What did VA Cover Up in Thailand Agent Orange Data Release?

CAUGHT ‘EM – VA.gov linked to a declassified DoD report on use of Agent Orange in Thailand. Upon closer examination, we learned that 25% of the report was deleted. Luckily, we just found those pages and explain what it may mean here.

The original turned up on a DoD website after a lot of digging, and I think I have a theory as to why they did it. This MMQB covers what I found and why it could impact your disability claim.

Hi and welcome to another edition of the Monday Morning Quarterback for Veterans. I am your host, Benjamin Krause.

This week, I am writing about my research into the USAF’s use of herbicides in Thailand and what it could mean for veterans fighting with VA to prove exposure.

From what I can tell, there may be a coverup regarding the documentation VA has provided to veterans. The information was supposedly given to help prove disability claims. Meanwhile, the documentation is incomplete and leads any casual reader away from potentially better resources to prove their claim.

Here is what I’ll cover today:

  • Fed admits to Agent Orange use in Thailand
  • VA’s Thailand fails the smell test
  • Index of missing files
  • Where to find records about Agent Orange usage
  • What it could mean for your disability claim

Before I jump into it, let me first say, “I’m sorry,” to all of the Vietnam War veterans out there. My uncle is one. Many of us have loved ones who served in this war. My research over this past week pains my heart when you realize what we did to our troops during that time.

When you read through the Rules of Engagement pages that were omitted from the report mentioned above, it is apparent that what we forced our servicemembers to endure during the Vietnam War was appalling.

What we have done since then in covering up our misdeeds since that war is even worse. It is a fraud against the American people and America’s heroes.

How long will we be kept from the truth by the likes of dead or old politicians like Nixon, Kissinger, and McNamara?

 

Fed admits use of Agent Orange type herbicides in Thailand

Yes, I know many of you are probably saying “old news.” I covered this last week but did not realize at that time how screwed up the situation was.

What kind of entity looking out for the best interests of veterans would leave out vital information a veteran could use in their claim? That, my friends, is a rhetorical question.

The entity is not actually helping in the way it is supposed to.

First of all, VA had this to say about the CHECO report that was released which is linked from an Air Force website. Click on the link above or go to VA’s website to download the PDF CHECO report reference below:

Vietnam-era Veterans whose service involved duty on or near the perimeters of military bases in Thailand anytime between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975 may have been exposed to herbicides and may qualify for VA benefits.

The following Veterans may have been exposed to herbicides:

– U.S. Air Force Veterans who served on Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) bases at U-Tapao, Ubon, Nakhon Phanom, Udorn, Takhli, Korat, and Don Muang, near the air base perimeter anytime between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975.
– U.S. Army Veterans who provided perimeter security on RTAF bases in Thailand anytime between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975.
– U.S. Army Veterans who were stationed on some small Army installations in Thailand anytime between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975. However, the Army Veteran must have been a member of a military police (MP) unit or was assigned an MP military occupational specialty whose duty placed him/her at or near the base perimeter.

Source: Thailand Military Bases and Agent Orange Exposure: http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/thailand.asp

The links above can lead you to the resources wherein DoD admitted to Agent Orange type usage both in Vietnam and elsewhere in the word, including the United States (check Exposure to Agent Orange by Location).

Now, most of you are probably saying, “Who gives a damn?” That’s what I thought too once I realized the documents were declassified years ago. Old news.

But this is where the story begins.

 

VA’s Thailand release fails the smell test

Follow my research logic.

Check out VA.gov on the usage of Agent Orange in Thailand. Click on the linked text above to download their incomplete CHECO report.

On VA’s website, it links to a very curious version of the quoted CHECO report (download CHECO Report here) which is hosted on an Air Force website. Take a quick look at page 15, 26, 32 and a few others.

You will notice that those pages are missing. In fact, the report VA links to has many errors and problems.

In total, 21 pages were missing from a report that is only 78 pages long. Basically, more than 25% of the total report is missing from the link VA.gov used. That raised my eyebrow.

But why would they do that since the report is declassified?

Here is a link to all the pages missing from VA’s linked report that I collected from the full version of that same CHECO report from DTIC.mil after digging for hours; we’ll call it the Missing CHECO Files. These are just the missing pages.

