The VA has a number of presumptive diseases that are adjudicated based on
service in a particular geographic area. Recently Congress/VA added a couple that
were of particular importance to those who served in Vietnam.... certain cancers,
especially prostate cancer and now, diabetes Type II.
As a rule, your DD form 214 , Report of Separation, does not provide a lot
of information. It will tell VA when you entered active duty, when you separated and if you
had overseas time, any awards and decorations you may have earned, and, the last unit
or organizaton you were assigned to at separation. A lot of these indicators will help you establish you claim. Award of the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (prior to Gulf of Tonkin) and the VSM after; assignment to the MOB; that you had overseas service.
If you file a claim for Agent Orange related disabilities claim...like
prostate cancer or diabetes...........the VA is obligated to obtain your service medical
records and other information from your service file that would establish your claim.
You also can get copies of this information. If you have already filed a claim for some
disability with the VA .. they will already have your service medical file.
If you are going to file a claim...depending on where you live in the states, you are going
to have a long wait. They are back logged up to their eyes but improving. I suggest that ANY MOB VET that served in country..even one day... go to the VA hospital nearest them... ask for a Agent Orange Examination..its a protocol exam and you are entitled to it. It puts you on a register that may help speed your claim should you file one in the future. Its a smart move........and, I would call ahead and ask if you have to have an appointment or if you can drop in.......waiting is a pain but now that you are all old guys just take your Readers Digest with you and look intellectual.
Another issue can be ... Mob vets who never left the PI but worked on aircraft loading and
unloading comm gear and vehicles, etc. Some of the C-130's may have been rigged for spraying and you may in fact have been exposed. Another issue, your equipment may have been sprayed and you may have in fact leaned against, rubbed, or what ever...it didn't take much. Its not like your car where you washed it every other day... if it did receive spray
it may have dried on and stayed there till you came back to the PI and you may have had lots of contact.
If you want to receive copies of your medical records, unit records, or..actually your entire military file, you can write to:
National Personnel Records Center
(Military Personnel Records)
9700 Page Avenue
St Louis, MO 63132-5100
Be sure to explain exactly what record/document you are seeking and why. Its going to
take awhile..........while your at it you can ask for any awards or decorations that
you are entitled to and never received. Maybe your kids want them.
Or...go to a local veterans office (state or county) and ask for a Standard Form 180
"Request Pertaining to Military Records"... you can make your request on the form and the address is on the reverse side. The state or county service officer should help you fill it out.................
IF YOU HAVE BEEN TOLD BY YOUR DOCTOR THAT YOU HAVE PROSTATE CANCER OR DIABETES TYPE II
...FILE A CLAIM WITH THE VA. ITS IMPORTANT IF NOT TO YOU...TO YOUR SURVIVOR.
Exposure to Agent Orange or other certain Herbicides can possibly can allow service connection to be established.... this is a partial list that Viet Vets should be aware
of Hodgiins Disease
Soft tissue sarcoma (some)
Soft tissue sarcoma ... include the following
malignant fivrous historcytoma
proliferationg angio endtheliomatosis (systemic)
malignant glomus tumor
malignant giant cell tumor of tendon sheath
malignant granular cell tumor
alveolar soft part sarcoma
clear cell sarcoma of tendons
extra seletal Ewing's sarcoma
As you can see.... its all mumbo jumbo to the layman and a good reason for you to get
the Agent Orange examination... and to listen to your doctor when he tells you something
and it don't sound good.
Hope some of this helps one or two of you...." Jon 64-65
"I know for me, I used any decorations stating the unit I was in,
which, most of the time, coorelates to the country etc. Also Letters of
Evaluation or EPRs sometimes state location of TDY, etc. Last is your
travel voucher along with orders. Now the travel voucher is the official,
"Been there done that."
Hope this may help."
"I have a suggestion that may help Larry Olesen in his quest for proof of service in RVN. During my Mob time ,62-63 and my TDY'S to Tan Son Nhut and Nha Trang I was awarded the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for service in RVN, authority was AFR 900-10 and is indicated on my AF-214 and AF form 7.The AF form 7 is available from the military records center at St Louis if Larry needs one. Unfortunately i do not have a set of orders for awarding the AFEM while in the MOB. I do have MOB orders awarding good conduct medals with A/2C Larry Olesen being awarded.
I also retained my passport, travel vouchers and RVN drivers license for proof of service in RVN that I used to resolve a issue with the civil service commission some years ago.
Just a suggestion that may or may not help Larry." John 62-63
"I have Decoration narratives and Airman Performance Report (APR) narratives
that specifically mention these type of assignments where the generic DD214
I was in country long enough to recieve the associated medals so my DD214
did reflect may status but some that may have been on shorter TDYs may have
recieved a Commendation Medal etc. with mention of the deployment in the
narrative, just a thought." Bob 74-75
"Use form 1-80 and request you military records from St. Louis Missouri.
