Monday, February 2, 2015

Will VA Finally Admit that Da Nang Harbor is an Inland Waterway?

How will the CAVC judgement differ from the BVA judgements that did not set a precedent with regard to Danang Harbor designated as being an inland waterway?

On behalf of Blue Water veteran, Robert Gray, Hill & Ponton filed an appeal for his claim for service connected compensation at the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC).  It is Mr. Gray’s contention that Da Nang Harbor should be considered an inland waterway for Agent Orange compensation purposes.  The case is Robert H. Gray v. Robert A. McDonald 13-3339.  After Mr. Gray and the VA submitted all of their briefs in the case, the CAVC decided to review this issue with a panel of three judges.  This review will be precedential, meaning it will affect every other case where a veteran served on a ship that went into Da Nang Harbor.  Before jumping into the particulars of Agent Orange and Da Nang Harbor, it is important to see how Da Nang Harbor fits into the history of Agent Orange cases.
After decades of fighting veterans on the dangers of exposure to Agent Orange, Congress passed the Agent Orange Act of 1991 and forced the VA to admit that the chemical is not only harmful, but deadly, and that any soldiers on the landmass of Vietnam between 1962 and 1975 were exposed.  But the VA draws a line in the sand, literally, when it comes to veterans who served offshore Vietnam in the Navy or Coast Guard.  In fact, the VA has found that veterans who did not step onto land in Vietnam were not exposed to Agent Orange unless the veteran’s ship went into an “inland waterway.”  In VA terms, this means that the ship went up a river, and the VA has explicitly taken a position that harbors are not inland waterways. This is a problem for Navy and Coast Guard veterans who served on ships that were anchored, and sometimes even docked, in Da Nang Harbor, a harbor in Vietnam that is surrounded by land on three sides.

3 comments:

  1. Scientific Evidence.The anchorage area within Da Nang Harbor is within "an estuary" that consists of The Cu DE and The Han River. The anchorage area is surrounded by 3 shorelines, it is well within the geographical territorial boundaries of Vietnam, and well protected from the open sea. The anchorage area is a product of land run off and the two rivers. The ESTUARY definition / contents thereof within Da Nang harbor is the Scientific evidence that the crew of ships... were more than likely than not... exposed to (more than) agent orange. See Congress' Intent: Congressional Research Services / Statutory Presumptions ( by law clerk Nichols Oct. 2010). Likewise, have your claim / appeal (re) adjudicated; Also, See The Nehmer Court Order: The Nehmer Training Guide Feb. 2011 Revised ... of having established "The Estuary" within Da Nang Harbor that of an inland waterway

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  2. The Anchorage Area within Da Nang Harbor is within "an" estuary that consists of The Cu De River and The Han River(s). The anchorage area is well sheltered from the open sea; surrounded by 3 and mass shorelines; well within Vietnam Territory. Hence, Da Nang Harbor is an inland waterway. See Congress' Intent: Congressional Research Services / Statutory Presumptions (by law clerk Nichols October 2010). The scientific definition / contents of the estuary is to of that which is also contiguous, nexus, and direct exposures. Mouths of rivers are estuaries , also. And, Da Nang Harbor is an inland waterway containing an estuary.

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  3. Scientific Evidence: The ANCHORAGE area within Da Nang Harbor is within "an" ESTUARY that consists of the Han River and the Cu De River(s). The ESTUARY's definition / contents / pollution(s) are the results of weather, two rivers drainage, 3 shorelines runoffs, well within the geographical territory of Vietnam, and well sheltered from the open sea. The "estuary" within Da Nang Harbor ( the big river) is more than the necessary "nexus" required by Congress' Intents: Congressional Research Services / Statutory Presumptions (by law clerk Nichols October 2010)( also recognizes incubation periods). The many Justices rulings consistence that Da Nang Harbor is an inland waterway provides another type of "nexus". Hence, such meets requirements for claims/ appeals to be adjudicated and /or re-adjudicated to The Nehmer Court Order ( Congess' Intents) : The Nehmer Training Guide February 2011. <> The ESTUARY within Da Nang Harbor provides the evidence that Da Nang Harbor itself is an inland waterway / estuary. <> The Nehmer Court Order provides that Nehmer Claims receive priority. The Nehmer Court order recognizes survivors claims. The Nehmer Court Order recognizes Retro Benefits . Nonetheless, Congressional Research Services / Statutory Presumptions (by law clerk Nichols October 2010) is a must read For All Veterans that served anywhere on Earth. Thank you for your time.

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