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Blue Water Navy & AO

alrankin's picture
Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2010

I just finished radiation treatment after being diagnosed with stage 2 laryngeal cancer. Am now recovering from the radiation and hopefully the cancer too, although that is yet to be determined. I spent 3 "cruises" in the Tonkin Gulf from 67-70 working on the flight deck of USS Ranger and also flying as a crewman on A-3 Skywarriors. We flew tanker/ECM support for all mission during those years. Now I'm wondering if the VA will allow any disability whatsoever related to agent orange, given all the tiptoing going on in congress. What is the latest and is there an approach to take in this regard at the present time?

Posts: 802
Joined: Dec 2005


Thank you for your Service and Welcome Home.

Unfortunately, I recently read an article in a Military booklet, that you had to have "Boots on the ground". Which means that you actually have to have documentation that you were at a land base for at least one day. If your aircraft landed and spent time at a base and there are records of this, you should file a claim.

You, being a Vietnam Veteran by serving off the coast and have this in your DD-214 should file a claim via a Service Officer that is connected to one of the Military groups such as the Vietnam Veterans of America, VFW, DAV, or some other organization that has a Service Officer. They will help you with your claim. Note, you will have to at least have the Vietnam Campaign Medal or the Vietnam Service Medal on your record. You may or more then likely be denied, but you can always appeal the decision.

You would be considered a Blue Water Vet. The part of the Navy that served in the rivers are the Brown Water Vets and are persumed to have Agent Orange. The Blue Water Vets are not considered to have Agent Orange.

Again, please contact your local Service Officer and they will be able to give you up to the minute information on this as they do this daily. Your cancer is laryngeal cancer, and that is on the list for Agent Orange. The piece that needs to be absolute at the current time is the boots on the ground. At one time, the VA did accept the Blue water Vets and then had a reversal of their thinking. There has been an ongoing Lawsuit in the Courts over this. Search Blue Water and Agent Orange and you will find a lot of material on it.

My Best to You and Everyone Here

Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2010

Does anyone have information on Jet exhaust and ship's stack gases? I have COPD and have filed a claim with the VA. I was an AO with many Vietnam cruises under my belt.


Posts: 802
Joined: Dec 2005


Welcome Home

I would suggest you do the same as I mentioned above. Find a local Military Organization that has a Service Officer that can possibly help you with a claim. If you didn't serve on land, it will be an issue at the current time. So, are you a BB Stacker ? : ) Ordie ?

My Best to You and Everyone Here

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