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Compton: Display Seabee pride on license plate

By George Compton
Saturday, July 4, 2009

Q. I recently retired from the Seabees and I am going to remain in California. I have seen license plates with military logos. Is there one for Seabee veterans, and if so, how do I get one?

A. There is a Seabee plate. You can view the plate and all other available plates at State DMV offices have order forms, and the ordering code for that plate is V57. The sale of such plates helps fund Veterans Services offices throughout the state and I encourage every veteran to be proud of their service.

Q. In a recent column you included Lou Gehrig's disease in the list of presumptive conditions. Is that included in the list of conditions stemming from Agent Orange exposure?

A. Unlike other presumptive conditions, service connection for Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS) does not require specific exposure to biohazards or confinement as a prisoner of war. Service connection for ALS requires at least 90 days of military service, and there is no time limit on onset of the disease. Basically, anyone who served the minimum time and has a diagnosis of ALS is eligible for medical and compensation benefits from the VA.

The minimum rating for ALS is 30 percent, and the rating increases as the condition becomes more severe. Also, because of this ruling, service members who have died from ALS have a service-connected death and there are benefits for eligible dependents.

Q. My brother used to be able to ride a van to get medical treatment in Los Angeles. I am now retired and would like to help. Is that possible?

A. The vans are provided by Disabled American Veterans, and the drivers are all volunteers. That program is always in need of drivers to help veterans get to Sepulveda Outpatient Clinic. That clinic is where most of us get specialty care, and many veterans can no longer drive to get there.

The vans operate Monday-Friday, with enough volunteer drivers. One van starts in Moorpark and the other starts in Ventura. Both make numerous stops on the way to Sepulveda.

To volunteer as a driver, contact Marie Williams, the DAV transportation coordinator, at 818-895-9408.

— George Compton, a retired Army colonel, is the veterans service officer for the county Human Services Agency.

Send your questions to Veterans Service Office, 1701 Pacific Ave., Suite 110, Oxnard, CA 93033, phone 385-6366, fax 385-6371, or e-mail

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