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(From VA Citation 1453935) As there is no evidence to contradict the Veteran's statements, and resolving reasonable doubt in the Veteran's favor, the Board concludes that while stationed at the U-Tapao RTAFB the Veteran regularly served near the air base perimeter and as such, in-service herbicide exposure is conceded on a direct or facts found basis. As the Board has concluded that the Veteran was exposed to herbicides in-service and that he has a diagnosis of diabetes mellitus type II that has become manifest to a degree of 10 percent or more after service, entitlement to service connection is warranted on a presumptive basis and the Veteran's claim is granted. 38 U.S.C.A. 1110, 1116 (West 2014); 38.  The BVA hearing Judge conceded that working on aircraft on the flight line, herbicide exposure is “conceded” on a direct or facts found basis. In my initial claim I stated I worked on aircraft parked on the flight line. The Request for Reconsideration appeal filed had additional proof my MOS (AFSC) worked on the flight line. If a geographical location at U-Tapao Airfield has been acknowledged to be contaminated with herbicides then the VA needs to be consistent in the claim reviews. Two Veterans working in the same location must both be considered exposed.  Why then have I had to hire an attorney to file a Notice of Disagreement & drag this on for additional years? 

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A1:  I think you can avoid "additional years" by filing the appeal under RAMP with no additional evidence if you are satisfied with the evidence you submitted initially. Also if you are happy with the evidence you presented (eg. exposure to the shit and doctor's opinion that you indeed have diabetes Mellitus II, and that symptoms create disabilites in life), seems you would not need a lawyer (I am a former attorney). I had pretty good luck switching to RAMP when it was begun (my claim is AO disability also)...After having heard nothing for 18 months, 7 months after switching to RAMP, I had a decision. (Favorable at that. Good Luck Brother.  (AG)  8/27/19

A2:  There are several reason why you hired an Attorney. There were no Accredited Veterans?s Services Officers where you live, or you filed your claim before Thailand Bases were added to the Agent Orange List. I have Veterans tell me I am going to get an Attorney. I say that is your privilege but do you want the whole apple or 2/3 of it. The choice is your and the process will not move any faster.  (GR)  8/27/19

A3:  It doesn't matter who can contradict who. I'm in my eighth year with this claim and I'm hoping I live long enough to see it resolved. I've had 6 doctors, friends, family, 3 EMS employees and 1 Emergency Room employee. and still got denied. Finally I hired an attorney, no actually the attorney found me he told me that in all the cases he reviewed that were denied I had the most credible. But here I am still waiting for a decision! Lots of Luck Bro!   (MC)  8/27/19

A4:   If you would have filed with an Accredited VSO from Am Legion, DAV, VFW or another Service Organization you would not have had to hire an attorney. They are free. Your attorney sill take his fee up front. All Service organizations have attorneys at the National Level.  (GH)  8/27/19



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