Tuesday, October 14, 2008

If Your Claim is in Haas Stay...

We anticipate that the Department of Veterans Affairs [DVA] will shortly issue their new rule clarifying, in their minds at least, the definition of service in Vietnam. Once they do, I suspect they will have teams in all the VA Regional Offices [VAROs] cull out all the Haas stay cases and send them mass rejections, and they may do so without checking for the validity of whether or not the claims are, indeed, Haas cases.

From the start, the DVA shunted all Navy cases into the Haas stay. That this is illegal does not seem to bother an agency that has bags of claims in Regional Offices sitting in shred bins...even claims that have never officially been opened. There are actually employees of the VAROs in NYC and Detrot who are on the street today without pay pending an investigation of their actions.

Regardless, we will issue this call once again: if your ship entered port, went up a river or estuary or anchored in the delta of any of Vietnam's Rivers, or in any of its enclosed bays, you should get your Veterans Service Officer from your Veterans organization, the one that is representing you, to GO to the VARO [with you!], and get nose-to-nose with management there to have them pull and process your claim. You might, if you ruin into resistance, indicate the probability of your filing a complaint with the United States Commission on Civil Rights, and the DVA Office of the Inspector General to investigate the VARO's claim handling. There should be enough threat in that to get them to pay attention.

The DVA, as a Department-wide policy has been putting all Navy claims into the Haas Stay, while the court directed them to stay cases only affected by the Haas case. So, once again they have been putting the screws to Vietnam Veterans.


”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

"It follows than as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious."--President George Washington

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  1. Anonymous10:35

    I was able to document the my ship anchored inport at Danang, Cam Rahn Bay, Canson Island, and up the Saigon River 19 times in 1972, the DVA response.....you must show you disembarked, actually went ashore.....I have this in writing fromt them....for me this turned out to be not a problem since I could prove I had, indeed, gone ashore...others won't be so lucky.

  2. You are correct. Those in the position of having no proof of feet on the ground, but otherwise were on ships in brown water, must point to the precedent the Secretary made with the USS Ingersoll. Especially if the ship was anchored, and not pierside where fresh waster was available.