The information on this
page is presented for all Batcat's, in fact all servicemen
and women. All the information shown here is UNOFFICIAL. Since we are
NOT doctors, we offer
no medical advice. Since we are NOT lawyers, we offer no legal
advice. We are NOT
accredited Veteran Service Officers with the information
presented here intended for your review. To the best of our
knowledge the data on this homepage is accurate. This information
should give you support from the expierences of others. Hopefully
the data presented will give you the needed starting point to
find additional, official information and contacts. Batcat
Veteran Information page added 05/11/09, Last Updated 03/24/17.
WEBMASTER CONTACT INFORMATION
wife and I completed the sale of our Maine home and we are now
settling into our California home to be nearer our grand
children. With this move the only valid email for webmaster Larry Westin
is firstname.lastname@example.org - several
areas on my Batcat pages may still show our previous Maine
address, phone number and email. I'm in the process of correcting
those areas to show our new contact information, which is Larry
Westin, 21721 Verde St., Tehachapi, California 93561, phone (661)
Quick Links Menu
Westin's e-mail address
As of January 15, 2016 I am aware of 47 veterans
who have VA approved claims for exposure to herbicides/Agent Orange for their service at Korat
RTAFB during the Vietnam era using information from this homepage. Everyone of those veterans
initially had their claim denied. It is very important for each veteran to keep copies of all
paperwork submitted to the VA. In addition if (when) your claim is denied, don't submit a new
claim, rather appeal the VA decision. Please review all the information on this page. If you
need help I recommend youcontact an attorney who specializies in VA claims. Most important is
to never give up!!
Attorney help with your
Department of Veterans Affairs
If you encounter difficulty with your VA claim,
you may want to consider using the services of an attorney. If
you decide to retain an attorney to help with your VA claim, it
is best to hire an attorney who specializes in representing
veterans and their families. Those who author this homepage
provide, to the best of our ability, accurate information,
however we are not qualified to provide legal advice. What we can
provide here are the names and contact information for qualified
attorneys. We list here those attorneys who specialize in
handling cases for veterans.
The Law Office of Katrina J. Eagle represents only veterans and
their families. Review Ms.
Eagle's Resume to learn about her practice. If after
reviewing her resume you believe she may be able to help you,
Katrina Eagle via her homepage. Ms. Eagle assists veterans by
reviewing their denied claims and finding VA mistakes. If you
believe the VA has made a mistake in denying your claim, you
should contact Ms. Eagle's office for a free case evaluation,
to see if she may be able to assist you with your claim.
Additional details on her homepage. Added 12/29/12.
Katrina Eagle represents veterans all over the
United States, including those who served in Thailand and now
have health issues associated with herbicide exposure. Here is a
recent (Dec. 23, 2013) successful case where Katrina Eagle
veteran who served at Korat RTAFB 1968-1969 who was exposed to
herbicides while at Korat. File is in Adobe PDF format, about
1.9 meg in size. Added
Korat RTAFB Before the USAF showing
extensive Jungle on the USAF side of Korat
demonstrates why herbicides/Agent Orange was
needed to clear Jungle on the USAF side of Korat
This image shows an aerial view of
USAF expansion, showing Camp Friendship Army
Base, view is looking north. Photo shows runway in place, but vacant land where
the USAF base would be developed. Photo taken in 1964. Note that most of the USAF side of
Korat RTAFB is covered by extensive jungle which had to be eliminated before the USAF could
expand the base. Photo courtesy of MacAlan Thompson,
color, about 18K, added 11/03/02.
As you can see from the image above there was very little existed on what would
become the USAF side of Korat. First USAF personel to arrive were sent in to
establish communications, precision approach radar, etc. The first USAF arrivals
found a lot of work was needed for the base to operate high performance aircraft.
This view of
Korat RTAFB taken from the control tower built by the Japanese in WWII. Note the
heavy vegetation. My thanks to Felix Herring
for this image, which was taken in late 1964. Image is Color, about 50K,
Here is a view taken in late 1964 from what would become the USAF side of Korat RTAFB,
the runway to the Royal Thai Air Force side of the base. Note the tall vegetation
between what would become the USAF side of the base, and the Thai side of Korat RTAFB.
This vegetation had to be removed and kept down. The Thai side of the base was equipped
with North American T-6 aircraft, and Douglas C-47 aircraft. My thanks to
Felix Herring for this image, which was taken
in late 1964. Image is B&W, about 123K,
This is a view of a
Hootch upon USAF arrival at Korat. In the foreground is the outside urnial for the hootch with
a corregated sheet steel around the urinal to give limited privacy. The "road" shown with
the tree line behind is what will be the perimeter road. Note that the windows of the hootch have a
thacthed "shutter." My thanks to Felix Herring
for this image, which was taken in late 1964. Image is B&W, about 380K,
Just down from the above hootch was the first
food stand on the USAF side of Korat RTAFB. Tree line in back is the perimeter.
My thanks to Felix Herring
for this image, which was taken in late 1964. Image is B&W, about 132K,
The building on the left is the
first USAF NCO Club at Korat. It required those visiting the NCO Club to cross the perimeter
road to get to the club. The NCO club windows also use thacthed "shutter." My thanks to
Felix Herring for this image, which was taken in early 1965.
Image is B&W, about 347K, added 04/21/16.
One of the early improvements is shown here. This image shows
upgrading hootches from
a thacthed "shutter" on the left (1964), to corregated steel shutter on the right (1965).
During the 1964 to 1971 time frame the hootches never had glass in the windows. There were screens.
My thanks to Felix Herring for this image, who is the
airman shown in each image. Photo was taken in early 1965. Left image is B&W, right image color,
about 115K, added 04/21/16.
Get an idea of Korat's base layout by viewing this
Royal Thai Air Force Base Map USAF side of the base. This map shows the USAF side of Korat RTAFB
from 1967 going forward. Map shows the vast increase of buildings at Korat which required the removal
of the jungle using herbicides/Agent Orange. That extensive jungle didn't magically disappear,
herbicides/Agent Orange were used to kill off that jungle to make way for the buildings. This map shows
the extensive construction on the area which was once jungle. Map courtesy of
B&W, about 183K, added 09/28/02.
Information on herbicides/Agent Orange
on the USAF side of Korat RTAFB
BARRELS OF AGENT ORANGE HERBICIDE WERE STOCKPILED AT KORAT RTAFB
- the VA has voiced concerned to some veterans that many of the images
I provide, including images of barrels, are B&W. This color image of
Barrels of Agent Orange Herbicide
Stockpiled at Korat RTAFB during 1968 confirms that Agent Orange was stored at Korat, about 488K. As this
view shows the barrels were located right next to the 553rd Reconnaissance Wing operational ramp. Note the
EC-121R aircraft on the ramp. Korat RTAFB was the only air base in SEA the EC-121R's were assigned to. My
thanks to Richard Gonzalez for sending this image.
Added 12/23/14. See image Part 3t below how these barrels of herbicide/Agent
Orange were applied around the base at Korat RTAFB.
U.S. Army info on shipping Herbicides/Agent Orange
- to Vietnam and Thailand. This is a
letter to John Bury
from the Department of the Army about herbicides including Agent Orange. In particular note the second to last paragraph
which indicates herbicide shipments went via civilian merchant ships to Vietnam and Thailand. Adobe Acrobat PDF format,
about 712K, added 11/01/15. My thanks to
Harry Henderson for sending me a copy of this letter, and my thanks to
John Bury for allowing me to publish this letter on my homepage.
NOTE - multiple veterans, USAF and U.S. Navy, have communicated to me that not only were civilian merchant
ships used, but also used were U.S. Navy ships (USNS ships) and also United States Ships (USS ships) were involved in moving
the herbicides/Agent Orange to SEA. USS stands for "United States Ship" - they are commissioned ships
manned by the U.S. Navy. USNS stands for "United States Naval Ship" - they are non-commissioned ships
which may be manned entirely by civilians, while other USNS vessels have mixed crews of civilians and some U.S. Navy. Although
the letter says no USS ships were used to transport herbicides/Agent Orange, multiple veterans have told me the USS White
Plains, a US Navy commissioned ship manned by the U.S. Navy, did in fact transport AO. Will add more information when I can.
John Putnam created this Adobe PDF file on the
differences in how Agent Orange
barrels were marked. To date I have been unable to locate a MIL Std definition for barrel marking.