Here is a link to the full document on DTIC if you want to do a full comparison of all three PDF’s.

VA’s linked report is not searchable

First of all, the report VA linked to is a PDF that was not OCR’d for text recognition. This is strange especially in light of the fact that the other version I found on DTIC.mill was of the same document and was in fact OCR’d.

Failure to OCR a document makes it impossible for internet search engines like Google to search the document and register it for veterans and others possible searching for help with their disability claim.

Data on herbicide use is buried in report

It further makes it impossible for any researcher to quick search for topic specific terms such as “herbicide” or “vegetation control.” Instead, you would need to read the entire 120-page document to learn about a scenario that is only noted toward the end of the document – i.e. the spraying of herbicides within the perimeters of the bases in question.

For example, pages 58-75 talk about herbicide usage. Most people would have given up the search after thumbing through the pages after 30 minutes.

Take a closer look at the pages you just downloaded that were omitted from the CHECO copy VA linked to. I spent some time over the weekend comparing the documents.

Rules of Engagement and troop location omitted

While doing that, it became clear that the document VA linked to had pages that were omitted. The likely reason was to cover up problems base command was having with Rules of Engagement (ROE). They also omitted troop sizes at certain base locations.

The most important thing to realize is that ROE required approval from the US Embassy prior to using Agent Orange once it was largely prohibited due to fears that spraying it would be classified as a War Crime.

This could mean that there are additional files that may indicate use of Agent Orange in Thailand was more widespread than what VA and DoD are willing to admit.

I touch more on that below the actual page index here.

 

Index of missing pages

Page

  • v – List of Air Base Distribution List
  • 15 – Commentary on attacks against US Forces in Thailand around Ubon RTAFB by the North Vietnamese Army’s sapper units.
  • 25-27 – Letter from general about poor support from Thai forces in deterring NVA sapper units. AF forces were totally dependent on host government for external defenses. AF attempts to pay off local civilians to help were limited by US Embassy policy. AF unaccustomed to total base defense prior to attacks in 1965-66. AF developed combat SP force, but disbanded it in 71 due to lack of funding.
  • 31-34 – Limitations on base defense due to policy issues from US Embassy. Discussion of how political constraints known as “Rules of Engagement” made base defense difficult. US forces could not use weapons outside of base parameters for political reasons. Insurgency problems led to change of rules
  • 39 – Information on Korat RTAFB having poor defenses
  • 42 – Nakhon Phanom RTAFB had poor flight line security and circulation control of base visitors. (97) Takhli RATFB had a wing of F-4s and squadron of KC-135s. 340 SP’s were there on TDY with 22 sentry dogs. There was a 1000-man infantry unit in training there for base perimeter security.
  • 46-51 – Takhli RATFB USAF teams defended MMS area and POL dump. SPECS Units were poorly prepared to defend base perimeters. Ubon RTAFB – Close to Laotian boarder. 363 SPs and 507 TSGs assigned to 8th SPS. 35 SPs from Clark AFB on TDY. AC-130’s were 200 meters from fence. Augmentees failed to defend base well. Udorn RTAFB – 297 USAF SPs and 427 TSG’s, 25 SP’s TDY from Clark
  • 54 – U-Tapao RTNAF: largest USAF facility, 450 SPs, 46 from Clark AFB; 537 TSG’s; 49 sentry/patrol dogs
  • 63 – ROE prohibition of “claymore” mines but Embassy allowed use of “pop-up” mines at all bases except Korat and Don Muang Airfield. ROE prohibited use of any USAF firepower or aircraft in any suppression role.
  • 67-68 – Security personnel required to construct defensive structures. Soil sterilization and herbicide use approved in 1969 required permission from Embassy – could only be used within perimeters. Korat RTAFB – vegetation problems at runway  and around perimeter. Embassy permission in June to use herbicides (vegetation control – “that program” in June)

 

Where to find new Agent Orange files

Many times, VA denies Agent Orange usage because it cannot confirm spraying in certain locations. However, if the US Air Force in Thailand was required to gain Embassy approval, there may be more documents that prove wider usage than previously admitted.

