Defense Base Act Compensation Blog

The Modern Day DBA Casualty

Archive for April, 2012

Nicholas Dickhut, featured Friday by Rueters, killed Sunday in Afghanistan

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on April 30, 2012

U.S. soldier Nicholas Dickhut from 5-20 infantry Regiment attached to 82nd Airborne points his rifle at a doorway after coming under fire by the Taliban while on patrol in Zharay district in Kandahar province, southern Afghanistan

Rochester Soldier Killed in Afghanistan

ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) — A Rochester family got the worst kind of news this morning — their son has been killed fighting in Afghanistan.

Jacqueline Carson said Monday morning that her son, Nicholas Dickhut, was killed Sunday in action in Afghanistan.

Nicholas had just been featured Friday by Reuters News Service, and was pictured in a battle with Taliban fighters.

When Jacqueline called to tell us what had happened this morning, she was still waiting for a visit from an officer with the official word of what had happened.

Nicholas was with the 520th Infantry Regiment, attached to the 82nd Airborne

The 82nd in Afghanistan

Battleland CNN

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A Civilian Military Contractor Returns Home

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on April 29, 2012

Wes Bearden has spent the last 18 months working in the Middle East for a Military Defense Contractor. After long hours providing help for American troops, he must make the adjustment to being back home.

Posted in Civilian Contractors | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

South African, Lodewyk Pietersen, Private Security Trainer, killed in Somalia

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on April 28, 2012

AP at Fox News  April 28, 2012

A South African security trainer was killed by his bodyguard in Somalia’s semiautonomous region of Puntland, officials said Saturday.

Puntland’s government said in a statement Saturday that it had launched an investigation into Friday’s killing. The statement identified the man as Lodewyk Pietersen, and said he worked for Saracen International, a security firm that trains anti-piracy forces in Puntland. The statement said the South African was 55 and married with children.

South African foreign ministry spokesman Clayson Monyela said Saturday no official word has been received from consular staff handling South African interests in Somalia.

“We have not yet been alerted to such an incident,” he said.

The statement said the trainer was killed while accompanying Puntland’s maritime forces on a government-approved mission targeting pirates near Hul-Anod, a coastal area favored by pirates who use it as a base to hijack ships for ransom.

Pietersen was shot dead by his Somali bodyguard after an argument, according to a Puntland official who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to comment on the matter. The official said Puntland’s security forces were hunting for the killer

Please see the original and read more here

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

A cost of war: Soaring disability benefits for veterans, while the cost of civilian veterans disabilities is kept in the dark

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on April 27, 2012

CNN Money A cost of war: Soaring disability benefits for veterans

Daniel Brink of South Africa was severally wounded and disabled working in Iraq. His medical care and indemnity are the also the responsibility of the US Taxpayer under the Defense Base Act only no one has the integrity to be honest about it.

After more than a decade of continuous warfare, the cost of disability compensation for wounded veterans is surging to mammoth proportions.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs expects to spend $57 billion on disability benefits next year. That’s up 25% from $46 billion this year, and nearly quadruple the $15 billion spent in 2000, before the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began.

“This is the cost of going to war,” said Larry Korb, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress who served as assistant secretary of defense during the Ronald Reagan administration. “We’ve made so much progress in medicine [that] you’re going to have a lot of people survive their injuries who didn’t in the past.”

About 4,500 U.S. troops were killed in Iraq and about 1,800 have been killed in Afghanistan. Some 633,000 veterans — one out of every four of the 2.3 million who served in Iraq and Afghanistan — have a service-connected disability, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Please read the entire article here

Posted in AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act, Department of Labor, Injured Contractors, Iraq, Political Watch, Veterans | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Billy Ross Blankenship, Army Reserve Captain, Civilian Contractor dies in Afghanistan

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on April 25, 2012

NewsOK April 25, 2012

Capt. Billy Ross Blankenship, 43, formerly of Norman, was working in Kabul as a contractor for Intelligence Software Solutions Inc. when he died April 18. His cause of death is still under investigation.