Adobe Acrobat PDF format, about 1.7 meg, Added 04/26/15.
Agent Orange and Toxic Chemical use at
Korat RTAFB and other Thailand Bases
The Department of Veterans
Affairs acknowledges that herbicides, including Agent Orange,
were used at several Thailand bases, including Korat RTAFB, in
the 1961 to 1975 time frame. Unlike those assigned to Vietnam,
VA only gives presumption of exposure to those assigned as K-9 handlers
or security policeman on
Thai bases. HOWEVER
veterans who can show on a factual basis that they were assigned
to a work area, physical fittness, or their living area was near
the perimeter are also eligible for benefits. AFFECTED AREA AT KORAT RTAFB, per
U.S. Army manual 3-3, dated 1971, ground sprayed herbicides,
including Agent Orange, may drift up to 500 meters from the spray
equipment. While the VA does NOT give presumption of exposure to
those assigned to AFSC's other than K-9 handlers or security policeman
on Thai bases, many claims have been approved
on an individual basis to those who worked and lived near the
Here is the Department of Veterans Affairs
(VA) statement about Thailand Military Bases and Agent Orange
Exposure. This VA page includes USAF and Army veterans
assigned to Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base. I recommend every
veteran who believes he or she may have health issues related to
herbicide/Agent Orange exposure while assigned to Korat RTAFB, or
another Thai base, review the information on this VA page. VA
officers tell me the decision NOT to allow presumption of
herbicide exposure to Thai based veterans comes from Congress.
Added 10/07/10, updated
IMPORTANT NEW INFORMATION -
The section of the Department of Veteran Affairs manual known as
M21-1_PrtIV_Subprt-ii Chapter 1 section H-5, and M21-1MR_PrtIV_Subprt-ii Chapter 2, section C, part 10, sub-section (q)
which defines the requirements Vietnam era veterans Thailand based veterans must meet to establish a
claim for herbicide exposure. THIS SECTION RECENTLY UPDATED on
November 12, 2015. For those veterans who were not K-9 handlers, or security police, which now
have presumption of exposure, veterans with other USAF AFSC's will need to pay particular
attention to Chapter 1, section 5, steps 2 through 7. The veteran will also need to be prepared to
provide evidence per Chapter 2, section C, part 10, sub section q, steps 2 through 8. Recommend you also
print out my information packets Part 6A and Part 6B below to help demonstrate your activities
at or near the perimeter. My thanks to Robert Gurley
for letting me know about the August 7, 2015 VA manual update, and again for the October 30, 2015
VA manual update, and to Harry Henderson for letting me know that
section H-5 was also updated. PDF format, about 53K in size. Added 08/23/15,
last updated 11/24/15.
DEFINING "NEAR" THE PERIMETER - VA offices across the U.S.
define "near" the perimeter differently. I submitted Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) request
under 5 U.S.C. § 552, VA FOIA request 17-02994-F, specifically asking what government document is used to
define "near" the perimeter. The VA reply was "there is no specific definition of 'near,'
as it is evaluated on a case-by-case basis." FOIA request made by webmaster
Larry Westin. Added 01/15/17.
For additional information about herbicide usage from the VA site view the
official VA blog on the 10 things every veteran should know about Agent Orange. Learn the basics
of VA's Agent Orange benefits and care. My thanks to Frank Cleary
for letting me know about this official VA information source. Added
from the Air Force Historical Research Agency about vegetation
control at Korat RTAFB. IMPORTANT the 388th TFW was the
primary unit at Korat RTAFB. USAF directives to use
herbicide/Agent Orange for vegetation control were issued to the
388th Combat Support Group. These pages from the 388th TFW
official history detail USAF directives for vegetation control at
Korat RTAFB. File is about .9 meg. VERY IMPORTANT while directives
were issued to the USAF 388th Combat Support Group to use
herbicides/Agent Orange for vegetation control, the USAF
requested that the U.S. Army at Camp Friendship perform the
actual spraying. The Army then sent the Armed Forces Pest
Management Board records of herbicide/Agent Orange spraying at
The Armed Forces Pest Management Board testified to
the VA that they do NOT have records pertaining to
herbicide/Agent Orange spraying at Korat RTAFB. See VA Citation
1028449, see paragraph on page 4 of 5, highlighted in yellow.
This paragraph is testimonty to the VA that the Armed Forces Pest
Management Board did not keep records for herbicide usage at
Korat RTAFB. The Armed Forces Pest Management Board recommends
contacting the USAF, however the USAF did NOT perform the
herbicide spraying, the Army at Camp Friendship did the spraying.
Because no records remain, all the information on this Batcat
Veterans homepage as to where herbicide/Agent Orange was sprayed
at Korat RTAFB, and what areas of the base are affected by the
spraying use the standard U.S. Army drift zone value of 500
meters (1,640 feet) as published in Army manual FM 3-3. See Part
4 - U.S. Army Field Manual 3-3 Tactical Employment of Herbicides
below. NOTE at Korat RTAFB USAF four piston engine, propeller
aircraft created wind pushing the herbicide drift zone for more than
the 500 meters. While this citation indicates herbicides were used in June
1972, official histories of the 388th TFW indicate
herbicides/Agent Orange were used for vegetation control at least
as early as September 1968. Added
1325185 is a successful herbicide/Agent Orange claim from a Vietnam era
veteran assigned to Korat RTAFB. The claim was initially denied, approved on
appeal. There are some important points
in this VA citation. First it confirms there was significant use of herbicides
in Thailand and references the CHECO report on Base Defense in Thailand
during the Vietnam era, copy below. See page 3, top paragraph. Second it references VA manual
M21-1MR, Part IV, Subpart ii, Chapter 2, Section C part 10 sub section (q )
which requires that "If a veteran
served on one of these air bases as a security policeman, security patrol dog
handler, member of a security police squadron, or otherwise served near the
air base perimeter, as shown by MOS (military occupational specialty), performance
evaluations, or other credible evidence, then herbicide exposure should be
acknowledged on a facts-found or direct basis."
My thanks to Harry Henderson for letting
me know about this VA citation. PDF format, about 12K.
on Base Defense in Thailand during the Vietnam era. Contemparary Historical Examination of Current Operations (CHECO) Report from the Air Force
Historical Research Agency. This report details steps taken from
1961 to 1972 to protect USAF installations in Thailand. Includes
details of terrorist attacks on USAF Thai bases during 1968 and
1969 and later. My thanks to Gil
Jennings for providing this information. This
document was one piece of the evidence used by the VA to approve
the claim of Batcat John
Wright. File is large, about 9.3 meg., Adobe PDF
format. NOTE this is an
updated copy of much better quality then the copy originally
found here. Also some missing pages on the original are included
with this copy. Added 07/21/10, updated
Sample Successful VA Claim for Batcat Assigned to Korat
Because those assigned to Thailand do NOT have
presumption of herbicide exposure for VA health claims, each
claim must show individual factual information to support their
claim. This successful claim was made by Sandra McDow after her
husband, Batcat MSgt. Marvin McDow, 553rd EMS, passed away
November 9, 2011 from lung cancer. After initial denial of his
claim, here is the documentation Sandra accumulated in her
successful claim appeal (separated here into sections to keep
file sizes smaller). Added 09/24/13, last updated
RECOMMENDATIONS - 1
- Keep copies of each page submitted for a claim for your own
records. 2 - Submit your claim in a logical order with each
section tabbed. Remember the VA service officers have thousands
of claims to review. Make it easier for the VA to review your
Each claim requires your personal USAF
documentaion including your DD214, Orders and Medical Health
information. If you don't have this material you may obtain
duplicates as follows:
Part 1 - Factual Evidence Overview, and VA Ruling -
IMPORTANT present your
claim in an accurate, orderly, complete package. Department of
Veteran Affairs Veteran Service Officers have a lot of claims to
consider. The more accurate, complete and logically ordered makes
it easier for the VSO to review. Adobe PDF format, about 847K,
2 - Factual Statements in Support of Claim - signed
statements, some with illustrations, supporting where MSgt. McDow
worked and lived, specifically showing the proximity to the
perimeter. Adobe PDF format, about 2.2 Meg, Added
- Part 3 - these images show that both
air crew members and those assigned to ground jobs all worked,
lived and relaxed near the perimeter within the herbicide drift
- Part 3a -
many of the "Hootch" living quarters were virtually on
the perimeter. My thanks to Bruce Lazurus
via Bob Freitag
for this image. Color, about 331K, Added
- Part 3b -
sandbag revetments were filled by airmen with material from the
perimeter. My thanks to Bruce Lazurus
via Bob Freitag
for this image. Color, about 311K, Added
- Part 3c
- "Hootch" living quarters had windows with screens,
but the windows did NOT have glass to prevent herbicides from
entering. My thanks to Larry Lancaster
for this image. B&W, about 105K, Added
- Part 3d -
"Hootch" living quarters had outside latrines and
showers. Those using these facilities reported being
"engulfed in fog" when the perimeter was sprayed.