Get on the web and go to this site and down load the form and mail it.
Look under DD-214 Reconstruction or see the VA for forms.
St Louis Records Barn burned down in 1976, and they will reconstruct records.
Any travel in Laos went through the CIA compound in Vientiane Laos.
Request records from the CIA. FOI act.
Same thing State Department and DISA for security clearance records.
State Department may have some record on Viet Nam TDY." Vic 63-65
"I had a similar problem in 1990. I was diagnosed as having Hepatitis B and even though I explained to the VA that I was on per diem on several assignments because of a lack of food and housing they refused my claim for treatment because I failed to keep any orders confirming this. The VA claimed they could not get access to these orders. Thanks," George 62-64
"The only methods I could think of are those that you could think of ---- When
I went through Basic Training my TI told us that we should always keep copies
of every piece of paper that we were handed (i.e. passports, and copies of
orders) --- I kept all mine and went through those I received while in the
Mob, and his name wasn't on any of the teams that I went out on. Sorry." Dave 61-63
"As you may or may not know, I was in the 1st MOB from Jun 65 to Jul 68.-Personnel Officer from Jun65 to Jan66, when I became the Squadron CO.
I have sent Mark Cox a statement (notarized) saying
what I did , and certified I knew Mark served in-country.
In his case it worked- a minor miracle considering we were
dealing with VA St. Petersburg, FL.
I also sent one for Sam Hatton. one of Mark's troops. Sam
had sent the VA an amended DD214 showing award of the
Vietnam Service Medal (VSM) too. Unfortunately Sam passed
away several weeks back. I know Mark will keep in touch with
Sam's wife Joan- and if anything comes of the efforts, I'll make
sure you are filled in.
All of this to bring up a point: If anyone is in receipt of the VSM
or the Vietnam Campaign Medal (VCM) they should be listed on
the DD214 under Awards as VSM or VCM. Some VA adjudicators
either don't know what they are- or they ignore them. So for anyone
denied who has those awards-- point them out to the VA numbnuts-
with an info copy to Reps and Senators.
I encourage those with problems with the VA in recognizing RVN
service to get sworn statements from team chiefs, particularly if
the team chief was an officer. It's bullshit, but VA gives more credence to them.
I am willing to sign statements for the guys who served during the time I was there, but I'll need some memory-jogging with as much detail as possible. In other words, I must be able to recall the folks-
I won't fabricate.
I have a copy of the MOB history for the three years I was there-
lots of numbers and times for the team deployments, but not a lot
of individual names.
As for the diabetes and Agent Orange thing; Don't know if you know
it but Clark AB was the depot-level maintenance facility for C-123s.
The Ranch Hands- the 309th and 19th Defoliation Squadrons based
at Tan Son Nhut flew C-123s-- and were regular visitors to Clark.
Since a handful of their pilots were OCS classmates of mine, I saw
a lot of them while at Clark - and had an informal arrangement with
a lot of them to give 1st MOB people- particularly the pay agents-
transport in either direction-Clark to TSN or TSN to Clark. They also hauled some of our equipment and personnel on occasion-if memory serves me right.
It's a real bitch when we end up going through the hassle to prove
to a bunch of bed-wetters in the VA system that we did what we did-
but for Gods sake tell everyone NOT TO GIVE UP!! Keep on fighting!!" ILLEGITIMI NON-CARBURUNDUM" ---DON'T LET THE BASTARDS GRIND YOU DOWN!!" - Jim 65-68
If anyone wants to contact Jim, email me for his contact info:
To contribute or add information, email me by clicking on this link:
TDY orders are the best way to establish proof of Vietnam war service
and Korean service following the Pueblo incident. At least 30 days (not
necessarily continuous) is required. Send copies of orders to HQ
AFPC/DPPPR, Randolph AFB, Tx. 78150-4714. They will take action to have
service entered in records at National Personell Records Center, 9700
Page Ave., St Louis, Mo. 63132-5100. They will also provide the Vietnam
Service Medal And Armed forces Expedittionary Medal for Korean service.
They probably will also provide an updated Form DD 214, but I`m not
sure of this. Bill 67-70
The VA is supposed to be operating on a "Must assist" basis for helping Vets prove their claims. If anyone can obtain an affidavit from another service member that proves presence in the theater, then that, along with their own affidavit and a set of orders will be sufficient proof. Also, even though it usually takes months, the national military archives (NARA) has copies of those old travel orders. Just have to send them a request and then bug them continuously for a few months to get your document copies.
Here is the link to request a copy of your records on a SF180.