Blankenship joined the Air Force Reserve as a senior at Bethany High School. He enlisted in active duty with the Army in 1989, during which he served in Desert Storm. After four years of active duty, Blankenship served in the Oklahoma National Guard and became a commissioned officer in 2001. He was mobilized for Operation Enduring Freedom in 2003 and served until 2010.

A database analyst for the U.S. Post Office, Blankenship retained his role in the Army Reserve. He left the Postal Service last fall to undertake contract work in Afghanistan, where he continued to perform his Reserve duties.

Blankenship is survived by his wife, Melissa, and four children, as well as his parents and two siblings.

Services are 10 a.m. Saturday at Havenbrook Funeral Home in Norman.

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Tim Eysselinck Casualty 8 Years Ago Today

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on April 23, 2012

Tim Eysselinck

You and your family in our thoughts today and everyday

Posted in AIG and CNA, AWOL Medical Records, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Attorneys, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Defense Base Act Lawyers, Department of Labor, Dropping the DBA Ball, Misjudgements, PTSD and TBI, Ronco Consulting, State Department, Suicide | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Defense Base Act Claimant Alert, Bruce H Nicholson Clients

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on April 18, 2012

It has been brought to our attention that the following claimants at  some time thought that their DBA Claim was being handled by Bruce Nicholson and/or his assistant Ken Youngman, of Los Angeles California at Peyman Rahnama.  Ken Youngman now works for a lawfirm that represents AIG and ACE, though he most recently reported working at Law Office of Bruce Nicholson as a Federal Workers’ Comp GURU on LinkedIn

If your name is listed below you need to find out the status of your claim immediately if you have not already lost your claim or found another attorney.  If you recognize someone’s name please contact them. 

If your with the DoL, the BRB, or an ALJ, and recognize these names it would certainly be upstanding of you to let these people know they are not being represented.

Maybe even an Insco Defense Attorney out there that can resist an easy kill just because it is the right thing to do.

 Dill  (never responded to the appeal but was negotiating a deal, settlement, with the defense attorney Michael Thomas)

Reuben  (we believe this claim was lost due to failure to respond to a motion)

Posted in AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act Attorneys, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Defense Base Act Lawyers, Department of Labor, Dropping the DBA Ball, Injured Contractors | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

Jason Matthew Hamilton, Civilian Contractor Boeing, dies in Afghanistan

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on April 18, 2012

Hamilton had previously served as a helicopter crew chief for the Marines for five years. Hamilton worked for Boeing on the V-22 Osprey and H-46 Sea Knight out of New River.

Havelock contractor dies in Afghanistan  April 18, 2012

A Havelock resident working for a private contractor in Afghanistan died on Saturday.

Jason Matthew Hamilton, 40, was working as a Boeing field representative supporting the Army 1st Cavalry as a helicopter expert in Afghanistan. He died of natural causes, according to a Boeing source.

Hamilton was working on CH-47 Chinook helicopters at the time.

After serving as a helicopter crew chief for the Marines for five years, Hamilton worked for Boeing on the V-22 Osprey and H-46 Sea Knight out of New River.

A native of Statesville, he will be buried in Mooresville on Saturday

Jason Matthew Hamilton
HAVELOCK — Mr. Hamilton, 40, of Havelock, NC passed away on Saturday, April 14, 2012 in Afghanistan while serving as the Boeing Field Service Representative supporting the U.S. Army 1st Cavalry as an expert in CH-47 Chinook systems.
He was born on April 1, 1972 in Statesville, to Violet Wright Knox of Mooresville and the late Johnnie Eugene Hamilton.
Jason was an Eagle Scout, a 1990 graduate of Mooresville High School and a US veteran serving in the Marine Corps with 5 years of service as a helicopter crew chief. He was a member of Mooresville ARP Church.
He was preceded in death by grandparents, Job and Ruth Hamilton; grandmother, Carolyn Glass; and grandfather, Joe V. Knox. He is survived by his parents Violet and Van Knox; his children Jacob Hamilton, Paige Hamilton, and their mother, Lorie Hamilton; brother, Jeff Knox and fiancee, Jenn Shea; grandmother, Elizabeth Knox; and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 22, 2012 at Mooresville ARP Church with Rev. Andy Ward and Rev. Gerald R. Hallman officiating. Burial will follow the service at Glenwood Memorial Park. The family will receive friends on Saturday from 5:00-8:00 p.m. at Cavin-Cook Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Welcome Home Veterans, 128 S. Main Street, Mooresville, NC 28115 and/or Mooresville ARP Church, 659 Carpenter Ave, Mooresville, NC 28115.
Cavin-Cook Funeral Home, Mooresville, is serving the family of Mr. Hamilton. Condolences may be made to the family at