Larry Westin image.
B&W, about 88K, Added
- Part 3e -
Per U.S. - Thai treaty, everyone on Korat RTAFB had their clothes
washed in a tub outside, and dried outside by "Hootch"
girls. My thanks to Vernie Andricks
for this image. B&W, about 138K, Added
09/24/13. Here is a second view of
washing clothes in a wash tub, then hanging the wet clothes on the line to dry.
Herbicides/Agent Orange drift would cling to wet clothes, then these clothes would be worn by
the veterans. Webmaster Larry Westin photo.
B&W, about 203K, Added 01/01/17.
3f - Barrels of chemicals stored immediately next to the 553rd
Reconnaissance Wing Operational Apron. My thanks to
Bill Holbrook for this image.
B&W, about 177K,Added
- Part 3g -
toxic chemicals kill vegetation near the 553rd EMS shop close to
the maintenance hangar. My thanks to Bill Holbrook
for this image. Color, about 133K, Added
3h - ground maintenance technicians often worked all day on the
553rd operational ramp, while air crews spent a minimum of 3 to 4
hours on the ramp prior to each mission, and 1 hour after each
mission on the operational ramp which was very near the Korat
RTAFB perimeter. My thanks to Clyde Jelinek for this image.
Color, about 148K, Added
- Part 3i -
when the USAF started to use Korat RTAFB, a GCA van was one of
the first pieces of equipment installed. Photo taken December
1964, the tops of the barrels were removed to the airmen could
fill the barrel with dirt and sand. This image shows that orange
and white barrels were used to build revetments.
My thanks to Felix Herring for this
image.Color, about 148K, Added
- Part 3j -
another view of the orange and white barrels buried around the
GCA van. This photo also taken in December 1964. They had to
bust holes in the top in order that the airmen could fill them
with dirt. My thanks to Felix Herring
for this image.Color, about 168K, Added
- Part 3k -
this photo taken December 1964 shows athletics just outside the
hootch and very near the the perimeter. My thanks to
Felix Herring for this image.
B&W, about 128K, Added
- Part 3l -
another view of extra curricular activities very near the the
perimeter just outside of the hootch. Photo taken Dec. 1964.
My thanks to Felix Herring
for this image. B&W, about 135K, Added
- Part 3m -
frequently airmen were given verbal only orders to support the
perimeter. This image shows an unknown TSgt. Instructor on
the left side of the photo giving Airmen Ed Hodemaker (center
working the M60 machine gun) weapons instruction, while airman on
right Ken Weeks observes. Airmen from the 553rd Reconnaissance
Wing were given minimal training with automatic weapons, then
verbally ordered on a 10 day assignment as an augmentee perimeter
guard at Korat RTAFB. No written orders were provided, the orders
were verbal only. My thanks to Ken Weeks
for this image. B&W, about 136K, Added
- Part 3n -
sand bags stacked around hootches. The sand bags were filled by
airmen from ground cleared of vegetation by herbicides at the perimeter.
My thanks to John Allen for this image.
B&W, about 57K, Added 07/23/14.
- Part 3o -
Perimeter Guard Tower number 2 near the 388th Bomb Dump. Note the perimeter
which is free of vegetaion.
My thanks to John Allen
for this image. B&W, about 213K,
Part 3p -
Camp Friendship with barrels on the right side of the image. The U.S. Army at
Camp Friendship did the actual spraying of herbicides. This image defines the
U.S. Army unit, the 501st Field Depot, as the unit which handled the barrels. My
thanks to Bobby Wright for this image.
Photo dated 1967. B&W, about 153K,
Part 3q - Barrels of
Agent Orange Stored at Korat RTAFB, about 488K. As this view shows the barrels were
located right next to the 553rd Reconnaissance Wing operational ramp. Note the EC-121R aircraft on the ramp,
and Korat RTAFB was the only air base in SEA the EC-121R's were assigned to. My thanks to
Richard Gonzalez for sending this image.
Part 3r - 553rd FMS
Hootches were very near the perimeter at Korat RTAFB, color about 300K. Note the guard
tower which was on the perimeter. My thanks to
Phillip Cameron for sending this image.
Part 3s -
Sand Bagged Bunker near perimeter at Korat RTAFB, color about 98K. This bunker was near
building 1124 with Pennsylvania Ave shown at the bottom. Sand bags filled from dirt
near perimeter after herbicide spraying had killed the vegetation. My thanks to
Tom Philpott for sending this image.
Part 3t -
Herbicide/Agent Orange spray truck based at Camp Friendship for perimeter spraying at Korat RTAFB,
color about 255K. The U.S. Army at Camp Friendship performed the actual spraying of the Korat RTAFB
perimeter using these trucks.
Herbicide/Agent Orange spray trailer pulled by a jeep used to spray areas too big for the spray trucks,
color about 251K. Note the barrel of herbicide/Agent Orange near the trailer which is painted the same
orange/white/orange marking as the barrels stockpiled near the EC-121R aircraft. See image above labeled
"BARRELS OF AGENT ORANGE HERBICIDE WERE STOCKPILED AT KORAT RTAFB." My thanks to
Stephen Anderson for sending these two images.
4 - U.S. Army Field Manual 3-3 Tactical Employment of
Herbicides December 1971. This official document defines how
far ground sprayed herbicides will drift, which is 500 meters,
which is 1640 feet. Herbicide spraying at the Korat RTAFB
perimeter has a herbicide drift zone which covers about 60% of
the base. IMPORTANT I
have highlighted in yellow pages of FM 3-3 which define the drift
zone, see page 5-3 (PDF file page 15 of 23), page 5-5 (PDF file
page 17 of 23), and page 6-1 (PDF file page 18 of 23). The Army
at Camp Friendship actually sprayed the herbicides/Agent Orange.
The Armed Forces Pest Management Board, who is responsible for
keeping records on herbicide/Agent Orange, has lost all records
of spraying at Korat RTAFB. See Part 7B - CitationNr08.pdf - VA
Citation 1028449, below for Armed Forces Pest Management Board
testimony to the VA. Adobe PDF format, about 964K. My thanks to
Joe Eno for providing
this information. Added
Part 5A - Official Department of the Air Force Map
Korat RTAFB, dated 1 January 1973. File in PNG (Portable Network Graphics) format, about 2.6 meg in size.
This is the highest resolution map I have of Korat RTAFB. This is an image of
an official Department of the Air Force map of Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base dated 1/1/1973. My thanks to
Bob Freitag for this high resolution map showing the full base.
Part 5B - Brett Watterson sent me this map of Korat RTAFB which he highlighted the full perimeter. Map
gives a good overview of Korat RTAFB, and if you had duty at places other than what I marked on
the detailed map above, this map can help. File is about 2.3 Meg, in JPG format. This is an image of
an official Department of the Air Force map of Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base dated 1/1/1973.
Part 5C - Official Department of the Air Force Map
Korat RTAFB Showing the perimeter and the herbicide/Agent Orange Drift Zone. Red line shows the Korat RTAFB base
perimeter, while the blue line shows the full 500 meter herbicide/Agent Orange drift zone as defined in U.S. Army
Field Manual 3-3, Tactical Employment of Herbicides. This is the highest resolution map I have of Korat RTAFB showing
both the full base perimeter, and the full herbicide/Agent Orange drift zone. This is an image of
an official Department of the Air Force map of Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base dated 1/1/1973. File is in JPG
(Joint Photographic Experts Group) format, about 883K in size. My thanks to
Michael Weldon and Bob Freitag
for this map showing the full herbicide drift zone. Added 04/01/12.
