Citation Nr: 18132225
Decision Date: 09/06/18	Archive Date: 09/06/18

DOCKET NO. 16-03 714
DATE:	September 6, 2018
Entitlement to service connection for ischemic heart disease due to herbicide agent exposure is remanded.
Entitlement to service connection for diabetes mellitus due to herbicide agent exposure is remanded.
The Veteran served on active duty in the United States Navy from November 1969 to April 1971.
In May 2017, the Veteran testified at a Board hearing.  The transcript is of record.

The VA has a duty to search for records that would assist a Veteran in the development of his claim and for which the Veteran has provided the Secretary information sufficient to locate such records, which includes making as many requests as necessary and ends only when such a search would become "futile."  See Gagne v. McDonald, 27 Vet. App 397, 402-403 (2015).  
At the hearing, the Veteran testified that part of his duties on the USS Walworth included driving the landing craft that carried supplies and Marines from the ship to the shores of Vietnam and assisting with unloading the supplies.      
While there have been attempts to verify the Veteran’s presence in Vietnam, these attempts have not been sufficient, as they did not include efforts to verify the deck logs of the USS Walworth LSTS-1164.  Thus, a remand is necessary to search the deck logs, to verify the Veteran’s reports of being in Vietnam from July 1970 to October 1970.  
The matters are REMANDED for the following action:
1. Obtain updated VA and/or private treatment records.  If such records are unavailable, the Veteran’s claim file must be clearly documented to that effect and the Veteran notified in accordance with 38 C.F.R. § 3.159(e).
2. Request that JSRRC or other appropriate repository, investigate and attempt to verify the Veteran's reports of going ashore in Vietnam to transport troops, equipment, and supplies while aboard the USS Walworth (LST 1164) from July 1970 to October 1970.  
The request to the JSRRC, or other appropriate sources should be for deck logs from July 1970 to October 1970 for the USS Walworth (LST 1164).  
If the search for corroborating information leads to negative results, notify the Veteran of this fact; explain the efforts taken to obtain this information, and describe any further action to be taken.  If the record lacks sufficient information for verification purposes, such should be noted in a formal finding.
3. Finally, readjudicate the appeal.  If the benefits sought on appeal remain denied, issue a supplemental statement of the case and return the case to the Board.
Veterans Law Judge
Board of Veterans’ Appeals
ATTORNEY FOR THE BOARD	S. A. Prinsen, Associate Counsel 

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