Posted in Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Veterans | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

EOD Contractor, US Navy Master Explosive Ordnance Disposal Tech, Noah Sarvis killed in bike crash

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on April 14, 2012

Motorcyclists Question Verdict  April 13, 2012

After the death of Noah Lee Sarvis in September, his family and friends are still seeking justice since the man who committed the crime was only charged with careless driving.

However, the case isn’t as cut and dry as some may assume. Judge Tim Campbell found Felton Bland guilty of careless driving because there wasn’t enough evidence to hold him for any other charges. Some of the family and friends of Sarvis felt that Bland should have been charged with vehicular homicide or DUI manslaughter, but according to the State Attorney’s Office, there wasn’t enough evidence to support the charges

Bland was found guilty of careless driving and fined $1,400. He also will take a victim awareness and driving safety class and his license has been suspended.


Noah Lee Sarvis  “Flatliner”

Noah Lee Sarvis, 53, of South Carolina, passed away on Friday, Sept. 16, 2011.

Noah served in the U.S. Navy for 22 years as a Master Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician.

He was a member of the Navy/Marine Corps EOD Association, Patriot Guard Riders, and American Legion Post 392 PC.

Noah loved to ride his motorcycle, enjoyed fishing and being outdoors.

He appreciated meeting people and never met a stranger.

Noah is survived by his wife of 23 years, Liz Sarvis; son, Christopher Maulden (Jennifer); mother, Genette Taylor; brother, Rick Sarvis; sister, Jeanita Vaughan; grandchildren, Madysen and DJ; mother-in-law, Betty Yancey; brothers, Robert Yancey (Crystal) and Victor Yancey (Holly); niece and nephews, Hunter, Addison, and Catherine.

He was preceded in death by his father and brother.

A memorial service was held at 1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23, 2011, at the Kent-Forest Lawn Funeral Home Chapel, with Mike (GunnrMike) Fennewald officiating.

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Veterans | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

At Least 49 Civilian Contractor Deaths Filed on in First Quarter 2012

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on April 13, 2012


According to the Department of Labor’s Defense Base Act Claim Summary Reports there were at least 49 Civilian Contractor Deaths filed on in the first quarter of 2012.

Keep in mind that these numbers are not an accurate accounting of Contractor Casualties as many injuries and deaths are not reported as Defense Base Act Claims.  Also, many of these injuries will become deaths due to the Defense Base Act Insurance Companies denial of medical benefits.

Many foreign national and local national contractors and their families are never told that they are covered under the Defense Base Act and so not included in the count.

At least 2, 580 Defense Base Act Claims were filed during this quarter

At least  49 were death claims  

(3  reported for Iraq compare to 1 coalition death,  36 for Afghanistan compared to 97 coalition, Kuwait 2, UAE 1, Columbia 1, Nation Pending 2)

At least 1008 were for injuries requiring longer than 4 days off work

At least 196 were for injuries requiring less than 4 day off work

At least 1433 were for injuries requiring no time off of work

A total of 84, 820 Defense Base Act Claims have been filed since September 1, 2001

Contact for questions regarding these numbers

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Insurance, Department of Labor | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Hal Edward O’Connor Jr. (Dune) DoD Civilian Contractor in Afghanistan dies

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on April 11, 2012

Hal Edward O’Connor Jr. (Dune), 30, loving partner, son, brother, and father, passed away April 8, 2012, in Midwest City.
Dune was born April 17, 1981, to Hal O’Connor and Brenda Bias in Shawnee. Dune was employed by Navmar as a DoD Contractor working in Afghanistan.
Dune is survived by his girlfriend, Kandas, and daughter, Kailyn; parents, Brenda Bias and Hal O’Connor; sisters, Malena Trulson and husband, Bryan, and Wendi O’Connor; brothers, Jake O’Connor and wife, Chelsea, and Dylan O’Connor, and nephew and nieces, Jacob O’Connor, and Shelby and Sydney Trulson.
Services will be at 2 p.m., Friday, April 13, at Hibbs Funeral Home in Choctaw.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to NeuterSooner spay/neuter program, P.O. Box 3061, Bartlesville, OK 74006.

