60% or more, Texas will provide a free driver's license,
free plates for two different cars, free hunting and fishing license, and
free admission to all state parks.  In addition to all this, the state will
give an exemption on property taxes.  I am at 90% so that first $12,000 of
the appraised value of my home is tax free.  So check with your state to see
what programs are available.

5. As far as diabetes is concerned, VA gave me 20% for diabetes, 10% for
each lower extremities for neuropathy secondary to diabetes.  Each case may
be different.  I now have a claim for neuropathy of the upper extremities.


Symptoms for diabetes include but are not limited to:


a.    frequent urination
b.    constant fatigue
c.    numbness and burning of the legs and feet
d.    constant thirst
e.    dizziness
f.    you feel as if you are being bitten by 100 fire ants but there is
       nothing there.


Be sure to tell DAV to include these symptoms in your claim and tell the doctor the same thing.  He will probably give you a sensitivity test where he runs a sharp wheel up and down your leg or on the bottom of your feet.  I didn't feel anything.  That is nerve damage resulting from neuropathy.  You
need to be careful not to run around bare-footed.  You may get a cut and not feel it which in turn will get infected.  In some cases it is not caught in time.  Ask your doctor about neurontin medication.  It does relieve some of the numbness and pain.  Only a neurologist can prescribe this.  Now my arms
and hands feel like needles and nails are sticking me between my fingers and in my palms.  Also I am losing my sensation on my finger tips.  Because of this, I have trouble separating pages in a book, magazine, or newspaper.


Some times I keep dropping things.  I am also starting to feel itching sensations around my neck and ears.  At night I feel like I'm being bitten my some insect but again there is nothing there. If you have any of these symptoms, let you doctor know.

I hope that I have given you some useful information.  If you have a good DAV rep, he will do a good job for you.  If I left anything out, I will e-mail you as I think of it.  Again, I truly enjoyed the reunion and will try to contact 4/5 vets.
 


 

You can also apply on line at

http://www.va.gov/index.htm

 

My suggestion is you download a copy of the form and do it all yourself.  Just so there is no excuse that they never got it and it disappeared into hyper-space.  I would fill out the forms, date them, make copies and date them.  Keep a record of when you submitted and to whom you submitted.  Register your mail when you send it to make sure they got it. Any phone calls should be recorded on a note pad and dated.  Who you talked to and what the conversation was about.  Most of all I would contact my Senator or Congressperson (being correct here) that I have submitted a claim and expect  him/her to follow up on it.  It seems that is a must otherwise nothing happens.   Remember the VA has a reputation to protect and the longer they can stall any service at all; it seems the more raises they get.  Also remember; you may have to get a lawyer, so the better records you keep the better he will be able to assist.

 

From what I have been told if they want to send your claim to "a board", deny them that option.  That means you are being sent to a board in Washington.  We all know what happens there, nothing.  Plus, you would then have to appear at that board in Washington in about 20 years when your claim comes up.  So keep it at the local area.

 

As I understand it, you will have to be medically examined.  I have heard  for certain claims; that for instance you had surgery for prostrate cancer.  Your doctor and surgeon can verify that. There may be a chance you will not have to go to VA hospital.  (One of you fellows that have gone through this may let me know so I can revise this statement.)

 

As you can tell I have heard too many horror stories from Veterans on their experience with the VA.  Even from as far back as WW2 Veterans. 

 

When the President has to put out a directive for them to their job, you wonder what in the world they are really doing.  Of course, the President used words like, will provide, or will attempt.  Kind of like what the definition of IS, is????  When you direct someone to do something and they have to back up what it is they did as part of their job performance: then the word is; SHALL provide and SHALL attempt, not WILL.

 

If you require assistance, let me know.  I have not gone through this but know many who have.  I could maybe put you in contact with those with similar situations.

 

**** Special Note: VA presumes that all military personnel who served in Vietnam and who have one of the listed diseases were exposed to Agent Orange.

 

You can download the form for

Compensation & Pension Program Application

(VA Form 21-526) at

 http://www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms1.htm

Along with other forms you may need, including the SF 180 form.  Also if you cannot download it gives a number to call for a hard copy.

 

Contact your local area VA shop to find out where to send the application locally.  Again, make sure that you document what they tell you and who it was that told you, date and time.  Register your mail to make sure that someone has to sign for it.  NOTE: Payment is based on when you submitted not when it is approved. Then follow up.  I have been told that you have to be as persistent, unrelenting, relentless, etc. in your claim as the VA is against the claim.  Validity seems to have no impact to their service.

 

The below site has a number of links on it.  Useful in reviewing many things including schedules for ratings disability.
http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_00/38cfrv1_00.html

 

If I can assist in anyway information wise please let me know.  Once again if I cannot help, I can possibly put you in touch with a serviceman that has gone through the same process dealing with the same issues.

 

E-mail SP5Kelley2nd94th@aol.com

 

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