AGENT ORANGE Disability Form Help Request IP: 188.8.131.52 Posted on July 8, 2015 at 06:03:41 PM by Tim Britt
I am a former CT NCO who did a 3 year stint at DIRNAVSECGRUPAC and FICPAC in Honolulu in 1969, 1970, and 1971 before being re-assigned to Zeto Point in Adak.
I am writing this because I have been recently diagnosed with stage IV lymphoma.
The VA doctors tell me is likely a result of exposure to Agent Orange when I served. They told me that many vets in my age group are now getting this. My docs have suggested I begin the paperwork for an Agent Orange disability claim, but Iím going to need help with my paperwork because all of my assignments were classified and where I was sent was also classified. And Iíve been told it is unlikely I will be able to return to work (Iím a high school teacher now).
When I was a CT, I was young and thought myself invincible (perhaps some of you thought this too ;-) so I would not hesitate to volunteer for TDY assignments. My DIRNAVSECGRUPAC assignments were generally of short duration ( 2 Ė 3 weeks) on several different boats, and my FICPAC assignments were to directly support MACV-SOG, a bunch of truly brave and crazy people who were tougher than SEALís (Google MACV-SOG if they are unknown to you).
The problem I face is there is no documentation in my service jacket of any of these classified assignments. I was based at DIRNAVSECGRUPAC and FICPAC in Honolulu, but all of my special TDY assignments were in various locations in the Pacific.
I do recall at least one of the boats I was on for a few weeks (USS Jamestown) for a two-week assignment, but when I went to the boats I was on, I had a travel document authorizing immediate transportation to the boat ďby whatever means necessaryĒ and a sealed envelope for the NavSecGru OIC on the boat. I was never listed as a crew member on any of these boats since I was TDY. So there is no official record of me having been on any of the boats I was on.
Ditto for MACV-SOG: There is no record of me having been in-country for these assignments because our unit did not officially exist. And there is nothing in my service records about any of these assignments as well.
Some of the vets I spoke with at the VA suggest I re-construct anecdotal records. I can do this for the Jamestown as I recall I was on it sometime in the December, 1969 to March, 1970 time period and we did a short liberty call at some Godforsaken Vietnamese port I cannot recall the name of, but I donít remember any of the names of the people I worked with other than a few nicknames we used.
As for MACV-SOG, much of what they did is still classified today and if I tried to reconstruct some of what I did I would have to classify it TOP SECRET CODEWORD/SI/NOFORN and then that begs the question of who I would give it to?
I am certain I am not the first person with a history of classified assignments and classified locations to fill out the Agent Orange VA disability paperwork, so I am asking the group for pointers on how to best accomplish this.