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Q187:  What is the best way to attempt to connect service at a Royal Thai Air Force Base (RTAFB) / U.S. Air Force Base at Takhli RTAFB, Thailand during the Vietnam War, to Agent Orange exposure? I developed Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, had pancreatic cancer with surgery to remove approx one-third of my pancreas & stomach, and continue with 3 month checks for the lymphoma. Also, have spots in my liver that are being watched for changes too. I was an aircraft maintenance specialist doing heavy maintenance & crash recovery duties, so was at both ends of the runway, ramp, engine trim pad, etc. Any help will be greatly appreciated. 

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A1:  As a Service Officer for VA claims, here's what I know about AO diseases from serving in Thailand during he Vietnam war.

 

To receive benefits for diseases associated with herbicide exposure, these Veterans must show on a factual basis that they were exposed to herbicides during their service as shown by evidence of daily work duties, performance evaluation reports, or other credible evidence.

Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma is one of the diseases. I'm not sure about pancreatic cancer, but you should file a claim (with medical evidence). Also, you might want to look for information on Liver Flukes. Flukes are parasites in the water in Nam (not sure about Thailand) that might have been living in our liver dormant 40+ years and are now causing liver cancer.

 

Just make sure you have as such medical evidence to support your claims. If you are also being treated for these diseases by a private doctors, you should have them complete a Nexus form, which lets the VA know that you have been diagnosed with the illness/disease and that it is 'more likely than not caused by service connection.' You can get blank Nexus form at your local DAV Chapter that helps with filing claims with the VA. Good luck and better health, brother.  (JL)  11/13/18

     

A2:   I have Agent Orange Contamination, I have it on my palms, and my left foot.  (PL)  11/13/18

     

A3:  You are on the right track , stay within the Veterans Administration connections . Try and call and talk to someone whom is of authority.. read about all related diseases , but it sounds like yours may be connected . You may not be listed as a place that was exposed , but if aircraft dispersed Agent Orange , then you know the concentrated Chemical was on the aircraft Skin ,, naturally I have no idea . But never quit trying to find out . So some of your aircraft may have been used in the agent Orange operations ,, only you know this . in My case I was about 1 mile from the Jungle and aircraft flew over periodically to keep the foliage dead next to the base, Dong Tam , Naval Support and Army 9th Infantry .. We repaired River Boats for the Navy and Army , over hauled them , about 12 or so every 7 days , working 24 hours per day . You can smell agent Orange on the skin of Aircraft , It has its own stinking smell , but does a good job killing the foliage .  (AK)  11/13/18

       

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

        

   

A4:  Google 553rd Recon Wing BatCats stationed at Korat RTAFB.
There is many links supplied by OMS, FMS, EMS, and Flight Crews and should help get your award. Never Give Up!  (RL)  11/14/18

     

A5:  I was an acft maint. mech. also but post Vietnam. You should google "operation ranch hand" that was the defoliant flights where they were spraying the nasty stuff all over the jungle. you probably were involved in maint. on some of those birds at some time during your tour at Takhli . If it was not Ranch Hand then it would not be hard to find out., too many guys involved in this program. Good Luck on it. BTW, I am a NHL survivor, lost my left lung in 2001. never smoked, I'm sure it's from jp4 & all of the other chemicals us acft mech's came in contact with!!!!!  (PB)  3/7/20