Part 5D - Map of the Korat RTAFB showing
the Location of the drinking water wells. This is the official Department of the Air Force Map of Korat RTAFB with each
of the 10 drinking water wells. Five of the wells are in the herbicide/Agent Orange drift zone, the other five wells are
outside of the drift zone. These water wells are the source of drinking water, taking showers, washing clothes, water for
cooking, washing dishes, etc. My thanks to Ed Kaznocha for letting me know the
Veteran Service Officer handling his VA claim requested this information. File is in JPG (Joint Photographic Experts Group)
format, about 367K in size. Added 11/29/16.
RECOMMENDATION - download Parts 5A, Part 5B, Part 5C and Part 5D maps files to
a thumb drive, take the files to a blue print company, have that company print the files on large size paper, at least 17 x 22
inch in size. Yes you can print these files on your personal printer, however the larger size that a blue print company
is capable of printing will make the building numbers and other base areas and information much easier to read.
Part 5E - Map of the Korat RTAFB Cantonment Areas
dated 1968. Adobe Acrobat PDF format, about 670K in size. My thanks to Lynn Gates
for this map. Added 06/04/07.
Part 5F - second Map of the Korat
RTAFB Cantonment Areas. My thanks to Dave Rindone for this map. Adobe
Acrobat PDF format, about 962K in size. Added 06/19/14. Some veterans who filed a
VA claim have been asked by the Veterans Administration for building numbers they either worked in or lived in. Since
few of us, this webmaster included, paid much attention to recording building numbers, these maps are what are available
today to identify building numbers at Korat RTAFB.
The FOD Walk into the Herbicide Drift Zone
One task NOT taken into consideration with how the drift zone is shown on the map
above is the requirement for Foreign Object Damage Walks - also
known as "FOD Walks".
FOD walks were performed to locate and remove items which could damage an aircraft,
particularly an engine. To prevent damage to these high value aircraft and other mechanical
assets it was imperative that we pick up any and all foreign objects. This necessitated
policing up the flight line, all areas surrounding the flight line and taxiways including
the grassy areas in all directions as well as to the northeast of the flight line clear
to the perimeter fence. Air Force Instruction 21-101, paragraph 220.127.116.11,
specifically states that FOD walks are mandatory to remove FOD from ramps,
uncontrolled runways, and access roads. The 553rd maintenance technicians normally
performed this required task. My thanks to
Harry Hendson for this information.
- Part 6A -
Detail maps of Korat RTAFB showing the major work, living and
physical training areas - the outter red line shows the base
perimeter, the inner blue line shows the herbicide drift zone.
Areas marked in yellow on the overview map on page 4 of 11 are detailed in the
following pages. Page 4 of 11, and 6 of 8 now shows where Agent Orange
herbicide was stored at Korat. Other maps show graphically that work areas, living quarters,
service clubs, physical training and testing, extra curricular activities, and traveling
into Korat City required the veteran to be at or near the perimeter. Adobe PDF format, now Rev. E,
about 2.2 Meg, added 09/24/13, updated
6B - Photos of Korat RTAFB showing areas detailed in the map. Rev. D
now includes the color photo of the Agent Orange Barrel Storage near the
553rd Reconnaissance Wing operational Ramp. The EC-121Rs on the ramp confirm this
photo, taken 1968, is Korat RTAFB. Adobe PDF format, about 1 Meg, Rev. D, added 11/14/13,
6C - Map section of Korat RTAFB showing areas of the 388th bomb
dump and off base munitions storage area. Individuals who worked
the bomb dump had to pass through the Korat RTAFB perimeter coming
and going to the off base munitions storage area. JPG format, about 269K.
6D - Images and Korat RTAFB Map confirming barrels of Agent Orange were stored
at Korat RTAFB. Some DoD and VA offices have stated that Agent Orange
was never at Korat RTAFB. That is incorrect, this PDF file has photographs
of barrels storing Agent Orange at Korat, along with a map showing in
detail precisely where this storage area was located on the base.
- Part 7 - included with
the claim are these other successful claims from others who
served at Korat RTAFB, Added
- Part 7A - CitationNr06.pdf
- Part 7B -
CitationNr08.pdf - this is VA Citation 1028449, see page 4 of
5, highlighted in yellow, relating to fact that the Armed Forces
Pest Management Board did not keep records for herbicide usage at
Korat RTAFB. While this citation indicates herbicides were used
in June 1972, official histories of the 388th TFW indicate
herbicides were used for vegetation control at least as earlier
as September 1968. Link corrected, text for this link
- Part 8 -
Appendix showing the name, address and contact information of
those who provided factual statements. Adobe PDF format,
about 95K, Added
Sandra McDow, a veteran herslef, put a lot of effort into the
above claim package. She presented factual information in a clear
concise format. Her initial claim was denied, what you see here
is her successful appeal. Hopefully the information she put
together will help others who were stationed at Korat RTAFB to
submit successful claims. If you need help with your claim,
Sandra may be able to assist you. Her email contact info is
My thanks to Sandra
McDow for providing the documentation she
developed for a successful appeal. Added 09/24/13, last updated 11/14/13.
Batcat Glenn M. Sommers Sr. Passed Away August 9, 1991
Daughter Angela Sommers got herbicide/Agent Orange
VA Claim approval for her mother in 2016
Major Sommers served as a CICO in the 553rd Reconnaissance Wing. The biggest hurdle was that my father never
in fact filed a disability claim with the VA. At the time of Major Sommers' death the VA didn't recognize
herbicide/Agent Orange expsoure for Thailand based veterans during the Vietnam era. Upon his death Major Sommers'
wife filed for a hardship widows pension in 1991, although not a Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) claim,
but because of this paragraph in the Nehmer Court orders: In accordance with §3.152(b)(1), a claim
by a surviving spouse or child for death pension will be considered a claim for DIC.
Years later through FOIA requests, the "CHECO Report on Base Defense in Thailand" (copy of the CHECO report
above on this page) confirms that herbicides/Agent Orange was used to control vegetation on Thai bases used by the
USAF during the Vietnam era, including Korat RTAFB. Angela Sommers began the appeal process in 2014.
These documents (with personal names blacked out) show the process to appeal a claim and obtain VA approval for
a DIC claim for herbicide/Agent Orange exposure for those who served at Korat RTAFB, and were NOT a security
policeman or K-9 handler:
Denial Letter dated 07/22/15. To
the best of my knowledge every veteran who served at Korat RTAFB during the Vietnam era, or surviving widow making
a DIC claim, initially had their claim for herbicide/Agent Orange exposure denied. Don't give up, appeal.
If you are still denied contact a veteran service orgainization or a VA credited attorney, contact info for both
on this page. PDF format, about 187K.
Buddy Statement. Some VA offices
have demanded written orders showing the veteran was ordered to the perimeter. Webmaster Larry Westin spent four
years in the USAF. Yes I received written orders to move from one base to another. Once on that base if I was
ordered to some other part of the base, perimeter or other section of the base, it was verbal orders only, never
a written order. Use buddy statements, the maps and images on this page to prove the veteran was at a point
"near" the perimeter. PDF format, about 272K.
Answering the reason for denial.
Be specific. Even if you "think" you have copies of ALL your orders, request ALL of
your military and health records from the National Archives. See "instructions on how to obtain copies of ALL
your military records via postal mail" on this page. PDF format, about 127K.
The VA claim Award
two letters from the VA confirming approval of the claim. PDF format, about 308K.
§3.816—Awards under the Nehmer
Court Orders for disability or death caused by a condition presumptively associated with herbicide exposure.
"(d) Effective date of dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC). If a Nehmer class membber is entitled
to DIC for a death due to a covered herbicide disease, the effective date of the award will be as follows:
(1) If VA denied DIC for the death in a decision issued between September 25, 1985
and May 3, 1989, the effective date of the award will be the later of the date VA received the claim on which
such prior denial was based or the date the death occurred, except as otherwise provided in paragraph (d)(3)
of this section.
(2) If the class member’s claim for DIC for the death was either pending before
VA on May 3, 1989, or was received by VA between that date and the effective date of the statute or regulation
establishing a presumption of service connection for the covered herbicide disease that caused the death, the
effective date of the award will be the later of the date such claim was received by VA or the date the death
occurred, except as otherwise provided in paragraph (d)(3) of this section. In
accordance with §3.152(b)(1), a claim by a surviving spouse or child for death pension will be considered
a claim for DIC, in all other cases, a claim will be considered a claim for DIC if the
claimant's application and other supporting statements and submissions may reasonably be viewed, under
the standards ordinarily governing DIC claims, as indicating an intent to apply for DIC."
