Snell & Wilmer California Associates Represent Vietnam War Veteran
By: Snell & Wilmer
Dr. ReVelle, a commander in the Air Force, served his country during the Cold War and was deployed in the Vietnam War. He claimed to have been exposed to significant levels of ionizing radiation during his service, including during the Goldsboro Broken Arrow incident of 1961. There, Dr. ReVelle lead his team on an eight-day recovery effort to locate and disarm two lost MK-39 thermonuclear warheads that were ejected from a B-52 bomber plane.
Approximately, 48 years after this service, Dr. ReVelle was diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer called Myeloid Dysplastic Syndrome (MDS), which is a precursor to leukemia. Both his hematologist and oncologist believed this disease was likely the result of exposure to ionizing radiation during his time in the military, which led him to seek legal assistance at Orange County Public Law Center (PLC). Dr. ReVelle and the PLC then filed a claim with the VA for service-connected disability in 2014. The VA denied his claim.
In the summer of 2016, the PLC placed Dr. ReVelle's case with Snell & Wilmer. Snell & Wilmer's then Summer Associate Amina Mousa took on Dr. ReVelle's case, assisting him in filing a Notice of Disagreement to the VA and requesting that they reconsider its denial. Two years later, the VA rendered its decision, again denying his claim.
Mousa, now a fully-accredited attorney, filed an appeal to the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA) with assistance from Justin Mello, David Rao and Daniel Seabolt. In April 2019, Mousa presented oral arguments before the veterans' law judge, highlighting the VA's errors in denying Dr. ReVelle's claims.
In February 2020, the BVA rendered its decision granting Dr. ReVelle's claim. Unfortunately, Dr. ReVelle passed away on January 26, 2020, just three weeks before the decision was rendered. His wife, Brenda ReVelle, will be pursuing the benefits on his behalf.
To learn more about Dr. Jack ReVelle and his story, visit https://www.swlaw.com/