According to another USAF CHECO report, “Finally, the excessive time required to obtain clearance for herbicide operation remained. All defoliation projects required US Embassy and RVNAF Joint General Staff approval. The time delay was sometimes as much as two and one-half months.” (Project CHECO Report: The Air War in Vietnam, 1968-1969, pg 72)

Since VA has a duty to assist in obtaining copies of files that it reasonably could expect would help prove a veteran’s claim, it may need to help all veterans obtain more information than it currently is doing.

Specifically, a prudent veteran may request that VA seek all documents from the US Embassies in Thailand, Vietnam and Laos that would concern use of herbicides like Agent Orange during the war.

Other reports worth mentioning

Here are some additional reports to check out from the DTIC.mil site below, too:

  • 113. CHECO Rprt, Hq PACAF, DOTEC, “Herbicide Operations in Southeast Asia, Jul 61-Jun 67,” 11 Oct 67.
  • 114. Rprt, 7AF, “Combined Campaign Quarterly Report (FY 1/70),” Tab J, Herbicide. (Hereafter cited: Combined Campaign Qtrly Rprt.)
  • 121. Msg, COMUSMACV to 7AF, subj: Herbicide Project 2/2D/5/68, 181635Z Jun 68. CHECO MICROFILM 210, frame 81.
Data points for research

Here are some additional data resources anyone with concerns about Agent Orange should look through beyond materials VA provides:

State Department Gold Mine

While digging through the State Department files available online, I found many interesting documents.

There is some value there because they outline the sequence of events that led to US stopping its use of herbicides in Vietnam and Asia.

I downloaded many of the documents I found interesting, and linked to them below:

Interdepartmental Political-Military Group – US Policy on Chemical and Biological Warfare and Agents, October 15, 1969: Sweden proposed outlawing use of chemical and biological agents through the Geneva Protocol. US forced to evaluate canceling its program using Agent Orange type herbicides. Report states position of US allies.

Interdepartmental Political-Military Group – Annual Review of US Chemical Warfare and Biological Research Programs, November 10, 1969: Outlines specific costs and debate on usage of herbicides. Very detailed debate.

CIA – National Security Decision Memorandum, November 17, 1969: State Department to write opinion letter outlining that US does not believe use of Chemical Herbicides violates Protocol. This report is referencing the Geneva Protocol from Sweden.

State Department – Memo from Kissinger to Secretary on Geneva Protocol Options and Herbicide Usage, February 18, 1970: Memo discussed three primary options on how to handle the herbicide issue. Defense sought to stop public announcement for fear that it would reveal Rules of Engagement.

Interdepartmental Political-Military Group – Annual Review of US Chemical Warfare and Biological Research Programs, November 1, 1970: Outlines cost of Agent Orange program in Vietnam and whether or not US should continue its herbicide program there. (pg 59)

State Department – Letter to Melvin Laird from William Rogers, February 2, 1971: Letter was to encourage President to phase out use of chemical herbicides early. Position was supported by Ambassador Bunker and General Abrams.

NSC Under Secretaries Committee – Annual Review of US Chemical Warfare and Biological Research Program, February 4, 1971: “That DOD make every effort to obtain a formal agreement by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) that it will undertake the herbicide study requested by Public Law 91-441 and that a public announcement be made before commencement of hearings on the Geneva Protocol.”

State Department – Letter to President, February 11, 1971: Letter strongly suggests to President that US should discontinue use of chemical herbicides due to the Geneva Protocol of 1925.

State Department – Action Memo Review of US Position, August 15, 1972: Report from Ronald Spiers about US policy on chemical weapons.

Operation Ranch Hand experiment in Thailand?

Regarding Thailand, the Operation Ranch Hand Report covers why the US started spraying in that country. Secretary Robert McNamara received his first “clear” presentation on our defoliation program from General Delmore around 1964.

McNamara stated that a country like Thailand might be a better location to conduct final experimentation on the US defoliation program (using Agent Orange type herbicides). The presentation by General Delmore did not mention the full cost of spraying herbicides (it was 35% higher than Delmore estimated).

Use of herbicides at the beginning of the Vietnam War was focused on controlling Viet Cong crop and farming production. US had been conducting experiments since at least the 1950’s on anticrop research at Fort Detrick.

The report also stated, “Destruction of Viet Cong food crops in the field could be one of the most effective means of defeating the enemy. The Viet Congs [sic] currently are living on food crops grown in the areas that they control. If these crops are destroyed, the Viet Congs [sic] would be required to obtain food from other sources or starve.”

