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|Subject: Non-tactical herbicides used in Thailand|
R. J. Saville (Finally)
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Date Posted: 14:29:59 12/29/09 Tue
I was stationed at U-Tapao AB in Nov 1968 through Nov 1969 as a Security Police Sentry Dog Handler. I was finally granted compensation for my Type 2 diabetes. The award letter reads as follows:
"You originally filed a claim for service connection for diabetes on March 6, 2001 which was denied by rating decision of May 22, 2002 because service in country in Vietnam, and thus exposure to herbicides (Agent Orange) was not shown. You reopened your claim for service connection on October 11, 2006 base on the Haas vs Nicholson court case concerning herbicide exposure. Diabestes is a presumptive condition associated with Agent Orange herbicide exposure.
Review of the service treatment and personnel records demonstrates that you were a Security Policeman and Sentray Dog Handler during service. You were located at U-Tapao AB, Thailand. The Department of Veterans Affairs Memorandum for the Record concerning Herbicide use in Thailand during the Vietnam Era notes that while the Thailand CHECO report does not report the use of tactical herbicides on allied bases in Thailand, it does indicate sproadic use of non-tactical (commercial) herbicides within fenced perimeters. Therefore, if a veteran's MOS or unit is one that regularly had contact with the base perimeter, there was a greater likeihood of exposure to commercial pesticides, including herbicides. Security Police units were known to have walked the perimeters, especially Dog Handlers. However, there are not records to show that the same tactical herbicides used in Vietnam were used in Thailand. E-mail from VA Compensation and Pension Policy Staff reports that the chemical content of commercial pestidices/herbicides is similar to Agent Orange herbicides.
You were a Sentry Dog Handler during service and would have been patrolling the perimeter of the Air Base. As such, as indicated in the excerpt above from the VA Memorandum of Records, concerning herbicide use, in Thailand, you would likely have been exposed to at least commercial pesticides.
Hope this helps.
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