Exposure to Agent Orange
Blue Water Veterans must have actually stepped foot on the land of Vietnam or served on its inland waterways anytime between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975 to be presumed to have been exposed to herbicides when claiming service-connection for diseases associated with Agent Orange exposure.
Some offshore vessels docked to the shore of Vietnam, operated in Vietnam's close coastal waters and sent smaller vessels ashore, or conducted operations on the inland waterways of Vietnam between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975. Evidence confirmed through military records must show that the Veteran was aboard one of these ships.
Blue Water Veterans who did not set foot in Vietnam or serve aboard ships that operated on the inland waterways of Vietnam anytime between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975 must show on a factual basis that they were exposed to herbicides during military service in order to receive disability compensation for diseases associated with Agent Orange exposure.
Exception: Blue Water Veterans claiming non-Hodgkin's lymphoma as a disability may be granted service-connection without showing inland waterway service or that they set foot in Vietnam. This is because VA also recognizes non-Hodgkin's lymphoma as associated with service in Vietnam or the waters offshore of Vietnam during the Vietnam Era.
READ MORE: http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/bluewaterveterans.asp