Steve House, a Veteran serving at Camp Carroll in South Korea, developed diabetes mellitus, type II. As a result of developing diabetes, the veteran developed peripheral neuropathy and erectile dysfunction. Veteran filed a claim for service connection for diabetes and a claim for secondary service connection for the resulting conditions. The Veteran was denied service connection by the VA based on the fact that the Veteran was not specifically exposed to Agent Orange as he did not serve in Vietnam or the Korean DMZ.
In challenging the VA and in an effort to prove service connection, the Veteran provided information that he was responsible for burying various chemicals, including what he believed to be Agent Orange, at Camp Carroll in South Korea. The Veteran also gathered "buddy statements" from fellow soldiers serving with him at the time regarding the burial of the various chemicals.
Following the Veteran's allegations, the Army launched an investigation and determined that Camp Carroll was in fact used to bury numerous chemicals, but not Agent Orange. Despite the fact that the Veteran had not been exposed to Agent Orange, the Board of Veteran's appeals found, based on the testimony of the Veteran, the Veteran's buddy statements, and the Army investigation, that the Veteran was exposed to chemicals while serving at Camp Carroll.
The Veteran also provided letters and opinions from his medical doctors indicating that his diabetes mellitus and associated conditions were more likely than not were caused by exposure to environmental toxins. The Board of Veteran's Appeals remanded the case for a VA Compensation & Pension examination to determine the severity of Veteran's service connected conditions.
Although this case does not expand the Agent Orange presumptions, it provides Veteran's hope that with the right evidence, exposure to toxic chemicals, other than Agent Orange, may be service connected. If you are a veteran who was exposed to toxic chemicals during military service, call the experienced attorneys at Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. today for a free case evaluation. Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. serves veterans throughout the Gulf Coast area, including Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, and Louisiana.