Having spent years of study, my own battle with the VA (still on going) and frequenting Veteran sites, I can offer some advice both for the lady and fellow Aircrew.
Best site for preparing for, documenting boots, and vast knowledge....http://www.hadit.com. Another knowledgable group....http://vets.yuku.com.
You are your best advocate for your claim. You can have VVA, VFW, ect. but unless you stay on top of it, it will take longer. Get a copy of your C file from the VA so you can read what they are doing. Indeed some Veterans have found someone else"s documents in their folder. Treat every scrap of paper you can find (the ladies on Hadit recommend a three ring binder).
As for the lady, Thailand is a wrong end. There has not been substantive evidence of widespread use if AO on base other than the afore mentioned perimeter. There exists rumors that a large number of 55 gal drums buried at the end of Ubon's runway and then the RW paved over but this has not been verified. She should be going through every scrap of paper looking for per deim slips, orders, any possible tie to boots. Peer verification is substantive evidence, so keep asking guys if they remember him.
Someone mentioned notifying their congress critter. You can, but they have to pull your file, review it from cover to cover, come to a decision and then run it up the flagpole. Consequence? Delay. This all takes time and it may very well result in your file going to the bottom of the pile. If you have heavy sway, go for it.
Those that have been denied recently, may ask for a face to face review with a rating officer. This will give you one more bite at the apple before it going to BVA. BVA turn-arounds are now in years.
Someone mentioned that the VA employees are liberals. Past behaviour would suggest far right leanings evidenced with their preoccupation of saving the taxpayers. Google Dr. Norma Perez.
I'm tired now Gentlemen, so I'm going to bed.
I will come back tomorrow and add more or try to answer questions.