Of interest about this position is that US politics prohibited usage of Agent Orange type chemicals as the war progressed. From 1969-1972, US policy heads like Kissinger debated how US should cease its defoliation programs.

 

Thailand – US Embassy information

Here is a short list of the Ambassadors who were supposedly stationed at the US Embassy in Thailand during the years that our herbicide program would have been in effect.

Correspondence with these individuals could reveal information that is useful regarding approval of herbicide use in areas that were not revealed in the CHECO report VA linked to.

Source: http://bangkok.usembassy.gov/relation/175usth/timeline-of-u/american-ambassadors-to-thailand.html

Leonard Unger: Unger Biography

Thailand: 67-70. State of Residency: Maryland Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Appointment: August 11, 1967 Presentation of Credentials: October 4, 1967 Termination of Mission: Left post November 19, 1973.

Unger lived from 1917 to 2010 and was a diplomat and United States Ambassador to Laos (1962–64), Thailand (1967), and was the last US ambassador to the Republic of China (1974–79).

Graham A. Martin: Martin Biography

Thailand: 63-67. State of Residency: Florida Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Appointment: September 10, 1963 Presentation of Credentials: November 7, 1963 Termination of Mission: Left post September 9, 1967.

Martin lived from 1912–1990, and succeeded Ellsworth Bunker as United States Ambassador to South Vietnam in 1973. He would be the last person to hold that position. Martin previously served as ambassador to Thailand and as U.S. representative to SEATO.

Kenneth Todd Young

State of Residency: New York Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Appointment: March 29, 1961 Presentation of Credentials: June 22, 1961 Termination of Mission: Left post August 19, 1963.

(1916-1972) After leaving post, Young wrote the book, Negotiating with Chinese Communists: The United States Experience, 1953-1967.

 

What this means for Agent Orange disability claims

If you are still reading, these resources probably interest you and have an impact on your disability claim or someone else’s you know.

What this information could mean is that there may be many more documents in existence that could impact your benefits claim. They are possibly within the files from the Thailand US Embassy.

As previously stated, all programs where Agent Orange was used needed high-level approval. In Thailand, the approval needed to come from the US Embassy there.

Veterans interested could request a FOIA from the State Department on any communications between their respective base and the US Embassy wherein the following were mentioned:

  • vegetation control
  • herbicide program
  • perimeter vegetation program

As for places like Fort Detrick, a government contractor was just hired to remediate the property there last month.

Veterans who may have been exposed during that time may want to access those files through a FOIA to learn more about their own exposure.

Going back to the point of this MMQB, VA.gov linked to an Air Force document that was missing 25% from the main body of the report.

I find that to be suspicious and can only conclude that the omitted pages reveal something. I will leave it up to you to find out what.

Please comment below if you find anything useful.

Joe Thompson
Joe Thompson

I know you had to work hard to put all of this together. Just wanted to thank you for keeping an eye out for us vets. Your efforts are appreciated.

MEL GOMEZ 1965-1966-1967
MEL GOMEZ 1965-1966-1967

THEY WILL , LIE WHILE LOOKING YOU IN THE EYE

Karen Grizzle

Where can I obtain an aerial map of UDORN AFB Thailand in 1970s? My husband Robert Grizzle is in the process of filing a claim for Agent Orange exposure while stationed at Udorn.

Frank Hutchins
Frank Hutchins

My sentimets as well. My best friend who served in the AF and was in Thailand at one of these bases during 1972. Does that mean he can file service connected for agent orange? He has type 2 diabetes as well.