St. Louis Archives
Hope this helps someone, Don 85-90
My time is from mid 65 thru late 67. I do have TDY orders, but also awards and decs which substantiate SEA service and tax exemptions for SEA time($500/mo remember?). The DD 214 should (?) show decoration etc and the IRS could provide copies of old returns. Hope this helps. Bill 65-67
Just read your post about Larry Olesen trying to get anything he can to show proof of service. I don't believe I have any TDY orders with him on them but just for your information, I did retain virtually every set of TDY orders to Nam and also Thailand while I was in the 1876th GEEIA Sq.(1962-1964), !st Mob (1965-1967), 1961st Comm Grp.(1977-1980). If anyone is searching for a set of TDY orders and in the remote chance they may be included on the same set I have retained, I would be more than happy to look up to see if they are on any of mine and send them a copy via e-mail. For your information. John '65-'67
NARA | Research Room | Access to Military Service and Pension Records
Hi, Guys! If you click on the address above, you will reach the site to obtain copies of Morning Reports from your team showing you were deployed in country on ground. Also, of great help in settling the case was our US Representative. I was in team 44-65 at Cam Rahn, Da Nang and Na trang, 65-66. Diagnosed with Prostate Cancer in 1992, in Feb 1999 the VA said, you know the rest of the story. Good luck, the first year after applying for compensation all I got was the run a round, the second year I got ahold of my State Representative. Things then started to roll along a little bit better, but still SLOW. The biggest thing was being in the USAF, were you on the ground or in the air flying over the country? This question came up a lot of times. Larry, I hope this bit of info helps you out, and any other Alumnus out there. God Bless our Country and our Troops and ALL of us. - Dick 65-66
Most of this is information that is too late for most members but what has helped me is that I had several copies of TDY orders that even though the destination was listed as classified the specific order # can be traced back and eventually linked to a specific destination. Granted this is a long and tedious process but it can be done. Luckily for us the Government gives up it's money somewhat grudingly and seeks to track all of it's expenditures and hence they keep a record of them and to whom it was paid. I don't know how long it keeps them but that is how I prove my time in country for both Desert Storm and whole Bosian thing. I don't know if that can help anyone that's in the position of that stuff being long gone. - Andy 92-96
I had a very similar problem. I did find a copy of my original orders sending me to Viet Nam and found the orders extending me there and then orders directing me back to Clark AB.
At first the VA would not accept them as proof of Viet Nam service. I had to enlist the help of my US Senator who intervened on my behalf. I took approximately 2 months to get my benefits. Later I found a copy of my Pay Records that reflected my travel there and returned. It had the paymaster stamp from Clark.
I wish there was a designated site that we could all post our TDY orders to. That would help those that have lost their copies to get new copies for situations such as this. - Robert 65-66
(See button on Proof of Service menu to request a search by Alumni Members from your Mob Years of their TDY orders for your name. - Don Devine)
I have been trying to get more detailed information on my Dad. As you know, this can be quite a trick. I wonder when/if classified info becomes un-classified?
My latest result came after I filled out (another) form from the NARA website. I had wanted details on my Dad's missions, a listing of his awards and decorations and a chronological listing of service. They actually sent me medals....which I didn't ask for, but was pretty neat to receive. Of course the details on his missions were only in the form of the citations that accompany awards.
I don't know if this means anything that would help you, but the form numbers at the bottom of the basic info reads: AF FORM 11 JAN 66 PREVIOUS EDITION AS SPECIFIED IN AFM 35-9 (I also see: US Government Printing Office 1965 of -795-399). Maybe part of the problem is that the forms were different in 1962...?
In my Dad's chronological listing of service, it shows that he was at Tan Son Nhut in 1969-1970. However, I did notice that some of the citations that accompanied awards for incidents overseas dated before 1969 were NOT places listed on his chronological form. Perhaps if you were promoted or received an award during 1962, your overseas service would be reflected on those other forms?
Another thought that I have is regarding shot records.....Didn't you guys get vaccines before or during Viet Nam? If so, there has got to be proof of them somewhere...maybe that would help lead into what you are looking for?
I doubt that any of this e-mail will be of any help, but I wanted to give it a shot.
Sincerely - Jenny 73-74
Don't know if this helps, but my 214 last year only had military
schools attended. Everything else was supposed to come from your
records or your personal records(travel vouchers). I have no idea if
this is correct. I don't have alot of faith that my retirement clerk
was one of the best, I got an ammendment three months after I retired
because they got the dates wrong.- Dale 97-02
PERSONNEL RECORDS CENTER NOW ACCEPTING REQUESTS FOR RECORDS ONLINE
The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC), has informed us about an improved method of requesting documents from the NPRC. As you know, the NPRC provides copies of documents from military personnelrecords to authorized requesters. Their new web-based application will provide better service on these requests by eliminating their mailroom processing time. Alsobecause the requester will be asked to supply all information essential for NPRC to process therequest, delays that normally occur when NPRC has to ask veterans for additional informationwill be minimized. You may access this application at:
Please note there is no requirement to type "www" in front of the web address. Additionally, this improved on-line request process should be used INSTEAD OF Standard Form 180 from veterans or the veteran's next of kin. Please give this information the widest dissemination. - Dick 65-67
Recently, a fellow named Larry Oleson made an appeal to the Chiefs Group at Barksdale AFB for any assistance anyone could offer in helping certain military personnel who performed TDY in Vietnam to prove such service for medical benefits.
