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Efltnor

Blind Bat

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My husband Benjamin Sager was in the Air Force and flew with Operation Blind Bat during Vietnam (Based out of Naha) during 1966-1969 and I’m looking for information, please. He is ill and is fighting the VA as they say there is not “evidence of boots on the ground†although all his military records state so.

He was on extended TDY at Ubon RTAFB, Thailand as Crew Chief during 7 July 67 to 3 May 68. His aircraft number was 56-0523. George A. Ingram, TSgt, Crew Chief, Delbert L. Greve, MSgt Flight Chief and Richard S. Mickley, Capt, 21 TAS all signed his Additional Duties Sheet dated 3 May 1968.

He was also assigned to the Ground Crew as the aircraft mechanic (43131F) on Aircraft 56-549 and was on TDY in SEA during 7 July 66 to 6 Jul 67.

I would be grateful for any information anyone can provide. He’s a Type II Diabetic as well as has severe Degenerative Disc Disease and nerve compression in his head and has just undergone his 8th surgery since April 2007 and his 3rd head surgery since March of this year.

Thank you so much and many blessings,

Becky Sager, beckysager@peoplepc.com If any of you blind bat vets know Ben and can help it will be appreciated. Pardon me I did'nt post his e-mail correctly. This is correct..

Edited by Efltnor

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This message upsets me very much. The VA needs to make right. My suggestion is to get in touch with the local chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA). They know what is needed to make the VA take notice. All veterans should remember on thing about the VA, "they are not your friend".

The fact your husband is a Type II Diabetic should qualify him for an agent orange disability. As for paperwork to qualify for "boots on the ground" in Vietnam. The vet or family member can submit it them selves. Again, the VVA can help you here.

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I've contacted Becky but she hasn't gotten back to me yet. She has a lot of information in her post, but unfortunately it is rather ambigous. RomeoDelta, you are correct, the VA needs to make this right. We all know what the missions in Vietnam were like and we all know very well that all to many Vietnam Veterans have earned compensation. However, you are also correct in stating that "the VA is not our friend". We must be our own advocate. That is why is is so difficult to give advice concerning thier plight. Much more information is needed. For instance; have they contacted thier CVSO? As you mentioned, the VVA, VFW, etc. If the information that Betty has presented us here is accurate there is nothing to indicate that her husband actually had "boots on the ground". I know, I know, thats Bull ****, but VA makes the rules and unfortunately we have to play by thier rules. This not to say that they can't win this thing, but the very first thing they have to do is to prove the "boots" thing, and without knowing all the details and the documents they have it's a tough nut to crack!

Chris (tinwhistle)

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Just be glad you don't live in maryland.......don't guess a vet from here is the same as one from every other state.........I am type II diabetic, have submitted my stuff, filled all the squares, got copies of my travel orders showin' all the places in SEA I was at/in/on, and have had my claim goin' for 18 months. This POS we have for a VA administrator, appointed by King Obama, stated he wanted a vet's claim completed in 129 days.HMMMM, I have nearly 5 times that. But my wonderful state veterans affairs claims "workers" were so "0verwhelmed" that they sent my stuff to KENTUCKY, to get taken care of...............Guess they were afarid they would break a nail.....So now, looks like I have to play the Congressional card to get any action, and believe me, my reps don't carry much influence in Congress. So Becky, you can expect a whole bunch of delay, BS, and total incompetence from the VA. good luck

giz

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I would only use the VVA. The VFW has never impressed me. I remember when I first tried to join the VFW (when I first came back from Vietnam), I was treated like dirt. It took 40 years before I considered joining a veterans group. Earlier this year I joined the VVA and I've seen what they can do. The VVA has people who care.

As for Agent Orange, being Type II Diabetic is an shoe in for an Agent Orange disability. About 2 weeks ago I went for the Agent Orange exam an I was told if I was a diabetic there wasn't a problem on getting a disability. Also, the VA ask me allot of questions about where I was sent in Vietnam and surrounding countries. The conversation indicated they sprayed Agent Orange in more countries than Vietnam.