Frank

Daniel E. Decker
Daniel E. Decker
Frank, have your AF friend obtain copies of Army Field Manual 3-3, VA C&P Bulletin dated May 2010, and Air Force CHECO Report titled “Base Defense in Thailand, (the subject of this article) The CHECO Report states that all military installations in Southeast Asia used herbicides to control vegetation on their perimeter. The C&P Bulletin directs VA evaluators to grant herbicide exposure and benefits to all former military who can prove duty near the perimeter. AFM3-3 defines the term “near”… Read more »
ME Williams
ME Williams
Daniel, I just read your comments to Frank. My husband, TSGT Ron Williams, was in the Air Force and at NKP during 1972. He worked on the flight line and we are now having problems obtaining all of his records to prove he was there. He has had 2 heart attacks, prostrate surgery, continuous sinus problems and now has Parkinson’s. I really appreciate the information you have provided. I will check these documents and see if I can use the… Read more »
Michael Hayes
Michael Hayes

I have clear and unmistakable evidence from the VAs records that they have clearly and intentionally violated VCAA-2000 in my disability claim which resultrd in a denial. I have since proven serviced connected. I also have the name of the indivual who intentinally removed and with-held medical records. Is it possible to file a law suite against the VA and VA employee for this type of conduct?

ken
ken

It is federal law that any federal employee can be sued for not doing their job and the government can not pay their legal expenses.

David
David

Thanks Benjamin for all you do, I have been receiving your messages for sometime and I went to my revaluation appointment prepared. I was able to raise my disability from 60% to 70%. I will finish my MSW this August, maybe I am able to help you advocate for the Veterans?

Jane
Jane
Thank you for all of the information. I still get the emails in my husbands name. Marvin passed away from Mantle Cell Lymphoma from agent orange. He was on the DMZ zone in Korea. We couldn’t even file until the recognized Korea. At that time we filed for his disability. He was turned down. We hired a lawyer. That was over 4 1/2 years ago. We received notice on Monday 19th of August 2013 That Washington said his cancer was… Read more »
Lyn Palm
Lyn Palm

I am so sorry for your loss. I am battling VA also. My husband has polycythemia a form of bone marrow cancer. Va does not list on agent orange so denies also has type 1 diabetes for over 40 yrs. ThIs is all a disgrace.

Richard Falkenrath
Richard Falkenrath

MMQB; I certainly appreciate your efforts, as I am in limbo on a claim and also an appeal. Thanks for your help.

MagsP
MagsP

You have done a wonderful job putting this information together. I’m a researcher and I was just trying to figure out how to uncover Embassy cables, although I’m sure that any having to do with defoliation for perimeter security purposes have been “lost”. Please keep up the great work!

chuck morse
chuck morse
personnel from rocky mountain arsenal,dungway proving grounds(later deseret test center),ft detrick md.,management and scientist were all at each installation,along with the 267th who had OJT at rocky mountain arsenal prior to deployment to site 2 chibana army depot for continuance of project 112/shad. T.H. Barksdale had 3 different fields on Okinawa at(shuri,nago,ishikawa) that were sprayed by drone during a period from may 1961 to sept 1962. Barksdale was a research individual out of ft detrick chemical and biological laboratories. These… Read more »
joseph L.schulz
joseph L.schulz

im a viet-nam with viet-nam campaign medal have spent 7yrs trying to get full benefits for diabetes2,heart-des.agt orange exposure neropathy, p.t.s.d. and a host of other illness. when will our elected officials take responsibility for myself andthousands of vets who served

Daniel E. Decker
Daniel E. Decker

Joseph, get a Veterans Service Officer from one of the veterans service organizations; the VVA, DAV, VFW, or American Legion. VA and State and County VSOs generally don’t have any skin in the game and tend to do a half-assed job. Don’t give up. You served in Vietnam; that makes you presumptively exposed for any of those diseases. When your benefits are approved, they’ll be paid back to your first claim date.

Seth
Seth
My father-in-law served in Vietnam and Thailand during the Agent Orange exposure periods. However, because his record does not accurately reflect he was in the contaminated zones, they are refusing his claim without proof corroborated from his other airmen. He recently went through a 2 year battle with multiple myeloma that cost him and his family nearly everything – and is getting shorted by the VA for help w/ obtaining the desired proof they require to help him. Does anyone… Read more »
Daniel E. Decker
Daniel E. Decker

Obtain your FIL’s Airman Performance Reports, aka APRs, for the period he was in SEA. The Job Description block will describe his duties and where he performed them. This is an official document and should be accepted as proof positive of his locations, duties, and times involved.

Dennis Taylor
Dennis Taylor

Your research is invaluable to Thailand vets. Thank you!

