Agent Orange Update June 2019
Latest VA Update Supports Blue Water Navy Veterans
Following the decision by the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) not to contest a 29 January 2019 Court of Appeals ruling that in effect authorizes health care and disability benefits for Vietnam era “Blue Water Navy” sailors and Marines for Agent Orange related illnesses, a lesser publicized ruling also potentially benefit those veterans who have previously filed a claim with the VA. An article in the June edition of the Military Officers of America Association (MOAA) magazine states that as of 1 April 2019 the Board of Veteran’s Appeals will lift the stay that prevented any decisions on individual Blue Water Navy appeals while the Procopio (plaintiff) vs Wilkie (VA) lawsuit was under adjudication. A finding of that lawsuit was that “the Republic of Vietnam included the 12 nautical mile territorial waters of that nation”.
As previously stated relative to former MASSEY shipmates who were on board the ship during the month of April 1966 for the WESPAC Cruise, we have copies of the ship’s logs for several periods during April showing the ship was engaged in gunfire support operations well within territorial waters. If you need access to those logs to substantiate a VA claim, contact Dick Pearsall at <firstname.lastname@example.org> or 757-679-8920.