This court order may provide the legal path for widows and surviving children to obtain VA help. PDF format, about 17K.
My thank you to Angela Sommers, daughter of Batcat Glenn M. Sommers Sr.,
for both overcoming the frustration encountered dealing with the VA and allowing me to put ALL the above
information on my homepage which hopefully help others. If you have question ask Angela Sommers via email at
email@example.com who may be
able to help. Added 01/15/17, captions updated 01/17/17.
Korat RTAFB Specific
Information for the
553rd Reconnaissance Wing and 388th TFW
Presented here is information about the use of Herbicides and
Toxic Chemicals at Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base in the 1967 to
1972 time period. This information is provided to help ALL
veterans who served at Korat, and other Thailand bases, in this
time period to better understand where toxic chemicals such as
the "Rainbow" herbicides, including Agent Orange, as
well as other toxic chemicals were used. Recommend you download
all information and review the information provided. This data
may help you with a Veterans Affairs claim.
- Several individuals have contacted me
saying the VA has requested the Korat RTAFB building numbers where
the veteran worked while stationed at Korat. While I was based at Korat it never
occurred to me that keeping track of building numbers would be important. You may
find the high resolution maps above give more detail of specifically what
you need. This is what I have for building numbers at this
packet from Bob Langenhan on toxic chemicals in Thailand.
Package includes references to recent legal decisions. References
to the link below show with maps and photos areas affected by
toxic chemicals. File is about 29K.
packet from Larry Westin on where at Korat RTAFB herbicides and
toxic chemicals were used. Package includes detailed map of
Korat perimeter in relation to work, physical training,
recreation, living quarters and other areas which may have
subjected you to herbicides or toxic chemicals. Includes pages
from the VA homepage acknowledging that Agent Orange and other
herbicides were used at USAF bases in Thailand. File is about 2.7
meg., Adobe PDF format, added 05/23/11, updated
- Per the VA for those veterans assigned
to Thailand, including Korat RTAFB, "to receive benefits for
diseases associated with herbicide exposure, those veterans must
show on a factual basis that they were exposed to herbicides
during their service as shown by evidence of daily work duties,
performance evaluation reports, or other credible evidence."
For those veterans assigned to the 553rd Reconnaissance Wing at
Korat RTAFB, see the maps and other information from the
"Information packet from Larry Westin on where at Korat
RTAFB toxic chemicals were used" above, (PDF format, about
1.4 meg) which shows the relationship to work areas and living
quarters where herbicides were used. Provided below is some of
the successful claim information for Rick Dietly which may help
It is very important to file as early
as possible, and don't give up! There is considerable
information on this page to specifically help those assigned to
Korat RTAFB. My thanks to Rick
Dietly for providing his documentation.
The Exclusion of Thailand Veterans Report. This PDF file
provides condsiderable detail about herbicide use at all Thailand
bases. I understand this report has been provide to Congress. My
thanks to Kurt
Priessman who sent me this copy. IMPORTANT - this
is a BIG file, about 8.4 Meg in size. Added 08/06/12.
Headen sent me some very important case
information about VA approved claims for Thailand based veterans
who could not prove "boots on the ground" in Vietnam.
These cases include veterans from many different specialties.
Well worth reviewing all these files, they aren't that big.
Korat is in citations 6, 7 and 8, however the other Thai examples
may well provide other critical information for your case. Note
the yellow highlighted areas in each
The above citations are those which
were approved. This information added 08/19/11, updated
about 118K, Added
Thomas VonAchen was
told by a V.A. service office that those whose military specialty
did NOT assign them to the perimeter may still be eligble -
IF - they can show
evidence there was reason for them to be near the perimeter. For
example it may be that a ball field, or running track, that was
near the perimeter. If anyone has photographs of Korat RTAFB
which show the perimeter it could be a help. Especially so if
those photographs show some type of living area, recreation area
or other area where others could logically have been near the
perimerer, even if there specialty did not normally assign them
to the perimeter. If you have photos of Korat taken in the 1967
to 1972 time frame which shows the perimater, please send them to
me. It may help. Added
The major reason for presenting all this information is a
disclaimer by the VA that those stationed in Thailand must show
written orders that they worked at or near the perimeter. The
documents and full map presented here show that virtually
everyone stationed at Korat RTAFB fell within the zone affected
Bob Langenhan and myself (Larry Westin) urge you to read the
above information carefully. We welcome your comments and
criticisms. Please email us at
firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com with your
information. Data you provide may well help others. Thank You -
Larry Westin and Bob Langenhan.
Maps of other Thai Bases used by
the USAF during the Vietnam Era
Originally I had one map at this point. As more maps became available I created another
page specifically of maps of other Thai bases used by the USAF during the Vietnam era. Click here
to view the maps of other Thai bases used by
the USAF - at this time I have on that page maps of Korat RTAFB (duplicates of the maps
on found on this page), Nakhon Phanom RTAFB (NKP), Ubon RTAFB and Udorn RTAFB and U-Tapao RTAFB.
Still searching for maps of Takhli RTAFB. Thanks to the
Air Force Historical Research Agency and others who
provided the base maps. First created 12/27/14, moved to its own page on 08/04/16
Last Updated 09/12/16.
Webmaster Request - if you have a map of an USAF Thailand
base you are willing to share, please pass it along to me. I will add the map to this area
of my Batcat Veterans Benefit page for the assistance of others. You can contact me via email at
You can include your map as an attachment with the eamil. Thank you for your assistance, it
can be a big help to others.
Boots on the Ground Vietnam
For those who served in
country Vietnam you automatically receive presumption of
exposure. A claim can be submitted based on "Boots on the
Ground" in Vietnam. Several methods can be used to prove you
had "Boots on the Ground" in Vietnam.
Some members of the 553rd Reconnaissance Wing were permitted out
of country R&R during their assignment to Korat. Those who
took this leave were given orders. Here is an example of the
(Larry Westin) personal R&R orders which defines the
travel is from Korat to BKK (Bangkok), then TSN (Tan So Nhut) and
report to Camp Alpha, TSN AB, Republic of Vietnam (RVN). In my
case I stayed at least one night in each direction, however I
believe I stayed two nights each way due to flight scheduling.
Only point here is I blanked out my social security number. This
is an Adobe Acrobat Reader file, about 235K in size. Added 03/19/11.
Learned that the Veterans Affairs will accept as proof for
"boots on the ground" in Vietnam, a personal diary
written at the time. My thanks to Van
Doubleday for this information. Added 02/24/10.
Click here for an example of a written at the time personal
diary "proving" boots on the ground in Vietnam.
This is an Adobe Acrobat Reader file, about 161K in size. Note
Roger Brown has the aircraft sn, 67-21477 shown. My thanks to
Roger Brown for
providing his diary and to Robert
Langenhan for sending it to me. Added 03/19/11.
Many veterans going to/from Thailand landed at Saigon en route.
When Military Airlift Command charter flights landed and
refueled, MAC regulations required all passengers to deplane. You
will need some proof that the flight you traveled on did in fact
stop in Vietnam. That proof could be a travel vochuer for
example. The Air Force Historical Research Agency did NOT keep
records of each Military Airlift Command charter flight. So if
you did not keep that travel vochure, it is unlikely to find it
Mason Ezzell sent
me this link which
Shows the Agent Orange Timeline. The time line provides
details of events, such as initial development which began with
U.S. Army interest beginning in 1943, testing, etc., with Agent Orange.
A lot of publicity has
surrounded the use of the Agent Orange defoliant in Vietnam. In
most cases the VA requires proof of "Boots on the
Ground" in Vietnam, or for veterans who served in Thailand proof
they were near the perimeter, to approve a claim for benefits with
respect to Agent Orange and its possible cause of cancer. Flying
over areas where Agent Orange was used generally does not qualify
for cancer benefits. Go here to obtain information for veterans,
their families and others about VA health, and care programs
related to Agent
The Vietnam Veterans of
America have produced a handbook on Agent Orange
and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. This is a very large
file, about 12.3 meg, in PDF format. VVA
Handbook on Agent Orange. There is a lot of information in
this handbook about Agent Orange and the VA. Added 06/16/11.
