Any guidance you fine folks can give me would be greatly appreciated. Please excuse me if I don't use the right terms or if I state things incorrectly. I am very new to all of this and sucked down the rabbit hole early this spring when I received a letter stating my deceased dad's claim may now be eligible for consideration under NEHMER. I was told that the file is being rated and to expect a rating in January or February of 2012. They can't tell me what paperwork or documentation they already have from when he filed the claim in 1984.
I am concerned that the claim will be rejected even though his illness(ischemic heart disease) is now on the list of conditions and he firmly believed his illness was a result of exposure to Agent Orange. The records I have received so far show that he was only in Ubon/Thailand during his service as an Air Force Mechanic in the 497 TFS in 1968-1970. There is no record of him touching the ground in Vietnam. Is this a lost cause? I can't imagine a mechanic being active in the perimeter of the base as part of his job description.
My dad had his first two heart attacks at the age of 26, both in the same week. This happened in 1976, 6 years after leaving Ubon. By the time I was old enough to remember the things he said, his brain was so oxygen deprived he didn't know the difference between reality and what he saw on TV so I have little to go on based on what he said about his Agent Orange exposure.
He died when I was 16, in 1995, at the age of 45 as result of coronary disease. His heart condition was the cause of 5 major heart attacks, a pacemaker, double and triple bypasses, balloon pumps, 3 failed angioplasties, a stent, 2 or more strokes, the loss of his leg due to complications, the death and replacement of his hip, and spending the remainder of his life in a wheel chair with episodes of grand mal seizures and sustained v-tach. His EF was 13% for years.