Friday, January 25, 2008
Urgent Request for Declarations from Blue Water Sailors
We just received this urgent request from the National Veterans Legal Services Program, the fine folks who argued the Haas case. Please help them out if possible, and as soon as possible:
As you all know, NVLSP is preparing our comment related to the VA’s proposed change of the M21-1 provision. One of the missing links we have is proving that the distilling process used on the Australian ships is the same as that used on the U.S. ships. It is basically common knowledge that the process was the same, but I’m having trouble finding documentary evidence I can cite to prove it. So, I’m trying to obtain the following declaration (with the information in brackets filled in as appropriate) from as many BWN veterans as possible, preferably those who worked in the Engineering Department, and hoping you all could help me spread the word:
I, [NAME], served in the United States Navy from [date] to [date]. I was awarded the Vietnam Service Medal for my service on the U.S.S. [name of ship], which operated in the waters off the coast of Vietnam [from date to date, or in 19XX, etc.]. I was a [rating or billet (for example Engineman First Class, Auxiliaries Officer, etc.)] on that ship. I have firsthand knowledge that, while at sea off the coast of Vietnam, the U.S.S. [name of ship] used a flash-type distilling plant to produce the ship’s potable water. To produce this potable water, sea water was fed into an evaporator where the water was boiled by a combination of heating and reduced pressure (vacuum) and the vapor was condensed in the condenser from where it was pumped into feed tanks.
I declare, under penalty of perjury, that the information set forth above is true and correct to the best of my knowledge.
Signature here ______________________________
[type full name]
Any BWN veteran should feel free to modify the statement if necessary to fit their individual circumstances (for example, if a distilling plant other than “flash type” was used on their ship). Here’s the kicker though – I would need them to be able to type up the above statement, sign and date it, then either scan and email it to me, or fax it to my attention at 202-328-0063, by Monday, January 28th, the earlier the better.
Also, I still haven’t heard from any Supply folks with firsthand knowledge that food served on their ship originated in Vietnam, so if you know of anyone fitting the bill, please direct them my way, or see if they are willing to provide a declaration attesting to that fact, in a format similar to the above declaration.
I know we’re in the 11th hour, so thanks in advance for spreading the word.
Richard V. Spataro
National Veterans Legal Services Program
1600 K Street, NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20006-2833
Tel: (202) 265-8305, ext. 149
Fax: (202) 328-0063