Agent Orange: Blue Water Veterans


Veterans who served on open sea ships off the shore of Vietnam during the Vietnam War are sometimes called “Blue Water Veterans.”

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.  These claims are decided on a case by case basis.

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.

Institute of Medicine Report on Agent Orange Exposure

VA asked the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine (IOM) to review the medical and scientific evidence regarding Blue Water Veterans’ possible exposure to Agent Orange and other herbicides. IOM’s report Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans and Agent Orange Exposure*† was released May 20, 2011.

VA is reviewing the report.

VA Benefits


Eligible Veterans may receive the following VA benefits:

  • Health care benefits: A full range of medical benefits. There are many ways that a Veteran may qualify for VA health care benefits.
  • Disability compensation benefits: A monthly payment for diseases associated with Agent Orange exposure. Blue Water Veterans who did not set foot in Vietnam or serve aboard ships that operated on the inland waterways of Vietnam 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 (other than non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma).
  • Other benefits: Home loans, vocational rehabilitation, education, and more


Surviving spouses, dependent children and dependent parents of Veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange and died as the result of diseases associated with Agent Orange exposure may be eligible for benefits. These benefits include Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, education, home loan and health care benefits. Find out if you qualify for survivors’ benefits.

Need Help Determining Exposure or Eligibility?

Contact VA for help determining Agent Orange exposure, service in Vietnam or on a ship that operated on the inland waterways of Vietnam, and your eligibility for VA benefits.

By Telephone

  • Toll-free Helpline: 1-800-749-8387 Press 3
  • Health Care: 1-877-222-8387 (Ask to speak to the Environmental Health Coordinator or Patient Care Advocate)
  • Compensation and Other Benefits: 1-800-827-1000
  • TDD (for hearing impaired): 1-800-829-4833

In Person

[ No matching love seat ]

The Gazette (Colorado Springs, CO) October 24, 2003 | OCTOBER 24-30 No matching love seat The Hearthstone Inn, 506 N. Cascade Ave., is getting away with murder – not to mention magic and mystery with the interactive show “The Electric Chair,” 7:30 p.m. today.

Victims, er, visitors pay $39-$45 for dinner-and-show packages. Overnight packages start at $73; call 473-4413.

One nation, under art The next best thing to Santa Fe’s Indian Market comes to The Shrine Club, 6 S.33rd St. today. this web site art in the streets

“Art in Disguise” offers a chance to buy handmade quilts from the Pine Ridge Reservation, Navajo pottery, innovative gift baskets as well as Indian art and jewelry. A silent and live auction begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25-$35. Proceeds benefit One Nation Walking Together, a nonprofit dedicated to helping underprivileged American Indians.

Bellies south of the border What do you get when you mix Middle Eastern belly dancing with Mexican food and Halloween paraphernalia?

Why, the Sheikhani Mid-East Dance Troupe’s Halloween Show, of course. This unusual free multicultural show will begin 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Nemeth’s El Tejon, 1005 S. Tejon St.

Everybody say “Ommmmmm” American Indian spiritual practitioner Suzanne Rouge will lead those seeking enlightenment in a lecture and guided meditation in Monument.

“Moon Reflections” will run 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Cost is $25, which includes a gourmet lunch and art and craft sale and a book signing. For reservations and the address, call 487-7672.

Young at arts They’re shorter. But the talent you’ll hear at the Colorado Springs Youth Symphony concerts is huge. The award winning group’s opening concert is 2 p.m. Sunday at the Benet Hill Center, 2577 N. Chelton Road. in our site art in the streets

The program will include a dash of pop (Williams, Bernstein) and a heavy dose of classical (Verdi, Mahler).

Admission is $5-$7; classical 633-3901.

Velvety smooth The Velvet Hills Chorus of Sweet Adelines will sing ballads and patriotic and ’50s tunes at 3 p.m. Sunday at the First Christian Church, 16 E. Platte Ave.

What they should sing is “We Are the Champions.” They recently competed in the 57th annual Sweet Adelines International competition in Phoenix and ranked among the top 10 choruses in the world. The concert, which should cost big bucks, is free.

File under ‘Misc.’ The mad geniuses of Denver’s Buntport Theater Company, founded by Colorado College grads, return to their alma mater at 7 p.m. Wednesday for the comedy show “Misc.” at Armstrong Hall.

Critics have hailed Buntport as the most creative and irreverent theater company in Denver. Tickets are $5.

Art as healing force OK, we’ve had art in the streets, art at the Olympic Training Center – but art in a hospital?

Why not? The Penrose Cancer Center’s Department of Radiation Oncology at 2215 N. Cascade Ave. will host “Art Meets Science,” a local-artist showcase, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday.

Admission is $5. Proceeds will provide nutritional support for needy patients.

What’s your poison?

Whatever emotional toxins you got, the Business of Art Center, 513 Manitou Ave., has an antidote. “Antidote,” featuring abstract watercolors, mixed media and encaustic paintings, opens Thursday and runs through Nov. 29.

An opening reception is scheduled for 4 to 7 p.m. Nov. 7.

SWEET ADELINES A LITTLE OFF THE TOP: The local Velvet Hills chorus – part of the barbershop -singing Sweet Adelines – will perform Sunday at First Christian Church. Velvet Hills returned from international competition as one of the world’s top 10 choruses.

HAZY SHADE OF WATERCOLOR: “Taos Echo” by Deborah Le Lait is part of the “Antidote” show at the Business of Art Center in Manitou Springs.


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