Citation Nr: 18132223
Decision Date: 09/06/18	Archive Date: 09/06/18

DOCKET NO. 14-19 014
DATE:	September 6, 2018
REMANDED
Entitlement to service connection for Parkinson's disease is remanded.
REASONS FOR REMAND
The Veteran served on active duty from March 1968 to December 1969 with additional service in the Naval Reserves.
This matter comes before the Board of Veterans' Appeals (Board) on appeal from a May 2012 rating decision by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Regional Office (RO).  In November 2015, the Board remanded the claim for additional development.  
In June 2016, the Veteran appointed The American Legion as his representative.  
Entitlement to service connection for Parkinson's disease is remanded.
Although the Board regrets the delay, a Defense Personnel Records Information Retrieval System (DPRIS) search is needed to fully develop the claim.  See Gagne v. McDonald, 27 Vet. App. 397, 403 (2015) (VA's duty to assist is not limited by the Joint Services Records Research Center (JSRRC)'s 60-day limitation for stressor verification requests, and multiple 60-day requests must be made when appropriate).   

The Veteran reports that he set foot in Vietnam when he disembarked from the USS Proteus sometime in the summer of 1969.  See May 2011 report of general information (VA Form 21-0820).  Service department records confirm that the Veteran was assigned to the USS Proteus (AS19) from September 1968 to December 1969.  Although the USS Proteus (AS19) continues to be excluded from the list of ships associated with Vietnam service and herbicide agent exposure, the Naval History and Heritage Command confirmed that for the applicable period the USS Proteus (AS19) operated from Apra Harbor in Guam.  

Based on the above, further investigation must be undertaken with regard to the Veteran’s claim that he disembarking in Vietnam sometime in the summer of 1969.  The record sufficiently limits the date and location to facilitate a record search for the location of the USS Proteus (AS19) in 60 day increments from May 1, 1969 through September 30, 1969.  An additional search effort is needed as instructed below.  Id.  
The matter is REMANDED for the following action:

1.  Conduct a DPRIS search (or from any other available source) for information from the ship's deck logs or similar records that the USS Proteus (AS19) docked at a Republic of Vietnam harbor any time from May 1, 1969 through September 30, 1969.  See Gagne v. McDonald, 27 Vet. App. 397, 403 (2015) (VA's duty to assist is not limited by the Joint Services Records Research Center (JSRRC)'s 60-day limitation for stressor verification requests, and multiple 60-day requests must be  made when appropriate).  If any requested records cannot be obtained, take action in accordance with 38 C.F.R. § 3.159(e).
 
Jonathan Hager
Veterans Law Judge
Board of Veterans’ Appeals
ATTORNEY FOR THE BOARD	C. D. Simpson, Counsel

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