To Whom it May Concern, 

 My Step Father is struggling to get qualified for VA benefits. Basically they are stating that he did not serve in combat, even though it appears he was dropped into Cambodia or Vietnam before the war was official 1959/59 (and conveniently those records have been burned).  His health is declining quickly and will need VA benefits ASAP. 

Do you know anyone that might be able to help with this? Thought maybe you may know an attorney that specializes in this area.

All the best, 





Welcome to the USAA Member Community Forum.


Thank-you for you and your families service.


Now as for your post and question.


I suggest you contact the closest VA Vet Center. They should be able to address all your questions and concerns.


Based upon an assumption that the 90266 in your Member Profile Nickname refers to your local zip code for Manhattan Beach, CA, here is a EXTERNAL LINK to the local Vet Center near you.


  • Los Angeles Vet Center

    If my assumption was wrong then click here to find the closest VA Vet Center to you.

  • NOTE: You can click here for more information about the VA Vet Center Program and the services they provide.

I hope I have helped.


Thank you for participating in the USAA Member Community Forum.

How long has it been since ya'll tried to obtain his records? I ask because recently many of the records presumed to have burnt in the storage facility at St. Louis have been located!
Also, the DOD has declassified documentation that shows that U.S. troops were moved into S.E.A. as early as 1957.
Here is the link to apply for military records;

Here is the best way to get a speedy rating;
1. After filling out the claim, before mailing it make copies. Hand written letter to his Congressman asking for his assistant. Make sure the letter is short and to the point!
2. If he belongs to a veterans organization see if they have a legislative branch in the DC area, giving them full POA over his claim. I am a Life Member of the VFW and I gave them the POA over my claim. The Vietnam Veterans of America, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Disabled Veterans of America are all quality organizations.
3. The greatest piece of evidence that the VA cannot dispute is a hand written letter from someone he served with in combat, it isn't required, but the strongest piece of paper he can submit.
4. Find an official website of the Division he served with, it will show the dates of there deployment, their "In Country" dates. You can print and exclude this information as well.

I am a disabled combat veteran who served with the U.S. Army's 1st Infantry Division. Please tell your father I said "Thank you" for his service. It's a shame that we have to fight for the benefits we are owed, this is the result of a socialist government.
God's Speed,


Thanks so much Adam. Very helpful information! 

i wish i did wish u all the luck

Please call  Peter J. Meadows  1-800-868-2813

Your Dads records were not intentionally burned. They were burned,  liked mine and many other veterans records,  while stored in veteran facilities in St Louis.

Please reach out to one of your local veterans organizations.  The VFW, DAV, and American Legion all have trained service officers to assist veterans in getting services from the VA.  The services are free and provided to members and non-members alike.