This case involves a BVA decision that an Army veteran's MOS as a light infantryman did not support his claim of exposure to an herbicide agent while at Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base (RTAFB) in mid 1962. In the same decision, the BVA failed to consider whether an Army veteran who provided RTAFB security before the bases were fully operational in assessing whether the veteran had been exposed to an herbicide (like Agent Orange).
The appeal was resolved through a joint motion to remand after attorney Alexandra Curran filed her brief on appeal.
The VA must concede exposure to herbicides when a veteran provides evidence showing he served "on or near" a Royal Thai Air Force Base perimeter during the Vietnam war.
Mr. Jones, an Army veteran stationed in Thailand and Laos in 1962, submitted evidence establishing routine contact with the base perimeter, sleeping in the spray drift zone, and passing through the perimeter of the Royal Thai Air Force Base.
Did the BVA err when it found that Mr. Jones service as an Army infantryman did not support his claim for exposure to herbicide agents at a Royal Thai Air Force Base?
Attorney Alexandra Curran proposed the parties enter into a Joint Motion to Remand prior to the filing of briefs. The Secretary chose to defend the BVA's decision.
After Ms. Curran filed her opening brief, the Secretary changed his mind and agreed to a joint motion to remand.
The Secretary agreed that the BVA erred when it failed to comply with its own procedures from the Manual M-21 and failed to adequately reason its denial of the appellant's claim he was exposed to herbicide agents while serving at a Royal Thai Air Force Base (RTAFB) during the Vietnam war..
If you believe you were exposed to agent orange during the Vietnam war while serving on a Royal Thai Air Force Base, or on/near the Korean DMZ, and would like help establishing your entitlement to VA disability compensation for any resulting disabilities, click here to ask Attig | Curran | Steel to take a look at your case.
OGC Attorney: Lance Steahly (link to attorney's bio on LinkedIn)
Veteran Representation at CAVC: Alexandra Curran (link to bio)
Board of Veterans Appeals Veterans Law Judge: L. Howell
Vets’ Rep at BVA: The American Legion
Date of BVA Decision: February 14, 2019
Date of CAVC Joint Motion to Remand: April 3, 2020