Note:  Hal died in the States in a vehicle accident

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

John J Keys and Jacob A West receive Defense of Freedom Medal

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on April 6, 2012

Fairbanks civilian contractor who survived blast in Afghanistan honored

U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Kendall P. Cox, left, presents the Defense of Freedom Medal to John Keys, 52, of Fairbanks, who was injured when a bomb exploded while Keys was conducting a road survey near Paktika Province, Afghnistan, injuring Keys and killing U.S. service members Navy Chief Petty Officer Raymond J. Border, 31, of West Lafayette, Ohio, and Army Staff Sgt. Jorge M. Oliveria, 33, of Newark, N.J. The medal also was presented to Jacob West, 30, of Fayetteville, N.C., who was injured with Keys. / Photo by Mark Rankin, AED North Public Affairs Office
Read more: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

FAIRBANKS — A Fairbanks engineer saw first hand last fall how Afghanistan is a dangerous assignment whether for a soldier or a civilian. While working on a new road in an Afghan village John J. Keys was hit by an 80-pound roadside bomb. Keys, another Army civilian and a translator survived, but two military men they had been working with for months were killed instantly.

Perhaps thankless is the best word for the engineering assignment. Keys found out later that the villagers for whom they were building the road likely saw the bomb-layers digging for several days to install the bomb.

Yet no one bothered to warn them.

Keys, 52, is no stranger to war zones. In his recent career he was been a a civil engineer at Fort Wainwright, where he helped design some the post’s barracks. But before coming to Fairbanks in 1994 he served in the Air National Guard during Operation Desert Storm and later on drug interdiction assignments in Central and South America.

As a civilian engineer, Keys said he has good protection from the military with a close aerial presence and an escort of soldiers. But he never forgot he was in a war. “You’re always careful,” he said. “You’re looking for signs of (improved explosive devices), hand trails where they bury the wires … You’re always aware that anything could happen at any time.”

On Oct. 19, Keys was inspecting a two-lane gravel road through the village of Yahya Khel in Eastern Afghanistan near the Pakistan border. He was on (and now directs) a provisional reconstruction team, a combined military and civilian crew that was going to convert a gravel road to cobblestones at the request of the village. As a member of the team, Keys wore full combat gear minus the weapons and was traveling with a convoy of heavy mine-resistant vehicles. Instead of an assault rifle he carried a camera to document the road conditions.

A photograph he took a few minutes before the blast shows a relatively innocuous scene: a dusty road flanked by earthen walls. A group of men in white robes sit and stand in a doorway talking to soldiers.

The blast went off about 100 meters from where the photograph was taken. The explosion killed Navy Chief Petty Officer Raymond J. Border, 31, of West Lafayette, Ohio, and Army Staff Sgt. Jorge M. Oliveira, 33, of Newark, N.J. Keys was blown of his feet and knocked 20 feet into a gully, according to an account of the explosion recorded in a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers news release.

“I don’t know how to describe it,” Keys said. “I was in full-body pain and I wasn’t where I started.”

The other Army civilian, Jacob A. West, 30, of Fayetteville, N.C., remembered only a smell of burning dirt, chemical and plastic from the moments after the blast, according to the Army news release. His first clear memory was sitting in the armored vehicle where he saw Keys return to the site of the blast to look for the two military men.

“He (Keys) did all that without being asked,” West said according to the release. “He did all that on his own without any regard for his personal safety. He was part of that team. I think that was significant. People should know that.”

This week, Keys and West were both presented the Defense of Freedom Metal, the equivalent of the military Purple Heart for Department of Defense civilians

Please see the original and read more here

Posted in Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Defense of Freedom Medal, Department of Defense, Injured Contractors | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

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