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same for me, RD, but I have yet to get anything close to a settlement, shoo in or not..as for the VVA, I am a charter member of the biggest chapter of the organization. We have a young troop here, Iraq vet, who is the local Va rep. He has done a whale of a job for the guys around here, but it seems that the west Virginia guys don't have the issues that the maryland guys get. It is ALL because of how this POS state is run.. it is he who is going to get the Congressional intervention goin' for me. It is a damn shame. I feel sorry, very very sorry, for the guys who are so much worse off than I am going through the same bull shit... And IMHO, the VFW is good for selling C***caps and that's about it. I was essentially denied membership in the post in my hometown, because they were "at full membership level." I was later asked to join another post, aspart of a membership drive, then I was offered a good deal on life membership in another one, must ahve been called five times, after I transferred, was never contacted again. I do not belong to the one down the road from me because of the money management issues they had, the way they treat a couple of black Nam vets, both i call friend and there are no finer guys in the world, and the fact that they have a huge social membership, simply because there is no bar withi twelve miles in any direction.....sorry about the rant, but that is how I see things from here............

Giz

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Gentlemen,

Hey Giz, I certainly understand where you're coming from, and the same for RomeoDelta. When it comes to VA C&P it is, as I said earlier; a crap shoot. However, I was more interested in passing along information to Beth and her husband, Ben. I had emailed her several days ago but haven't heard back, so without any more information I thought I'd at least point them is some direction. I've been there, where they are, and it's really fustrating when you don't know where to turn next. I'm still waiting to hear from her; it's virtually impossible to help if I don't know all the details!!!!

Becky, if you're out there, or anyone out there that wants good, solid advice, guidance, and no BS there is a web site you need to check out. Veterans Benefits: The A to Z Guide. It's good; use it!!!!!!

tinwhistle (Chris)

P.S. Giz...you may rant any time you want..................

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I think my intent of the last mental spasm was to indicate to Becky that, even though it is all one VA, and supposedly we are all veterans of the UNITED STATES military, there is a wide spectrum of the quality of support and assitance available, some excellent, some mediocre, and some just plain incompetent.. She needs to know that she may have to whack away for quite a long time....... Shouldn't be that way, but it is

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I believe this is the guide book you are referring to.

 

 

tinwhistle said:
Gentlemen,

 

Hey Giz, I certainly understand where you're coming from, and the same for RomeoDelta. When it comes to VA C&P it is, as I said earlier; a crap shoot. However, I was more interested in passing along information to Beth and her husband, Ben. I had emailed her several days ago but haven't heard back, so without any more information I thought I'd at least point them is some direction. I've been there, where they are, and it's really fustrating when you don't know where to turn next. I'm still waiting to hear from her; it's virtually impossible to help if I don't know all the details!!!!

 

Becky, if you're out there, or anyone out there that wants good, solid advice, guidance, and no BS there is a web site you need to check out. Veterans Benefits: The A to Z Guide. It's good; use it!!!!!!

 

tinwhistle (Chris)

 

P.S. Giz...you may rant any time you want..................

2012_Federal_benefits_ebook_final.pdf

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well, maybe if Maryland made their people get their heads out of their asses, it would improve...still does not explain sendin' mine to kentucky.. I guess the only bright spot is this, if you live long enough, and successfully make any appeals, etc, etc, any monetary settlements are retro-active to the day you first file. Also, I learned that if you would die, in any way related to your awarded service connected in jury, make sure your survivors, usually your wife, has that disease, condition, etc placed on your death certificate, and they will continue to receive some benefits..........We alll earned this stuff, why the bastards, many of whom never were in the service, continue to deny and delay, I don't know............

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Well Giz

There is another way of looking at it. The State of Maryland realized they have a serious backlog problem (whatever the cause), therefore contracted with another state (which doesn't have a backlog), to help out. I know that a few of the Western States, that don't have a heavy veterans population are handling a lot of out of state claims, simply because they have the time and man power. Sooooo, you may be further ahead than you think!!!!!!

There, now, don't you feel better?!?!

Chris

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Becky,

I was a Crew Chief also at Naha 69-71 with 374th TAW. I did spend some time in Thailand, but most of my TDY's were at Cam Ranh Bay. I was diagnosed with AL Amyliodosis in 2008. The VA has regonized this desease, certain cancers and other health problems as presumptive diseases associated with exposure to Agent Orange or other herbicides during military service. I recomend that you use your County Veterans Service Office or Vietnam Veterans of America as your advocate. I am now recieving 100% compensation. Most of these claims are taking 18 months to two years to be resolved. Good luck and tell Ben, "Welcome Home".