Michael Dwayne Stewart
I began filing my OWN claim for benefits in 1982 and I was turned down in a matter of weeks. Like most Vietnam Veterans I was given the excuse that “I” had not used the CORRECT FORM! I filed a N.O.D. and was again turned down. I filed an APPEAL FORM NINE in Washington D.C. and was once again turned down, The D.C. Office stated that “My Case Was Closed.” Like most Vietnam Vets I took the V.A. at their… Read more »
Michael Stewart
Here are some terms that you should know when filing a Claim for ANYTHING! 1.) Agent Orange Claims have ALREADY BEEN PAID OUT. 2.) Get a FREE COPY at your LOCAL V.A. of the HAND BOOK guide. They usually come out for the NEW YEAR around April. 3.) LOOK at the back of ‘Appeal Form Nine’ and you will find WHY most LAWYERS or LEGAL AIDES WILL NOT TAKE ON YOUR V.A.CLAIM FOR BENEFITS! “No Attorney or Legal Aide MAY… Read more »
Michael Stewart
I wish to add to my POST of today. You may file for your Social Security Disability Benefits when you receive your letter that your claim for benefits has been approved .. or if you have become disabled after leaving Service and are disabled now. Both Social Security Disability Benefits and Service Connected Benefits and Non-Service Connected Benefits are paid out one (1) one month in ADVAVCE! If you have sought the advice of a Lawyer or Legal Aide person… Read more »
Robert Duke
Robert Duke
I am a Vietnam Combat Veteran 67′-68′, I am 100% rated service connection. I now help other Veterans with their claims as most VSO organizations are severly inept. I had been aiding a 67′ Thailand Army Medic who had evidence, including a NCO who verified that their Unit was responsible for storing, spraying and teaching AF units to spray Agent Orange. This man had 3 VA presumptive diseases but died before his claim was decided…. naturally, Deny, Deny until they… Read more »
Daniel E. Decker
Daniel E. Decker

Robert, proof of duty ON the perimeter is not required. Proof of duty NEAR the perimeter is. NEAR is within 500 meters according to Army Field Manual 3-3, which covers manual herbicide spraying operations. For the Air Force, your APRs and aerial photos of the installation will provide that proof. Read my entries above for more information.

John Adams
556 CES, Udorn Thailand, 1966-67. Det 1 was a unit that constructed barracks, right next to the fence. A part of a 35 man unit, you AFSC meant very little, you did what needed to be done. as supply, trunk driver, count material in the field, forklift, transport construction from base to base. Was sprayed each 10 days or so, 500 meters was the width to the flight line. My appeal sits in Bay Pines Regional Office, St. Petersburg, Fl,… Read more »
Jerry Hess
Jerry Hess
Benjamin, Thank you for a very good report. I’m a Thailand Vet who just happens to be living in Thailand today. Back in 2012, I pointed out the same discrepancy of missing pages as you mentioned to several VA groups while researching my own claim which I filed in Sept 2011. I too found the missing pages. One other area to research are the “Rules of Engagement” (R.O.E.) from that time period. They too are hard to find but also… Read more »
Dan Lambert
Dan Lambert
Jerry, I just read your post. I was at Green Hills from Aug 1966 to Aug 67. I filed a claim in Nov 2013 based upon Korat duty as a radar crewman flying in Ec121s. The claim was denied a year later and I filed a disagreement shortly thereafter. I’m still waiting for an answer. However, I stay in touch with a buddy from Khao Yai that filed a successful claim with VA on herbicides at Green Hills. Since it… Read more »
Jerry Hess
Jerry Hess
Dan, great timing. I just returned from Khao Yai and had a very productive trip in some senses but not in regards to AO. The good news is I will be going back to live there as an consultant for the parks SAR team. This should give me more access to the local authorities but not necessarily my main purpose. Dan, I would like to establish email contact with you and your other GH friend. Lots of questions I have.… Read more »
Daniel E. Decker
Daniel E. Decker

If I’m the one you’re talking to, my email address is [email protected].

Jerry Hess
Jerry Hess

Sorry but message was for Dan Lambert

Dan Lambert
Dan Lambert

Jerry, reach me at: [email protected]. I’m looking foreward to hearing from you.
Dan.

