A recently declassified Department of Defense report contains evidence that there was a significant use of herbicides on the fenced-in perimeters of military bases in Thailand to remove foliage that provided cover for enemy forces.
This new information means that Vietnam-era veterans whose service involved duty on or near the perimeters of military bases in Thailand anytime between Feb. 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975, may have been exposed to herbicides and may qualify for VA benefits.
Veterans and areas include:
• U.S. Air Force veterans who served on Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) bases at U-Tapao, Ubon, Nakhon Phanom, Udorn, Takhli, Korat, and Don Muang, near the air base perimeter between aforementioned dates
• U.S. Army veterans who provided perimeter security on RTAF bases in Thailand between aforementioned dates
• U.S. Army veterans who were stationed on some small Army installations in Thailand anytime between aforementioned dates. However, the Army veteran must have been a member of a military police unit or was assigned an MP occupational specialty whose duty placed him or her at or near the base perimeter.
“What this means is we are now able to help many more Vietnam veterans to get benefits they deserve,” said Fayette County Veterans Affairs Executive Director John Hintz of Oelwein. “This has been a long time coming, and now some more of these veterans can qualify.”
Hintz explained his county office is made up of five commissioners who work to find veterans and/or dependents/survivors that qualify for benefits. Hintz then handles the paperwork and helps them get the benefits that are due to the veterans or survivors. These are federal claims that are processed through the county director’s office.LINK