Here's two possibilities:
(1) Special Orders: Copies of all Special Orders issued by any orders issuing headquarters are in the archives of the AF. I don't if these would be in the repository at St. Louis or somewhere else. Ergo, if an individual knew the approximate date(s) of travel to Vietnam, the Special Order might be located.
(2) Per Diem Vouchers: A copy of a per diem voucher should be prima face evidence of travel to and from a particular location. I know copies of these vouchers were maintained by the servicing Finance Office. It is quite possible that copies are maintained by AFAFC, but I have no idea what the retention period would be. Nevertheless, the Pay Record would show the dates of travel and amount paid, but I doubt that it would show the location of the travel. Good luck! - Virgil, CMSgt, USAF (Ret)
Check you reenlistment documents - mine indicate SOUTHEAST ASIA time (Vietnam) when I reenlisted with days credited IN-County. According to the personnel people here that was used exclusively for time in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos as TDY days as credit to short tour. - Clinton "Crash" '71-'73
I have reviewed my files and found that when I retired in 74, after
returning from Clark in 72, that the Clerk who filled out my final DD214 had
inserted into the remarks column my TDY time in SEA. But as to going back
to try to prove that I was at any given place at any given time would be
extremely difficult, if not impossible. Nowhere does it list the various
and many places where I played in the mud. Nowhere does it mention that of
the 5 tours that I was credited for that part of this time was spent in
Cambodia and Laos. For those orders were classified and only recently has
our involvement been declassified.
Another thing that I find puzzling. On reviewing the history of many of the
various operations that personnel of the Group were involved in deeply, and
by this involvement, directly responsible for the out come of some of those
operations, not one mention is made of the 1st Mobile as being a
A case in point is Lam Son 719, (Khe Sanh 1971) where the 1st mobile
personnel were a major contributor in the outcome of that operation. It
was there that this Group, for the only time in it's history, deployed a
heavy radar, control tower, Tacan, and all the other gear into a 2500 foot
air strip, and contrary to every tech manual that said it was not possible,
made them work, and work well IAW the strictest FAA standards. They said
you CANNOT transport heavy radar via 130 aircraft. We did it any way. The
book said heavy radar will not work on 2,500 strips. We made it work, right
out of the box. The ATC personnel involved saved 2 C-130 loads of troops
when the pilots were about to penetrate the DMZ due to homing in on a false
TACAN signal. They were directly responsible for saving god knows how many
helio loads of wounded when the pilots could not fly due to weather. The
Controllers IDed the Choppers on the pad and then controlled their lift off
and vectored them to Khe Sanh so that the wounded could be treated and then
evaced. Yet the history of this operation fails to even mention this Group.
This lack of giving credit where credit is due is a grave omission to the
records of this Group and the mission that they fulfilled during their
involvement in SEA.
Lam Son 719 is only one example where this Group responded to a need, did
what was necessary to fulfill that need, then were left out of all
historical documentation that would have recorded their participation
Another example was our total involvement in the operations in Laos and
Cambodia. Yet, if one reads every document pertaining to these operations,
no where is it mentioned that we were there. The fact that it was our teams
that did the site surveys of all the remote sites, then cleared the sites
and brought in and installed the equipment, under the harshest conditions,
is beside the point. In every document written these missions were
accomplished "By an Air Force Team". No where is it mentioned that the 1st
Mobile Deployed these personnel, unarmed, in civilian clothes, w/o one shred
of Identification, into one of the most hostile areas in SEA. It is as if
it all was a fairy tail.
Is it too late for this unit and the personnel therein to obtain the credit
long past due? Probably. But this glaring omission of giving this unit
credit when they more than earned it galls one who was there just a little
SAM (CMSGT, USAF, RET, NCOIC Command Post, 1st Mobile Comm Group 1965-1972)
I remember Larry Olesen. In regards to Proof of in country my dd214 did not
specify vietnam but it DID show receiving the Armed Forces Expiditionary
ribbon. It Is proof as the only two places on the planet to get that at the
time were Nam & the Congo, I don't remember any of us being in Africa. If
this helps anyone let me know. Denny '62-'64