Dan Lambert
Dan Lambert

Jerry,
My computer had a problem for a few days and I don’t know if you received the email address that I sent. Let me know
,Dan Lambert

Michael Cunningham
I am looking for someone who was in Udorn, Thailand in 1961. I served in the Marines and landed at the airport in June 1961. I now have an array of illnesses including diabetes and all the things that go with it. I have applied for VA compensation and have been denied several times because they say they did not spray there at that time. I am trying to get information and proof Agent Orange was sprayed there during the… Read more »
Mario Smith
Mario Smith

It is time for someone to find an attorney out to make a name for themselves and request back pay for conditions that were in effect the last day we were in country! I left in October of ’71 – why didn’t my service connection go back to the last day it was possible for me to be exposed?

Michael Stewart
Dear Mario, and everyone else who thinks that they can hire an Attorney! If you BOTHER/BOTHERED to look at all my POSTS on this site/subject you will find that you must FIRST FILE A CLAIM!! THEN, WHEN THE V.A. TURNS YOU DOWN, YOU MUST FILE A “NOTICE OF DISAGREEMENT” WITH THEM! Then, if they DO pay you less than you expect, you must again file a NOTICE OF DISAGREEMENT with them .. and you mast continue to do this until… Read more »
Mario Smith
Mario Smith

My friend, I already receive 40% for diabetes and stage 3 kidney disease as a result of presumed exposure of herbicides from NKP, Thai (Oct 70-Oct 71). I am just wishing we could boot back the claim to the last day in country. Of course my next duty station was Pease, NH and there isn’t much doubt that herbicides were used there, but USAF wouldn’t admit it.

M. D. Stewart
To: Mario Smith, “NOTHING HAPPENS UNTIL YOU FILE A CLAIM”!! Evidently you did not file a claim, in time to receive your benefits until after you got out of Service. Had you filed a Claim for Benefits you would have gotten your Back Pay and the annual increases every year since then Mario. At least you are getting them NOW! There is a book named the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV” that gives ALL the %’s that are available for… Read more »
James E King
I am not sure where you getting your facts but you are mistaken about attorneys and the claim VA process. As a veteran’s claims paralegal I regularly file initial claims for fellow veterans. If it is approved we receive NO payment because an attorney CANNOT charge a fee UNTIL an appeal has been filed. If we assist with the appeal we receive 20% of the back pay as our fee. If the appeal is not successful we do not get… Read more »
Alene P Gauthier
Alene P Gauthier
Mario, my husband, Richard “Dick” Gauthier was at Korat around the same time period as you were in Thailand. He died in 1997; I had no idea about Agent Orange in Thailand until I just heard about it on the news a few nights ago ( 4/26/17). I am trying to look through his files to verify dates and see if I have everything that is needed to file a claim. Thanks to everyone for all the information. Patty Gauthier
ALLEN L. (MIKE) MINER
ALLEN L. (MIKE) MINER

I was ground/administrative support for the 336TFS at Ubon and at Utapoa this was always a question in everyone mind. Thanks for bining this up.

Mark
Mark
Really good article. Just to show how dicked up the VA is, I was a security policeman stationed at Utapao RTAF and I was denied service connection for Diabetes Mellitus. I had my VSO (who is very good) immediately den them a NOD and the claim was reopened. I just received a denial again even though the VA’s own ajudication manual states very clearly that a security policeman stationed at Utapao, Thailand “If yes, concede herbicide exposure on a direct/facts-found… Read more »
Dan Decker
Dan Decker

Mark, so far there is no penalty to the VA claim evaluators; I agree with you; there should be. But there is an advantage to the veteran who lives long enough to get his claim approved. They will pay you benefits back to the date of your first claim. I fought them for 7 years; I received an initial check for $58K.

jane
jane

Mark
I am so sorry for what you are going through. My husband went through 8 1/2 years a cancer treatments and he didn’t get approval of his untill 4 days before he died. Then they only paid me for 2 years of the claim. At least he never new that part. I requested a re-evaluation of time almost 18 months ago and I have heard nothing.
God Bless you
Jane

James Caufield
James Caufield
Vietnam-era Veterans whose service involved duty on or near the perimeters of military bases in Thailand anytime between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975 may have been exposed to herbicides and may qualify for VA benefits. The following Veterans may have been exposed to herbicides: I was at Korat working in the Munitions Operations Area (MOA) 20MM shop. From what I read and the spray maps the MOA was originally jungle that was sprayed. Once the vegetation died they… Read more »
Billy
Billy

