Vet News: Vietnam Veteran Launches 'The Vietnam Files' Web Site

EUREKA, Calif., Oct. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- The Vietnam Files Web site  arose out of David Prendergast’s desire to put crucial documents into the hands of those across the United States who need them most. For more than 30 years, Prendergast has been assisting Marines by obtaining Vietnam unit documents. But the process was cumbersome, time-consuming, and generally incomplete. "You’d get what the officials thought you wanted, and you’d often have to go back three or four times," Prendergast says. "People were willing to assist, but the documentation was the weak point, and Veterans on the street can’t wait years for critical documentation."

Prendergast is a Marine through and through. He served in Vietnam, and, like most Veterans, he didn’t leave the experience behind when he returned home in 1968. The California attorney has spent much of his professional time assisting Vietnam Veterans in locating documents for disability claims. Now, he has turned his attention to Marines nationwide.

Now they don’t have to wait. Anyone with access to the Internet can log onto The Vietnam Files and peruse unit incident reports, after action reports, daily, weekly, monthly and annual reports, and thousands of other official United States Marine Corps records and documents. The site has already helped Marine Corps Vietnam Veterans find much needed documentation. One Marine, having been denied by the V.A. because he had no evidence that he was in combat, was ready to give up. He signed onto the site in July 2004, found documents that proved his combat experience, and sent the records to the V.A. On October 2, 2004 he received their response. "We granted your service connection for P.T.S.D. Specifically, the decertified documents you submitted established the mortar and rocket attacks upon your base while you were serving in Vietnam." The site also helps survivor families find out what happened to their Marine.

The site contains the official records, documents, and files of all deployed Marine Corps units who participated in the Vietnam War from 1960 to 1975.

Site visitors can search or browse the archives for documents as varied as after action reports, command chronologies, operation summaries, intelligence reports, and much more. Once located, the pertinent document, can be reviewed, printed, copied or downloaded.

"We’re answering questions that Veterans and their families have asked for over 30 years," Prendergast says. "And in some small way, we’re helping Marines come home."

David Prendergast
The Vietnam Files


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