by Terry Richards

Vietnam WarVietnam War“Our experience suggests that during the Vietnam, era, the appointment of casualty officers was often as a collateral duty, and they did not always receive the necessary training to assist survivors. It is not difficult to imagine that PFC Noddin’s parents were not informed of the death gratuity benefit and would have claimed the gratuity if they had been made a aware of it.”

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates

ST. PETERSBURG, FL – In a letter dated January 20, 2011 titled: “Subject: Waiver of Time Limits on payment of Death Gratuity of PFC William D. Noddin (KIA Vietnam April 25, 1968) to his mother, Mrs. Lorraine E. Noddin, DOHA Claim No. 2011-CL-011107.”

After I spent about 30-hours on this claim over the last 18-months, and Mrs. Noddin spending countless more hours including driving-time over the last 30-months endeavoring to find the proper agency to send this claim to, and then to get a Time Limit Waiver, about 6-months ago Mrs. Noddin went to Congressman C.W. Bill Young’s Office asking the Congressman to make inquiries into this matter.

On or about January 25, Mrs. Noddin received a letter from Leon Schachter, Director of the Department of Defense Legal Services Agency Office of Hearing and Appeals in Arlington Virginia, stating that he waived the “BARRING ACT” Time Limits of 6-years, and 43-years after the death of her son Billy, Mrs. Noddin received the $800 Death Gratuity she should have been paid in 1968.

In pertinent part Schachter stated that:

“Our experience suggests that during the Vietnam era, the appointment of casualty officers was often as a collateral duty, and they did not always receive the necessary training to assist survivors. It is not difficult to imagine that PFC Noddin’s parents were not informed of the death gratuity benefit and would have claimed the gratuity if they had been made a aware of it.”

View earlier stories below to understand the full story.

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