I wonder about the cutoff dates myself. I arrived at NKP 1 June 75.

clemensclub
clemensclub
It’s December 3rd, 2015. My spouse, who died in August of 2013, first started with Diabetes, Type 2, sometime in the early 1990’s. After that, he made an appointment with the local VA hospital to get evaluated and was sent home after a cursory examination. They never asked to look at his Dr. reports. He received a letter saying that he was denied any service related disability, as he had not served in Vietnam. He did not appeal…felt it was… Read more »
Scott Nelms
Scott Nelms

Jan,

You need to contact one of the service organizations that assist for free Veterans in filing claims and other veteran related issues. Here are a couple, most have offices in larger cities, often in the same building as the Veterans Aministration offices. They can get you started

https://vva.org/ vietnam veterans of America

https://www.dav.org/ disabled American veterans

Richard W. Twyford
Richard W. Twyford

Very interesting info. & comments. I was in Ubon Thailand in 1968 TDY to work on and fly Blind Bat missions on the C 130A models dropping flares with a fighter escort.

Nick R.
Nick R.
I was stationed at Ubon, RTAFB from July 1969 to July 1970. I was assigned to the 435 TFS (flight line) as a Crew Chief working on F4 Phantoms. Our squadron was located just inside the perimeter of the base and during flight launches we would walk out to the perimeter to have a smoke as you could not be near the parked aircraft or to just take a break. I currently have a claim for prostate cancer for AO… Read more »
Scott Nelms
Scott Nelms
Anyone stationed at U-Tapeo RTAFB. I see no where anything said about the Public ON BASE beach recreation area. Since U-T was directly on the Gulf of Siam the base set up a large beach inside the base which was just off of the runway and flight line. THE BEACH WAS DIRECTLY ON THE PERIMETER OF THE BASE IN THE MOST SENSITIVE AREA OF THE VERY LARGE BASE. It had Tiki Huts, bars, food services and a sailing club. It… Read more »
Richard C Brown
Richard C Brown

Thank you for this info. I have been fighting VA disability claim over two years now for vocal cord cancer ( removed four time )and prostate cancer remover twice since Sept.2016 and was stationed at U-tapao AFB 324 days From 1969 thru 1972 (two six month tours ).VA still declining me but I will keep protesting their decision. Again Thank you .
Richard C. Brown

Qugenix RX Cream

I also believe therefore, perfectly pent post!

S4th ti to tNelms
S4th ti to tNelms
I left U-T for the last time in late Jan, 72. I had noticed my hands were itching and sweating badly on this trip and also on other trips. When I got back to Ellsworth, it had gotten so bad I went to the E/R. I became a cilvilian on 8-1-72 and the skin issues got worse spreading from my hands. I went to a dermatologist who within secs. disagnosed the skin issues as exposure to toxic industrial chemicals and… Read more »
Nick Rizzo
Nick Rizzo
Thank you for all of your hard work and efforts on behalf of all veterans. Your information is very timely, I was stationed at Ubon AFB from Jan 1969 to 1970. I was a Flightline Crew Chief on F4 Phantoms, my squadron was the 435 TFS which was located by the perimiter of the base. Flash forward to 2011, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer and opted to have it removed, talk about a life changing event. I went thru… Read more »
Mark Fleckenstein
Mark Fleckenstein

Nick, I worked on aircraft that returned to US and had to clean electronics, antenna and avionic equipment bays. Is there any way to get tail numbers ? PS I’m sick too.

Nick Rizzo
Nick Rizzo

Hi Mike,
Sorry to hear that. The tail number of my aircraft was 594 and the other one that stood out was 555, they were all F-4D’s.

Nick Rizzo

Kevin Kelly
Kevin Kelly
I was a Flight Mechanic on KC135 Aircraft and stationed at U-Tapao from 11-69 to 11-70. I was also sent to Takhli in July ’70 for 8 weeks to support F105 Operations (it was decided to experiment refueling the Thuds when they took off ‘nil’ of fuel but fully overloaded with ordinance immediately after takeoff). While at UT I witnessed, more than once, C-123 aircraft from Pleiku AB, that landed, were refueled and departed. I am sure you know what… Read more »
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