Agent Orange was not only used in Vietnam: there is confirmed use of Agent Orange, and confirmed exposure to Agent Orange for Korean Veterans.
VA Service Connection for Agent Orange Korean Veterans.
If a veteran that served in Korea during the Vietnam War meets these criteria, that Veteran is going to be entitled to presumptive service connection for Agent Orange exposure.
* Veteran served in Korea from April 1, 1968, to August 31, 1971
* Veteran served in a unit known to be exposed to Agent Orange OR served along the Korean DMZ
The presumption of exposure to Agent Orange is NOT the only way to show that a Veteran is entitled to service connection for current disabilities that result from Agent Orange Exposure.
I want to share with you 2 cases where I know that Veterans have used other paths to service connection to win their case:
Camp Casey, Korea:
As early as 1999, this Vietnam era Veteran showed that he was exposed to Agent Orange while serving at Camp Casey in Korea.
The interesting thing about this case is that the Veteran used 5 Star Evidence to show that he was entitled to the Benefit of the Doubt Rule in his claim for Agent Orange exposure while serving in Korea.
At the time he filed his claim and appeal, there was no legal presumption that entitled him to service connection.
Camp Carroll, Korea:
In 2014, this Veteran FINALLY proved to the BVA a rare type of exposure: direct proof of exposure to Agent Orange at Camp Carroll in Korea.
This Veteran’s case – known as the House case – is a model for Veterans who are trying to provide evidence of exposure to Agent Orange in areas where the VA and the DoD have not yet conceded that Agent Orange was used or stored.
What Units were Known to be Exposed to Agent Orange in Korea.
The Department of Defense provided, and the VA recognizes, that service in one of these units is one of the elements of presumptive service connection for Agent Orange exposure along the Korean DMZ:
2nd ID: Combat Brigade
7th Infantry Division: 3rd Brigade
7th Cavalry: 4th Battalion
7th Cavalry: 4th Squadron, Counter Agent Company
9th Infantry: 1st and 2nd Battalions
10th Cavalry: 2nd Battalion
12th Artillery: 1st Battalion
13th Engineer Combat Battalion
15th Artillery: 1st Battalion
17th Artillery: 7th Battalion
17th Infantry: 1st and 2nd battalions
23rd Infantry: 1st, 2nd and 3rd Battalions
31st Infantry: 2nd Battalion (Service Records may show assignment to 2ID or 7ID)
32nd Infantry, 1st Battalion (3rd BDE of 7ID)
32nd Infantry: 3rd Battalion (Service Records may show assignment to 2ID or 7ID)
37th Artillery: 6th Battalion
38th Infantry: 1st and 2nd Battalions
38th Artillery: 5th Battalion
72nd Armor: 1st and 2nd Battalion
73rd Armor: 1st Battalion
United Nations Command Security Battalion – Joint Security Area (UNCSB-JSA) *
* Thanks to Larry A., a reader of our blog, for information about the presumption related to members of this unit.
Common Reasons for Denial of Service Connection for Agent Orange: Korean Veterans.
Don’t let the VA Regional Office get away with telling you that you aren’t entitled to service-connection just because you don’t meet the presumptive criteria.
This happens in some of the following situations:
1) Veteran served along Korean DMZ, but shortly after the times when the spraying is acknowledged to have occurred;
2) Veteran served during the time spraying occurred, but was not officially assigned to the particular units known to have been exposed to Agent Orange, or may have been temporarily assigned or detailed to one of those units, without official orders;
3) Veteran served during the time spraying occurred, in one of the units known to have been exposed to Agent Orange, but has a condition that is not on the VA list of conditions presumptively connected to Agent Orange exposure.
Just because you are in one of the above categories does not mean that you cannot be service connected for Agent Orange exposure.
It does mean that you may have a longer fight, and explore different ways to prove the connection between your Agent Orange exposure and your current medical conditions.
To win this fight, you are going to need to learn the 5 Paths to Service Connection, and how to use 5-Star Evidence to prove you were exposed to Agent Orange while serving in Korea during the Vietnam War.
5 Paths to Service Connection.
Far too many Veterans exposed to Agent Orange in Korea rely on the legal presumptions as their only path to proving service connection.
They find that they did not serve at the “right” time, or in the “right” unit, and are left to appeal the denial of the legal presumption.
There are 5 Paths to Service Connection, and Veterans who claim that they were exposed to Agent Orange while serving in Korea during the Vietnam War would do well to pursue MORE than 1 of those paths.
Not only do you need to learn the 5 Paths to Service Connection, but you will need to understand the 4 Pillars of any VA service connection claim.
The Secret to Proving Your VA Claim is 5 Star Evidence.
Unless you served in the right unit, at the right time, you are not going to win your Korean DMZ Agent Orange without 5 Star Evidence.
In the ebook pictured to the left, I will teach you what 5 Star Evidence is, and how to use it in your VA Claim.
You are going to want to load your claim with lay evidence, too.
Lay Evidence will give wings to your Korean DMZ Agent Orange claim. Study it – and learn the best and most credible way to add Lay Evidence to your VA Claim.
You are going to have to Climb the VA Claims Process.
Unless you are entitled to the legal presumption of exposure to Agent Orange while serving in the right unit at the right time in Korea, don’t expect to just file a VA claim and sit back and wait.
The VA is KNOWN for denying these claims initially – you are going to have to appeal to the BVA. Forgot about “requesting reconsideration” of a VA Ratings Decision that denied your claim. File the Notice of Disagreement, request a DRO Conference, and get ready to respond to the VA Statement of Case.
You are going to have to learn the VA Claims and Appeals process – without that legal presumption, proving service connection is going to be a hard road…but many many Veterans have done it.
And even after you win the claim, you are going to have to fight the VA for the proper effective date. The VA is – unlawfully if you ask me – not giving Veterans the benefit of the earlier effective dates that the Nehmer case requires in all Agent Orange exposure cases.
Veterans Law Guidebook Packages.
Take a look at any of the eBooks I mention by clicking on the images of the book above.
If you would rather save some money by buying more than one of these Veterans Law Guidebooks, take a look at my Basic Veterans Law Guidebook Packages, where you can get some pretty big discounts by purchasing packages instead of individual books.
Not ready to purchase a guidebook?
That’s alright by me – why don’t you check out my FREE Daily email, and get information, tips, and pointers on battling the VA claim every day in your email inbox? Click here to sign up for the FREE email list.
* This post was originally published on the Veterans Law Blog on October 26, 2010; it has been updated with current information.