Click here for an article about how
Agent Orange continues to affects those in Southeast Asia in
2011. This is an article written by Connie Schultz. My thanks
to Bob Langenhan for
providing this link. Added
Some with the 553rd Reconnaissance Wing were reassigned to other Thai
bases when Batcat inactivated. Those reassigned to bases who serviced the
C-123 aircraft previously used to spray Agent Orange were exposed to Agent
Orange Residue. The Department of Veterans Affairs now considers those who
may have been exposed to Agent Orange Residue. See the VA page on
Agent Orange Residue. While this page speaks specifically about air crews who
flew these airplanes later, my opinion is those who serviced these airplanes
were equally exposed to Agent Orange Residue. My thanks
to Bob Langenhan for
providing this link. Added
Dependent & Survivor Benefit
To obtain information about
the various veteran programs availabe, click here to go to the
main Department of Veterans
Affairs. Click here to locate a VA Office
near you. Added
Click here to view the latest Veterans Affairs Press
Releases. My thanks to Bill
Leamer for sending this link. Added 12/01/10.
The Social Security Administration has information on how
veterans, not just those who retired, but all veterans may get
additional Social Security benefits for your service. Check the
Administration Special Extra Earnings for Military Service
for more information. This is especially important for those
whose active duty occurred prior to 1968. My thanks to
Larry Moore and to
Cliff Jensen for
bringing this to my attetnion. Added
Go here for information about various available veteran benefits.
Veteran Affairs Benefit offices are co-located with Veteran
Affairs offices. Click here to go to the Veterans Affairs Benefits page.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has a page detailing Military Exposure
and Reports on Veterans' Health Care Use. This area is
updated regularly. My thanks to Gil
Jennings for this link. Added 03/26/13.
The Veterans Affairs provides a list of Federal
Benefits for Veterans, Dependents and Survivors - 2010
Edition. This benefit book is in PDF format and 2.9 Meg in
size. For those with only a limited Internet connection (dial up)
you may prefer to view the same 2010
Benefits on the VA homepage. My thanks to Bob Langenhan for this link. Added
As veterans age often a
need arises for assistance from nurses and others to help with
day to day living. The Veterans Administration provides a little
known benefit which may help when the veterans reqires provides
assistance to those in need of assistance. Check the Veterans
Administration Veterans Aid
and Attendance (A&A) page to see if you, or your spouse
qualify for help. My thanks to Doug
Schmidt for bringing this veteran benefit to my
Around the World where
herbicides including Agent Orange were
The Department of Defense provided this list of the areas
OUTSIDE Vietnam where Agrent Orange, and other of the "Rainbow" herbicides were used.
This list includes areas within the United States and Canada, as well as other countries, including
Thailand, where any of the Rainbow herbicides were used. NOTE this
list shows only some of the areas where herbicides were used between 1944 and 1977. Unfortunately this
file is not dated. I downloaded this version of the list on 06/04/15 from the VA site. File now indicates
it comes from both the Department of Defenses and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Original version
of this file came only from the Department of Defense and it too was undated, This is a PDF file, about
102K. Added 05/11/09, updated 06/10/15.
use at Eglin AFB, Florida,
Although not as well know,
the USAF did use Agent Orange and other herbicides at Eglin AFB,
Florida during the 1962-1970 time frame. Batcat sent crews to
Eglin AFB not only during the development deployments, but many
other times to refine the operation. Click here for
Agent Orange use at Eglin AFB, Florida, 1962-1970. My thanks
to David Fredrickson
for sending me this information. added
U.S. Navy Veteran Issues with
Herbicides used in Southeast
Sometimes it is difficult for for those of us who served at Korat
to understand VA guidelines. Those who served in the U.S. Navy
have similar issues. Reviewing the Navy issues and progress may
help those of us who served at Korat. The Veterans Association of Sailors of the
Vietnam War homepage has additional information which may
help you. Added
Activities affecting Veterans and
Find Your Congresstional
WEBMASTER NOTE your
representatives can help you with your issues. However your
elected representatives won't know your concerns unless you write
to them. When you write be courteous, keep the letter short, write
about 1 subject only per letter. Your representatives don't
have time to read long letters. Choose your words wisely so they
reflect dignity and respect to everyone, including those with
very different opinions than your own. Added 02/16/12.
Find Your United States Congressman
If you don't know who your Congressman is, the House of
Representatives site, Find your
Representative will tell you, and provides links to your
Congressman's homepage which will have contact information.
You need to provide your full 9 digit Zip Code. Added 02/16/12.
Find Your United States Senator
If you don't
know how who your U.S. Senators are the U.S. Senate homepage,
www.senate.gov will provide
their names and contact information. Click on the "Senators"
button, the next page comes up, use the drop down menu to select your state.
The site vawatchdog.org
has very up to date information on current legislation which
affects all veterans. My thanks to Robert Gurley for bringing this
site to my attention. Added
copies of your DD-214
and other Military Records
For those who have misplaced their military service records,
click here for instructions
on how to obtain copies of ALL your military records via postal
mail. This PDF file includes Standard Form 180 to make the
request for your records. Download this file and you can use
Adobe Acrobat Reader to complete the blanks in the form. PDF file
also has the current, new address to send your request. This is
an Adobe Acrobat Reader PDF file, about 1.1meg in size. This revisied
version of Standard Form 180 is good through 04/30/2018. This PDF can
be completed using Adobe Acrobat Reader. My thanks to
Roger Brown for
obtaining the information, and to Robert Langenhan for sending it to
me. Added 03/19/11, last updated
Probably the most important military record every veteran must
have is their DD-214. If you've misplaced your DD-214, or
other of your military records, check here for information on how
to obtain copies of your Military
Service Records On Line. My thanks to Gil Jennings for providing this
link. WEBMASTER NOTE - using
this link I requested a copy of my DD 214 on 12/21/09. I
FAX'ed in the required signature form the same day (you can
send via postal mail if you don't have access to FAX),
received an automated email response on 12/22/09 that my
signature was received OK. On January 4, 2010 I received a
certified copy of my DD 214. It took 15 days to receive, however
this was over the Christmas/New Year holidays. My experience is
they are providing very good service. Added 05/11/09,
To obtain copies of your Medical
Once you register with the VA, you can obtain copies of your
medical records. Click here to
Log into the VA to obtain Your Medical Records at
MyHealthVet. If you don't yet have a login, there is a
place to register to create a login. My thanks to David Fredrickson for this link.
DD-214 "Spin Code"
When an individual spearates from the
U.S. Military he or she is given a DD-214. On the DD-214 in the
"Transfer or Discharge Data" area is a box labeled
"Reason and Authority." In this area is a number often
referred to as a "Spin Number." Beginning July 1, 1956
a code, originally called "code designators," was added
to the Reason and Authority box. By the middle 1960's the
Department of Defense was emphasizing the need to use these
codes, primarily because it was easier for the data processing
systems of the day. At some point this number became a
"Separation Program Number" (SPN's), and later
"Separation Program Designator" (SPD's). These
codes on the DD-214 were often called a "Spin
In some cases DD-214's have a spin code which may cause
problems, and the veteran has no idea. Here is some information
specifically about the DD-214 spin
Problem is you
may have been denied benefits, or employment, because of a spin
code. A big problem is by law you have 5 years to correct bad
data on your record. At this time I don't have information on
how to obtain a "sanitized copy" of your DD-214. My
thanks to Gil Jennings
for providing this information. updated
list of all DD-214 Spin Codes, however they are not totally in
order, and this document is scanned so it is NOT searchable. You
may want to check the spincodes.pdf list below first, then if you
don't find your code check this AF Manual 300-4. About
this partial list of DD-214 Spin Codes is small and searchable.
Even though not complete is does have most spin codes. If you
don't find your code in this partial list, then I suggest you
check in AF Manual 300-4 above. This list provided by several
people after my Jan. 12 announcement to all about spin codes,
1956 DOD information specific to adding the DD-214 Spin Codes,
1979 letter Dept. of Air Force to Senator Morgan. Page 2 includes
a statement that veterans may request a copy of the DD-214
without the SPD code. About 290K.
Decorations - Obtaining
replacements or making corrections
to your personal
Decorations were awarded to
the unit, the 553rd Reconnaissance Wing, or to an individual.
