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tinwhistle

VA Claims Update

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My bronze service star was just added to the VSM I already had as a result of my sf149 request for correction of military records. If you submit this form, provide as much detail as possible about the specifics of your request. In my case, I wanted to have my dd214 amended to reflect I had boots on the ground at TSN in 1972. I provided a detailed letter explaining my entire experience on that particular 40 day TDY along with photo copies of my M16 card (this was the only actual documentation I had after 40 years), as well as the history of the An Loc battle from Wikipedia showing what was happening at the time. During the 8 months I waited for the reply from this request, three different offices reviewed my request. The first office disapproved the request and was sent for a second opinion. The second office found documentation from an old EPR that supported my claim and concluded there was enough evidence to say I indeed had boots on the ground. The two conflicting opinions were sent to an arbitration board and after extensive review, disagreed with the first review, agreed with the second and went even farther by finding more documentation and decided to award the VSM with bronze service star an amended my dd214 (dd215) to reflect their findings. Far from what I had expected, these people really spent the time and effort to actually research my record to arrive at their conclusions. They did note that the detailed letter of my experiences in country tipped the scale in my favor. Hope this helps

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At the time of discharge my DD214 showed three or four awards but not the VNSM, and I never thought about it. Several years later while applying for a VA loan my CVSO took note of the fact that my DD214 did not show the VNSM and he did what ever it was he did to get it awarded, thus the first DD215 that I posted, just the medal (and ribbon). In the intervening years and more dealings with the VA they must have discovered more paperwork, 'cause the second DD215, with the accompanying Bronze Service Star attached showed up in my mail box. They did not send the actual hardware, I sent for that. Looking over the information that giz posted, I should have one more star, but what the heck.

Ain't this fun!!!!!!!!!!!

Edited by tinwhistle

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Those two DD215s that I posted are available on the "old, old loady stuff" thread if you would like to take a look. I just went back there myself and a question was raised in my mind. Do these two DD215s mean that I was awarded the VNSM twice????? I hardly think so, but is fun to contemplate!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Those two DD215s that I posted are available on the "old, old loady stuff" thread if you would like to take a look. I just went back there myself and a question was raised in my mind. Do these two DD215s mean that I was awarded the VNSM twice????? I hardly think so, but is fun to contemplate!!!!!!!!!!!!

Two VSM's???? It's possible, Hell until last week, according to the damn VA, I haven't been married for almost 42 years!!!!!!!!!!

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Thanks Chris, Giz, Bob et al. I think the bronze star on my NDSM represents the award from the Vietnam era and a separate award for Desert Shield/Storm. ps Hows the weather in Anchorage SEFEGeorge?

Right now it's 38* and rainy. Been that way for a number of days. Going to wash away all the snow if it doesn't stop soon, then there goes all the ground cover for when it get's really cold. But hell, it's almost February and we haven't seen any really cold weather. Was near zero for a short time about a month ago, but...

This time in '85 we were freezing our butts off flying in Brim Frost.

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Right now it's 38* and rainy. Been that way for a number of days. Going to wash away all the snow if it doesn't stop soon, then there goes all the ground cover for when it get's really cold. But hell, it's almost February and we haven't seen any really cold weather. Was near zero for a short time about a month ago, but...

This time in '85 we were freezing our butts off flying in Brim Frost.

yeah, it must have came down here, sub-zero temps every morning this week, snow like salt, wind bites.........I can really appreciate the even worse conditions my dad experienced up there in the Aleutians in WWII.

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Congratulations to all those who have become Vietnam BOG Veterans several decades late. Hope to join your club real soon.

NDSM was always on my records and shows on DD-214. I never really worried much about how many battle stars on any other ribbons. Still using the ones that were on my uniform when I got back from CCK. If it had been awarded to 776 and it was required to be on the ribbons then it is still there. Only wear uniform occasionally for funerals anyway. Got records of other ribbons that should be on the uniform, but never had anybody tell me I was out of uniform because the ribbons were not on it. What they don't know won't hurt them.

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Two things that helped me get the benefits were my BX card from CRB, and letters I sent home with the "FREE MAIL" stamp.

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I just got my letter approving 20% for diabetes. I started the process in November...Had to prove Vietnam service to get on Agent orange registry. Then I pounded them with travel vouchers and APRs all of which documented close to 100 combat missions. Along with that I found photos of me at a dirt strip in the highlands with the entire area behind me totally defoliated. They did not even ask for the letter from the Airforce stating my "boots on the ground".

Based on what I have read about different VA groups denying many of you boots on the ground because of something missing on the 214..I used the Fayetteville, AR VA and I must be lucky as I got no runaround at all....They denied my ringing in my ears and hearing loss but I will appeal that...Good luck to the ones out there still in the process...

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hi guys haven't been on for a while. still fighting the va boots on the ground wrote Randolph they are working on it. all takes time forever I sent the va 24 pictures doing my job in crb  its to bad we get the same run around from the idiots at the va sent letter of disagreement ask for hearing just received letter wanting more evidence I now have a lawyer in my behalf he's also one of our vet brothers going to fight these bastards till I have left this planet then ole jack is coming back for round two with the assholes.

 

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Here is the deal on the "boots on the ground" requirement. The Air Force did not keep records for TDY in a member's personnel file. It showed number of days TDY overseas for members based in the States. Later on, they added days in SEA but did not specify South Vietnam. (In my case I reenlisted at CRB so I have documentation.) As far as C-130s go, prior to June 1965 they operated in SVN (and SEA) on an as-needed basis. In June 1965 315th Air Division set up a C-130 rotation to Tan Son Nut. Others were implemented later in the year. In the spring of 1966 315th had three operating locations, one at CRB for A-models, another at Nha Trang for Es and one at Tan Son Nhut for B-models. The Nha Trang operation moved to CRB in early 1967. The CRB and TSN rotations were the primary rotations until December 1971 when the B-models were pulled out SVN operations (CRB closed soon afterwards.) A rotation was set up at Tuy Hoa for E-models and it lasted about a year. During that time, the CCK E's were supplemented by TAC E-models on rotation from the States.

The problem for C-130 vets is that those rotations are not recorded on our records. Flight crews (and possibly some ground crew) were on blanket orders and the only documentation is travel vouchers. VSM and VNCM medals are not proof of boots on the ground because you get them for overflying the country in B-52s or MAC flights and they were also awarded to troops in Thailand. The VA thus requires that the veteran show some kind of proof. Personally, I think that if a man was in a C-130 squadron and on flight status, they should be automatically considered to have set foot in SVN. This also goes for ground crew since they were sent TDY. It starts getting gray with specialists and other support personnel because not everybody went TDY to SVN. I've written letters to the VA and Congressman and got no reply. Basically, they don't care.

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I sent in a packet to the USAF to get my 214 to reflect my service in Vietnam. I included all my travel vouchers that showed trips in country and my APRs that gave the number of combat missions and number of days TDY to TSN. I also included pictures of me in obvious scene that were in Saigon. They sent me a letter back that indicated my "boots on the ground" in Vietnam. They would not amend my 214 but did give me letter to use if I needed to prove my service. I filed my Type2 claim with out the letter and my VA office in Little Rock accepted my evidence and approved my AO Diabetes claim with no No Vietnam on my 214... I was shocked. Somebody actually used their brain and made a decision with out the USAF letter...

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Good for you Billy. They should have given you a DDform215 which would have shown your service in Nam. Main thing is you got what you needed. Good on you for hanging in there! Bill:)

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