Vietnam veterans who served on ships have been asking for decades for medical benefits due to exposure to Agent Orange. Until now, most of these veterans were not considered under the presumed exposure idea which covers the majority of Vietnam veterans who served on land.
The VA has listened. There is still a list of criteria that has to be met, and of course proof of service must be shown. There are several groups of ships and boats that are on this list.
The first, is a set of two categories: Mobile Riverine Force and Inshore Fire Support (ISF) Division 93. Both of these two groups are on the list.
The second, is a list of boat/ship designators:
- LCM (Landing Craft, Mechanized)
- LCU (Landing Craft, Utility)
- LCVP (Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel)
- LST (Landing Ship, Tank)
- PBR (Patrol Boat, River)
- PCF (Patrol Craft, Fast or Swift Boat)
- PG (Patrol Gunboat)
- WAK (Cargo Vessel)
- WHEC (High Endurance Cutter)
- WLB (Buoy Tender)
- WPB (Patrol Boat)
- YFU (Harbor Utility Craft)
A veteran who served on a ship or boat with one of these designations will also have this information shown in their service records.
The third, and largest category, is simply an alphabetical list of every ship that counts for presumed exposure. There are a LOT of ships on this list. When looking for the one you served on, look under the first letter of the ship’s formal, full name.
If you cannot find the boat or ship you served on, but are certain that it should be included, there are ways to get it on the list. You will need to first file a claim for a condition that is related to Agent Orange, and provide proof that it was developed due to Agent Orange exposure, in Vietnam, on your ship.
Photo thanks to Kevin H. under creative commons license on Flickr.