When a decoration is awarded to the unit all those assigned to
the unit during the time period defined are entitled to the
decoration. Here is a list of 553rd
Recon Wing Unit Decorations Awarded, plus information on
individual decoration awards, along with information on how to
obtain replacement medals, and correct missing information. My
thanks to Stu Whipple
for providing this PDF file, about 13K. Added 02/23/12.
553rd Reconnaissance Wing Awards the
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with V
Vietnam Service Medal with stars
All of those assigned to the 553rd Reconnaissance Wing between April 1, 1967
through May 31, 1968, and/or between July 1, 1968 through April 15, 1969 earned
the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with V.
Those assigned to the 553rd Reconnaissance Wing at Korat RTAFB are entitled to the
Vietnam Service Medal, and depending on
the specific dates of service the veteran is entitled
to campaign stars on the VSM. The veteran must have been present during the at least
one campaign to receive the VSM. After the first campaign to receive the VSM, presence
during each additional campaign entitles the veteran to a star to the VSM. View this
extract from Air Force Manual
900-2 Defining the AFOUA with V and the Campaigns eligible for the Vietnam Service Medal.
An example of how to determine the eligibility to wear the VSM and stars. My service at Korat RTAFB
was from Nov. 1968 through Sept. 1969. Viewing these AF Manual 900-2 extracts shows that
I was present during 3 campaigns identified as 63, 64 and 65. Campaign 63 earned me the
VSM, while campaigns 64 and 65 earned me two stars to the VSM. My thanks to the
Air Force Historical Research Agency
for providing the AF Manual 900-2 extract. Added
If you have lost supporting documentation about which click on
and awards you have earned. My thanks to David Fredrickson for this
If you never received, or
have misplaced, a medal or decoration you earned while in U.S.
Military service, check Military
Awards and Decorations. Instructions how shown on how to make
your request determined by which branch of the service you served
in. NOTE medals awarded by the United States will be replaced,
however they do not replace medals issued by other countries. My
thanks to David Pipher
for providing this link. Added 07/21/10, updated
If you would like to purchase medals and ribbons you earned,
contact Medals of
America for availability and cost. A row of the ribbons you
earned is something nice to give to your grand children. My
thanks to David
Fredrickson for this information. Added 04/21/14.
Appealing a Veterans Benefits Claim
Click here to see the
procedure to learn the proceedure on
how to appeal a Veterans Affairs claim rejection. Information
explains how to appeal. This is an Adobe Acrobat Reader PDF file,
about 586K in size. Once the appeal is received by the VA, the
individual receives a letter
indicating the VA handles appeals in the order they were
received. This is an Adobe Acrobat Reader PDF file, about
140K in size. Once the VA decides on the appeal, the claimant
receives a letter
of the appeal findings. In this case the appeal was
successful. This is an Adobe Acrobat Reader PDF file, about 425K
in size. Finally an official letter to the
claimant explaining the decision. In this case a successful
decision for the claimant results in some disability payment.
This is an Adobe Acrobat Reader PDF file, about 123K in size.
NOTE this isn't a rapid
process. In Roger Brown's case it began in May
2005, and took until July 2008 for the appeal process to
complete. Hang in there!! My thanks to Roger Brown for allowing us to see
the process of appealing a VA claim, and to Robert Langenhan for sending it to
me. Added 03/19/11.
Illnesses which the VA Attributes
to Veteran Military Service
Jim Satterwhite sent
me an Agent Orange update. The Secretary of Veterans Affairs
decided to establish a service-connection for Vietnam era veterans
with 3 additional specific illnesses based on the latest evidence
of an association with the herbicides referred to as Agent
Orange. There are now 15 illnesses being caused by exposure to
herbicides during the Vietnam War are:
1 - Acute and Subacute Transient Peripheral Neuropathy
2 - AL Amyloidosis
3 - Chloracne
4 - Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
5 - Diabetes Mellitus (Type 2)
6 - Hodgkin's Disease
7 - Multiple Myeloma
8 - Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
9 - Porphyria Cutanea Tarda
10 - Prostate Cancer
11 - Respiratory Cancers
12 - Soft Tissue Sarcoma (other than Osteosarcoma,
Chondrosarcoma, Kaposi's sarcoma, or Mesothelioma)
13 - B cell leukemias, such as hairy cell leukemia
14 - Parkinson's disease
15 - ischemic heart disease
RECOMMENDATION - EVERY
veteran should request a medical and Agent Orange screening by
their local VA office for cancer. This is especially important
for veterans who have cancer which is being treated and covered
by their company or their own health insurance plan. If the VA is
unaware of veterans who have cancer treated non VA doctors, it
will corrupt the statistical data the VA uses to calculate cancer
benefits for all veterans. added 05/11/09, updated 10/18/09.
When you file a claim for
VA benefits you are asked to complete a questionaire specific to
the claim you are filing. Because of the limited time frame to
complete the questionaire when at the VA, it is recommended you
complete the questionaires before going to the VA. The
questionaires can be completed using Adobe Acrobat Reader, and
printed or saved. Good chance you won't remember specific
dates and other information if you go to the VA without first
reviewing your information. It takes long enough as it is to get
a claim approved, go to the VA prepared. My thanks to
Melissa Headen for
sending this information. Added
Orange Illnesses for those exposed to herbicides including
Agent Orange. My thanks to Don
Benedict for sending me this information from the
VA homepage. Added
Click on the
Cancer.net for Veterans to obtain more information about cancers
which may be applicable especially to veterans including Agent Orange. My thanks to
John Flood for sending me this information
from the Cancer.net homepage concerning veterans.
Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) is a lung disease caused by
exposure to certain types of lubricating oil used in military,
and civilian aircraft. For more information please view the
document. Included in the document are names, addresses, phone
and email contact information. Please take a look and help if you
can. My thanks to Chuck
Dannheiser for providing this information. About
18K, updated 01/01/12.
Veterans Assistance with Mesothelioma & Asbestos
Exposure health issues while in Military
Online has created and developed this site to provide answers
and support for people diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer, as
well as their families and loved ones. Mesothelioma is a rare
form of cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos. There is a
special section on the site for veterans. The site has more than
4,000 pages of content, featureing information on asbestos
exposure, mesothelioma and other cancers and associated diseases
(testicular, breast, COPD, etc.). My thanks to Patia Modia for bringing the
Mesothelioma Resource Online site to my attention. Added 10/05/13.
The Mesothelioma Center at
Asbestos.com is committed to providing the latest, up-to-date
information to their visitors in the hopes of spreading awareness
about the dangers of asbestos cancer. Hundreds of thousands, if
not millions of living veterans were
exposed to toxic asbestos-containing materials during military
service which could develop into mesothelioma. Our goal is to
offer a one-stop resource on all asbestos and
mesothelioma-related information ranging from occupational
exposure to mesothelioma life
expectancy. For assistance contact Allison Kahan allison(@)asbestos.com the
Veteran Liason for the Mesothelioma Center. Allison Kahan can be
contacted by phone at (407) 965-5755. Added 10/01/10.
If you believe you have an
illness because you were exposed to asbestos you may need the help of an attorney.
You may need legal assistance, the
Mesothelioma Lawyer may
be able to help you locate a lawyer in your area to help with your
Mesothelioma Lawsuit. Free brochures available for more information.
My thanks to Jillian Davis for providing this
information. My thanks to Katherine Keys for
providing updated information. Added 01/12/15, last
The Mesothelioma Prognosis Network
is another source of help with Mesothelioma. The Mesothelioma Prognosis Network has available
the free Mesothelioma Guide Giving You the Information You Need to Fight This Disease.
My thanks to Chad Maycumber for providing this
information. Added 07/30/15.
The Mesothelioma Group which is a charitable
organization supporting the VFW and American Legion. With over 30% of all mesothelioma patients
being Veterans, a main part of our mission is to spread mesothelioma awareness to Veterans and
their family members. The reason this cancer targets so many veterans is because of the
extensive amount of asbestos used in past military equipment. Our goal at the Mesothelioma Group
is to increase awareness, improving survival rates and life expectancy. My thanks to
Nick Berez, Awareness Advocate The Mesothelioma Group
for providing this information source. Added 09/19/15.
Community Outreach team at Mesothelioma Guide. One third of all mesothelioma patients are
veterans, and approximately 6,000 veterans afflicted with this asbestos-caused cancer died
between 1999 and 2005 alone. The reason this cancer targets so many veterans is because of the
prevalence of asbestos use in the military in the past. Part of our mission is to spread awareness
to veterans and their families. Check the
MesotheliomaVeterans.org site for more information which may be able to help you or a family
member. My thanks to Joseph Cline, Advocacy Support
for MesotheliomaVeterans.org for this information. Added 09/09/16.