Also this may help. http://www.veteran.com/content/agent-orange-thailand VA Compensation & Pension Service Bulletin May 2010

After reviewing documents related to herbicide use in Vietnam and Thailand, C&P Service has determined that there was significant use of herbicides on the fenced in perimeters of military bases in Thailand intended to eliminate vegetation and ground cover for base security purposes. Evidence of this can be found in a declassified Vietnam era Department of Defense (DoD) document titled Project CHECO Southeast Asia Report: Base Defense in Thailand. Therefore, when herbicide related claims from Veterans with Thailand service are received, RO personnel should now evaluate the treatment and personnel records to determine whether the Veterans service activities involved duty on or near the perimeter of the military base where the Veteran was stationed.

The majority of troops in Thailand during the Vietnam era were stationed at the Royal Thai Air Force Bases of U-Tapao, Ubon, Nakhon Phanom, Udorn, Takhli, Korat, and Don Muang. If a US Air Force 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. However, this applies only during the Vietnam era, from February 28, 1961 to May 7, 1975.

Also troops were used as an augmentee for guard and perimeter patrol duty on the fenceline at near the airfield.

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My husband Benjamin Sager was in the Air Force and flew with Operation Blind Bat during Vietnam (Based out of Naha) during 1966-1969 and I’m looking for information, please. He is ill and is fighting the VA as they say there is not “evidence of boots on the ground†although all his military records state so.

He was on extended TDY at Ubon RTAFB, Thailand as Crew Chief during 7 July 67 to 3 May 68. His aircraft number was 56-0523. George A. Ingram, TSgt, Crew Chief, Delbert L. Greve, MSgt Flight Chief and Richard S. Mickley, Capt, 21 TAS all signed his Additional Duties Sheet dated 3 May 1968.

He was also assigned to the Ground Crew as the aircraft mechanic (43131F) on Aircraft 56-549 and was on TDY in SEA during 7 July 66 to 6 Jul 67.

I would be grateful for any information anyone can provide. He’s a Type II Diabetic as well as has severe Degenerative Disc Disease and nerve compression in his head and has just undergone his 8th surgery since April 2007 and his 3rd head surgery since March of this year.

Thank you so much and many blessings,

Becky Sager, beckysager@peoplepc.com If any of you blind bat vets know Ben and can help it will be appreciated. Pardon me I did'nt post his e-mail correctly. This is correct..

What Becky Sager really needs is one of the Blind Bat troops to step up a vouch for her husband being at Ubon and TDY to SVN. If anyone remembers him and can sign a paper to vouch for him being in country is what she needs. Hopefully there is one of the old Crew Chiefs out there that remembers him and will do this for their benefit.

Gary Robinson

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I do remember some of the "Bind Bat" RAMP RAT'S but I will have to rack my brain to remember. I am not the same remembering after 30 months of Chemo. Keep on Truckin'.

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Attention Sonny!!

Have you read this letter from Becky Sager? I am thinking, that if anyone on this forum could help, it might be you! Your times and dates and Blind Bat & squadron affiliation are similar I think. I have been trying to remember that name, but just can't come up with it in my memory. Ben and I surely must have crossed paths at one of the three places!!

Ken

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Ken,

I emailed Becky just after she posted her plea for help, but I haven't heard from her. Don't have enough information from her post to know exactly where they are at in thier claim process to be of any help. As most of us know that have been through the process, it is long and frustrating. Right now, all I can do is hope everything is O.K. I hate to say this, but there comes a point in the claims process where letters, endorsements, pictures and so forth simply don't carry any weight. The claiment either has the proper military documentation or they don't. If they don't, then the claim just got very difficult to accomplish.

tinwhistle

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Attention Sonny!!

Have you read this letter from Becky Sager? I am thinking, that if anyone on this forum could help, it might be you! Your times and dates and Blind Bat & squadron affiliation are similar I think. I have been trying to remember that name, but just can't come up with it in my memory. Ben and I surely must have crossed paths at one of the three places!!

Ken

Ken,

I have been racking my brain but don't remember Ben. Ingram I remember. Here lately I seem to have a hard time with names. Events I still remember. Wish I could help.

Things have been a little rough the last three months. My wife and best friend for 47 years passed away on December 1st. after being diagnosed with cancer in October.

Sonny

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Gosh, Sonny, that is very bad news...... I am sure I speak for everyone else on this site when I send my deepest condolences.....I don't think there is much we can say, except it sounds as if you had a good life together, and you can seek comfort in the memories. a terrible loss to say the least

take care of yourself, brother

Giz

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Sonny, I am real sorry to hear of your wife's passing. I am not good at condolences, and Giz say's it better than me.

I do know that all of us on the this forum are saddened by your loss.

Ken

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