October 01, 2020

VA Digitizes Deck Logs for Blue Water Vietnam Veterans

After over a year’s work between VA and National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the deck logs for “Blue Water” Navy veterans are now completely digitized. NARA has made the newly digitized records available to researchers, veterans advocates, and other groups as well. This innovation impacts Vietnam Navy veterans significantly. With ship deck log information now completely online, Blue Water Navy veterans’ disability claims may move through VA faster because the locations of ships and exposure to toxins during the Vietnam War can be more easily established. Blue Water Navy veterans fought VA for years to receive the same presumed exposure to Agent Orange and other defoliants as veterans stationed inland during the conflict. Advocates estimate that as many as 90,000 veterans may be eligible for benefit payouts, and the digitized deck logs are expected to help speed up this process tremendously.