Citation Nr: 18131261
Decision Date: 08/31/18	Archive Date: 08/31/18

DOCKET NO. 15-28 845
DATE:	August 31, 2018
REMANDED
Entitlement to service connection for ischemic heart disease (IHD) is remanded.
Entitlement to service connection for hypertension is remanded.
Entitlement to service connection for diabetes mellitus, type II, (DM) is remanded.
REASONS FOR REMAND
The Veteran served on active duty in the United States Army from November 1964 to November 1966.
In August 2018, the Veteran testified at a Travel Board hearing before the undersigned.
1. Entitlement to service connection for IHD is remanded.
The Veteran claims that his IHD is related to herbicide exposure while serving in the Panama Canal Zone.  Although the RO attempted to verify this claimed herbicide exposure, his personnel records have not been obtained.  As these records may provide information on possible herbicide exposure, this issue must be remanded to obtain them. 

2. Entitlement to service connection for hypertension is remanded.
The Board cannot make a fully-informed decision on the issue of hypertension because no VA examiner has opined whether it is related to his in-service increase in blood pressure.
3. Entitlement to service connection for DM is remanded.
The Veteran claims that his DM is related to herbicide exposure while serving in the Panama Canal Zone.  Although the RO attempted to verify this claimed herbicide exposure, his personnel records have not been obtained.  As these records may provide information on possible herbicide exposure, this issue must also be remanded to obtain them.
The matters are REMANDED for the following actions:
1. Obtain the Veteran’s complete service personnel records.
2. The RO/AMC shall send, a description of the Veteran's account of his service and exposure to herbicides and all associated documents, to include articles submitted by the Veteran, to the U.S. Army and Joint Services Records Research Center (JSRRC) for verification.  The JSRRC should be asked to research, to the extent possible, any herbicide exposure or use of herbicides in Panama between November 1964 to November 1966, with specific focus on the use of herbicidal agents at Fort Clayton, Panama.  If unable to provide such information, the JSRRC shall be asked to identify the agency or department that could provide such information and the RO/AMC should conduct follow-up inquiries accordingly.
3. The RO/AMC shall take such additional developmental action as it deems proper with respect to the claim, including the conduct of any appropriate VA examination, and follow any applicable regulations and directives implementing the provisions of the VCAA as to its notice development.
4. Schedule the Veteran for an examination by an appropriate clinician to determine the nature and etiology of his currently diagnosed hypertension.  The examiner must opine whether it is at least as likely as not related to an in-service injury, event, or disease, including the increase in systolic and diastolic blood pressure from his induction examination to his separation examination.  The examiner should also address the July 1966 complaints of headache and dizziness.  
 
YVETTE R. WHITE
Veterans Law Judge
Board of Veterans’ Appeals
ATTORNEY FOR THE BOARD	M. Moore, Counsel

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