For those suffering from asbestos exposure check mesothelioma.net
as they may be able to provide a patient advocate to help you. My thanks to
Virgil Anderson, who received help from a patient advocate at
mesothelioma.net with his mesothelioma issue. Added 09/18/16.
Our site offers free services for veterans and their families
dealing with the cost and treatment for mesothelioma cancer. Unfortunately asbestos exposure was
unavoidable for millions of veterans. My thanks to Chelsea Montanaro
for sending me this information. Added 09/28/16.
The Mesothelioma Guide for Veterans
has an actual Veteran and nurse in-house ready to answer questions from anyone all over the world. We
specialize in connecting patients with doctors and treatment options that are best suited for them.
Our services and resources are 100% free to patients and family members.
My thanks to Jeron McFarland
for sending me this information. Added 03/24/17.
Nursing Home and Elder Abuse Help
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), approximately 1 in 10 Americans aged
60+ have experienced some form of elder abuse. It is estimated that upwards of 10 million seniors
are abused each year. For those who have experienced, or are family of an older individual who
you believe may have experienced abuse there is help available. Check the
Nursing Home Abuse Center (NHAC) which is
is to be an online resource educating the public on the risks of senior abuse in an
attempt to save lives and rebuild shattered trust.
My thanks to Ashley Peters, Director of Advocacy at
the Nursing Home Abuse Center (NHAC) for this information.
Medical Malpractice Help
Should you suspect medical help you received actually created other previously non-exisitent
medical conditions, you may want to investigate further to deterine if your condition worsened
due to Medical Malpractice.
The Malpractice Center may be able to help. My thanks to
Lindsey Murray, Community Outreach at the Medical
Malpractice Center, for this information.
Social Security and Other
The Simple Dollar began as a site for people who are
fighting debt and bad spending habits, while trying to build a financially secure future.
Our goal is to provide a personal finance platform where we can help people make better
financial decisions and to build a financially secure future. The Simple Dollar has two
publications which may be of help to everyone. First the
Social Security Disability
Benefits Guide. To help you with a Social Security disability claim. Second is the
Social Security Disability Benefit Calculator. In addition to disability other Social
Security benefits can be calculated. My thanks to Claire Castillo
for bringing this resource to my attention. Added 02/12/16.
Here is a list of The Best States for People with
Disabilities. My thanks to Claire Castillo
for bringing this resource to my attention. Added 04/21/16.
College and Other
Educational Opportunities for Veterans
You can find the college
guide for U.S. service members here at
College Guide for US Service Members. This site helps
prospective college students research their options and prepare
for higher education. My thanks to Steven Cooper for providing this
Another on line site designed specifically to help those interested
in, or who are members of the military. The site is designed to follow
from enlistment to enrollment. Whether a student has questions about
joining ROTC for the for the scholarship opportunities, or wants to take
full advantage of the military's academic benefits and scholarships,
even before they leave active duty, we've designed our resources to
answer all lingering questions. To learn more click on
http://www.bestcolleges.com/resources/. My thanks to Jane Reed for providing this
2016 Guide to Veteran Education Benefits. Here is help for veterans to
learn about all the grants, scholarships and education resources that are available to them.
The guide includes features like our GI Bill calculator, grants and scholarship directories,
and interviews with the top universities that have programs designed specifically to support
veteran higher education. We hope our guide will not only answer common questions, but make
it easier for veterans to leverage the educational benefits they have earned. My thanks to
Allie Econar for providing this
information. Added 11/17/15.
OnlineSchools.org provides several different areas of help for veterans, who are serving or
have served in the military with many educational benefits. There are many other scholarships
and financial aid resource that are provided by non-profits. To bring awareness to these
resources OnlineSchools.org recently published their 2016 College Financial Aid: Soldiers,
Veterans and Families guide. In it, you find many helpful scholarships that can help provide
additional financial support for those who are and have served our country.
My thanks to Sherry Matamorosa for providing this financial aid
information. Added 05/01/16.
For those who need financial aid check Best Scholarship
Search Platforms which lists different scholarship aid resources.
My thanks to Sherry Matamorosa for providing this scholarship aid
information. Added 03/13/17.
may also be able to help veterans
Disabled American Veterans
Veterans of Foreign Wars
Originally I had only the Internet Homepage URL information for these groups. Over
a short period, about a week, several individuals recommended to me that
I add to the Internet URL already here, the postal and telephone contact information
for these organizations. Now the Internet URL, and othe postal and telephone contact
information is included for the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans and the
Veterans of Foregin Wars. Postal and telephone information added 12/12/14.
The American Legion was chartered by Congress in 1919 as a
patriotic, war-time veterans organization, devoted to mutual
helpfulness. It is a not-for-profit community-service
organization which now numbers nearly 3 million members, men and
women, in nearly 15,000 American Legion posts worldwide. Click
here to go to the American
Legion Homepage for more information. Added 12/04/10, updated 12/12/14.
American Legion Postal-Phone Contact Info
The Disabled American Veterans are in a position to help veterans.
Click here to go to the Disabled American Veterans
Homepage for more information. Added
The American Legion Washington Office
1608 K St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20006
Telephone: (202) 861-2700
Fax: (202) 861-2786
The American Legion
John H. Geiger Operations Center
5745 Lee Road
Indianapolis, IN 46216
Telephone: (317) 860-3100
Fax: (317) 860-3001
Disabled American Veterans Postal-Phone Contact Info
The nation's largest organization of combat veterans is the
VFW. Click here to go to the Veterans
of Foreign Wars Homepage for more information. Added 12/04/10, updated
Disabled American Veterans National HQ
3725 Alexandria Pike
Cold Spring, KY 41076
(877) I AM A VET (426-2838)
PO Box 14301
Cincinnati, OH 45250-0301
Disabled American Veterans
807 Maine Avenue SW
Washington DC 20024
Veterans of Foreign Wars Postal-Phone Contact Info
Many have told me that the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, and
the Veterans of Foreign Wars have provided considerable help to veterans. Each
of these organizations have facilities throughout the United States.
VFW Washington D.C. Office
200 Maryland Ave., N.E.
Washington, D.C. 20002
VFW National Headquarters
406 West 34th St.
Kansas City, MO 64111
Veteran Health Recall Information
Check Veteran Health Recall Information
for information about Dangerous Drugs and Products, Recall Alerts, Side Effects and more. My thanks to
Chief Editor of Recallreports for this link.
Useful VA Benefit and
Other Links of Interest - Veterans
From Camo to Business Casual
A Veteran’s Guide to Job Hunting in the Civilian World. Helpful information on creating a resume,
cover letter, etc. to find a job. My thanks to Gin Garton
of MoneyGeeks.com for providing this link. Added 12/15/16.
Small Business Loans for Veterans
How to Bootstrap After Your Military Service. Helpful information on Getting Started,
Pre-Application Checklist, etc. to start a business. My thanks to Gin Garton
of MoneyGeeks.com for providing this link. Added 12/15/16.
Military Life Insurance
Coverage for Active Duty Servicemembers, Veterans & Their Families. Helpful information about Life Insurance
for Active Duty Military,Life Insurance Coverage Through the VA, etc. My thanks to
Gin Garton of MoneyGeeks.com for providing this link.
Help for consumers -
Safety Information To Keep Your Family Safe. Helpful safety information for consumers. My thanks to
Ashley Brooks of ConsumerDangers.com for providing this link.
These links were provided by Gil
Raymer, links added 07/12/09, last updated 09/26/16.
for Minority Veterans
Center for Women
Veterans Service Organizations
Examination Worksheets Index, Comp
Publications & Records Management
Office of Geriatrics
& Extended Care
VA Records Center and
Benefits for Seniors. My thanks to Susan
Williams of Military Helper for this link.
This link added 09/26/16.
Useful VA Benefit and
Other Links of Interest - Active Duty
These links were provided by Susan
Williams from Military Helper, these links added 09/26/16,
last updated 09/26/16.
Tips for Your Next PCS Move
Service Members' Legal Rights
While on Active Duty
Financial Assistance for Military Families
Employment Resources for
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