Monday, July 07, 2008

Need a Military Record Researcher?

We have been contacted by a college trained archive researcher who performs research at such places as the Naval Historical Center, the National Archives, and so on. Tim Frank will, for example, research and if possible, obtain copies of documents you may need to pursue your claim with the VA.

Please pay very close attention to this:

You very likely noticed something in the comments filed during the VA's Public Comment Period for re-defining the meaning of "service in Vietnam," and in the legal briefs recently filed as part of the motion to request a review of the recent Haas decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for Federal Claims. Like it or not, there has been a lot of talk about the "12 mile limit," and if and when a favorable resolution of the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans issue arrives, it may be limited to the 12 mile limit of sovereign territory recognized by the international community. That may be the best we can get. [We don't think so, and we don't hope that is all, but we must be ready for that if it comes!]

How would you prove that your ship sailed within the 12 mile limit during combat ops off Vietnam?

The best way would be with your ship's deck logs. These are not the green notebooks you used when you were standing in-port watches, and the ship's quartermaster used when underway. These are the smooth copies with entries made by a rotating set of junior officers which showed positions, courses and speed when engaged, and noon sightings for navigational purposes, and major activities of the ship and crew. Your XO's Mast for being a half-hour late coming back from liberty will not be in there. But the counter battery fire from your ship's guns while a mile off the coast of North Vietnam will be in there.

Additionally, there are other documents that can help prove your claim. Many ships have a detailed ship's history in the Dictionary of Naval Fighting Ships, or DANFS. This is available online at the Naval Historical Center's website.

Other documents that can be helpful include After Action Reports, Incident Reports, and other records the ship produced when operating under combat conditions off the coast of 'Nam. Finally, each ship's captain was tasked with providing a year-end ship's history, a narrative of all the ship did that year, and submitting that history to the CNO.

Any, or all of such documents can augment your personnel files in supplying documentary proof for your claim.

Do yourself a favor and start working on obtaining this stuff now. Because most of you would find it difficult to get to the Washington, D.C. area, we have decided to recommend a research service. That service is
Tim Frank. Tim has a website at Military Research Associates, LLC. You can browse his website to get his rates, and contact him with any questions you might have.

If you are serious about your claim, and see the potential for needing the kind of information mentioned above, as we can see it, then we recommend contracting a service such as
Tim Frank's. His rates are very reasonable, he lives in the area, and has established a rapport with the people who keep the records. [This is something very important when doing historical research. We know this because we do such research in an area not related to the Blue Water Navy.]

We will add this post to the list of helpful posts on the sidebar, and we will also add a picture ad for
Tim Frank's Military Research Associates.

We know it should not come to this, but we would rather see you prepared in advance, rather than sitting there waiting several months to get the proof you need so your claim can proceed.


”It is a stain on this nation's honor that the Department of Veterans Affairs has become a deadlier and more difficult adversary to the American veteran than any they have ever faced on a battlefield."-- VNVets

"The concept that Agent Orange, and its effects, stopped dead in its tracks at the shoreline is simply too illogical, and too ludicrous to accept. What does that say about the Bush Administration and his Department of Veterans Affairs?"--VNVets

"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations." --President Abraham Lincoln

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