New interactive map helps "blue water" Vietnam vets find their ship

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New interactive map helps "blue water" Vietnam vets find their ship

From Military Times: 

new interactive map could help ill Vietnam veterans who served on U.S. ships during the war determine whether they could be eligible for Agent Orange-related benefits.

A retired Navy chief radioman has teamed with a Florida-based law firm to make the map available to “blue water” Vietnam veterans, their widows and anyone interested in seeing where Navy and Coast Guard vessels served offshore during the decade-long conflict.

The information, said Ed Ball, director of research for Military Veterans Advocacy Inc., could be useful for determining whether a ship served in the waters designated by the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019.

The law, signed June 25 by President Donald Trump, allows former service members who served on a ship that operated within 12 nautical miles of a line of demarcation established by law and have an illness presumed related to herbicide exposure apply for health benefits and disability compensation.

Just as a reminder from Connecting Vets:

VA has said Blue Water veterans and their families are "encouraged" to submit their claims for conditions related to Agent Orange. Veterans 85 and older, or "with life-threatening illnesses" will have "priority in claims processing," VA said. So, while VA will not begin processing claims until 2020, they can still be processed and prepared before that date.

About 77,000 Blue Water veterans have previously submitted claims and been denied, VA leaders said. They must file a new claim. Eligible survivors of deceased Blue Water Navy veterans can also file claims for benefits based on their veterans' service. 

A list of the diseases currently linked to Agent Orange and eligible for benefits can be found here

Veterans who want information from the VA can call 800-827-1000 or click here.

The interactive map can be found here, and it is pretty slick.  Just punch in what ship you were on, and it gives you locations and dates of where it was.  For instance, here is the USS Woodpecker:

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Is Ubon RTAFB still included in the Navy Blue water /law for veterans? This base was a staging area for deployment of chemicals to Vietnam.

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.