Can you help me? I am looking for a help with this, to get the information I need to prove to the government that I served in the Vietnam War and was physically in the country of Vietnam.
I was a Marine Corps crew chief and served in Vietnam from May 1972 through December 1972. I was stationed aboard helicopter carriers, the New Orleans and Tripoli. We flew combat troops into Vietnam and airlifted the dead and wounded from various battle sights. I was involved in several combat missions, was shot down and witnessed most of my friends being killed in action. I saw a lot of action and the events still haunt me.
I am now 62 years old and have developed several diseases that have been determined to be linked to Agent Orange exposure. I have type II diabetes, heart disease, and possible another disease that I will be undergoing tests for within the next month. I have also been diagnosed with PTSD from the events I experienced in the war.
The problem is that the Marine Corps is claiming they have lost all of my records. Fortunately, I kept a copy for myself and was able to use these documents to prove that I was in the Marine Corps and received the Vietnam Service Medal. Because I had these records, I was able to get VA healthcare benefits.
I have applied for my compensation benefits, which is supposed to be awarded to veterans who have diseases linked to Agent Orange. However, in December 2010, the local Veteran Affairs office in Salt Lake City, Utah denied my claim. They said the military records I provided do not prove that I was physically in the country of Vietnam. They said I was a “salt- water Marine” because my squadron was stationed aboard ships in the waters around Vietnam.
They are telling me that I must prove that I was physically in the country by producing such things as flight logs with my name on them, daily reports or the like that prove I went on missions into the country.
I was recently told by a researcher that does Army-only research for veterans, that there is a document wherein President Lyndon Johnson declared that anyone who “was in the waters of Vietnam” is to be considered as having “served in the country of Vietnam.” He said that if I can get a copy of this document, it should satisfy my claim also.
Can you help me obtain any of these documents?
I am under a time deadline in which I have to fully satisfy all of the VA’s requirements. So, time is of the essence. Please let me know if you can help me in any way. You can contact me at (801) 450-0382 or at my email address: annmiller01 at sign comcast.net Thank you very much. Sincerely, Rhett Miller