Caring for Camp Lejeune Veterans Act of 2011

by Levi Newman on October 10, 2011

 

One of the most toxic contaminations in the country began in 1957 and continued through 1987 at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Marines and their family members consumed or used contaminated water containing various volatile compounds for years. According to the St. Petersburg Times, a regulation on the books of Camp Lejeune shows the Corps knew the danger organic solvents posed as early as 1974. The paper reported that the news went public in1984.

The Caring for Camp Lejeune Veterans Act of 2011 was proposed as a way to provide hospital care, medical services, and nursing home care for any illness acquired by veterans and family members who suffered effects from contamination. In June of 2011, the bill passed out of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs with bipartisan support. However, since September, Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) has faced stiff opposition from military and veterans groups, Department of Defense and the Veterans Affairs regarding his method to fund the bill.

To pay for the bill, Burr included a provision that would remove the appropriations that help cover the cost of the Defense Commissary System and would fold the commissaries in with the military exchange system. This would effectively eliminate the discounted grocery benefits many service-members and their families rely upon.

Currently, the bill is on the Senate editorial calendar, awaiting debate on the Senate floor. A major push for the legislation has been provided by an upcoming documentary, Rachel Libert and Tony Hardmon’s Semper Fi: Always Faithful.

While legislation rests in the hands of Congress, we should rely on each other more than ever to keep the faith and help one another. Semper Fidelis.

Link to the timeline, courtesy of St. Petersberg Times.

{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

Leamon October 10, 2011 at 9:51 am

Lets take care of our people.

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Cathy Herrera October 10, 2011 at 10:08 am

How do I file a claim for myself and my kids? We got one for my husband but not for us. I am also a Marine and was stationed at Camp Johnson during that time. I have had cancer and the chemicals used are related to causing cancer. Please email me the information I need to handle this.

Semper Fi

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Levi Newman October 10, 2011 at 10:12 am

Talk to your local VA Rep or contact a close VA Hospital and they can let you know what forms you are going to need.

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james howell October 10, 2011 at 10:18 am

I was medically discharged in 1986 and spent my whole enlistment at camp lejeune, Maybe this is why they can’t seem to locate my medical records.Recently recieved the medical questionaire, but doesn’t help with disability percentage or help.

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Tomás Vera October 10, 2011 at 10:26 am

I was satationed in Panama from Feb 1974 to Aug 1976. I heard that Agent Orange was sprayed there. Can anybody tell if this is true or not. Thank you, Semper Fi. Note: I was in infantry by that time. We you used to go to the jungle to practice.

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Mike Cain January 16, 2012 at 12:52 am

I was stationed in Panama also from 1972 to 1974 , I havent heard this before but would like to know whatever you find out, I was with Marine Barracks but spent a Considerable Amount of Time in the Jungle on Security Duties .

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john owen April 11, 2012 at 10:23 am

Hi Tomas, Agent orange was used at Ft. Sherman while I was stationed in Panama. This was not a “secret” use , but was used in the area around the Viet Cong village on Ft Sherman for demonstration for the soldiers that were taking their Jungle Training there. Also was for demonstrations for the foriegn soldiers at the School of the Americas, which was on Ft. Gulack at that time (1972-1974). Small areas were sprayed by an Army helicopter that was out of the Army helicoptor unit that was on Howard AFB. Also a small area was sprayed to clear jungle at the old Spanish Ft San Lorenzo (Ft Sherman) for the 6 month test of the New Improved Hawk Missle tests that were run by The Tropic Test Center. School of the Americas & Jungle Warfare School were run by USA Special Forces and CIA at that time, whic is why the Southern Command can say they had no knowledge of any AO in Panama.

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Kurt L. Martin October 10, 2011 at 10:31 am

I was stationed at Camp LeJeune in the late 60’s It doesn’t surprise me that our goverment has buried this issue. Now that veterans, like me are showing signs of contamination, they finally decide to do something(God forbid, it would be done quickly though!!). THank you for your continued efforts. Let me know what I can do to help also.

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marie blagburn October 10, 2011 at 10:36 am

my husband was in the marines he served in nc and dranked the water
he has several problems so we went to the va in our erea and told them he wanted to get tested they did every thing else to stay away from the comtamamented water thing he was in nc lejune for about a yrs time and these people havent done any testing for him i want to know how we can get this testing some one told us to go to va but nothing was done to test for this what can we do he has heart problems nerve problems and has a spot on his lung what can we do
thanks a marines wife

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William Hornbuckle October 16, 2011 at 12:19 am

Marie,
Your husband has the right to hire an attorney now. Your best bet to find one is call one you already know and have them refer you to attorneys who represent veterans in Washington D.C.
I have agent orange….good luck.

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Martin K Keene October 10, 2011 at 12:03 pm

One of the most telling photographs I have ever seen was that of civilian’s monitoring for fallout at Bikini Atoll on board ships. They were in full NBC gear walking amongst sailors in t shirts and cutoffs. In my mind, that pretty much sums this discussion up!

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Jacque Brunson October 10, 2011 at 12:06 pm

I am a honorably discharged Army veteran and had two brothers serve at Camp Lejeune. Recently my baby brother was diagnosed with cancer of the bladder and I feel the government needs to step up and take care of those who served this country unselfishly. Anything less is not an option. The fact that they sat on this information for awhile is cruel and dangerous to say the least. Do the right thing and stop dragging your collective feet!

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Paul Farrelly October 10, 2011 at 2:39 pm

HI, I went to boot camp , april ’61, viet- nam aboard ship ’63 late, tried for agent orange twice, told both times i have to prove I was there, ex: what ship, I believe it was the IWO JIMA, I sailed on about 9 ships, from cuba to viet nam, do not know what else to do. Any help is greatly appreciated, sincerely, paul. SEMPER FI

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Pritch October 10, 2011 at 3:27 pm

@Martin Keene What?

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Elizabeth Easterly August 1, 2013 at 1:47 am

Martin Keene is talking about the atomic bomb/nuclear bomb tests that were done starting in the 1930s into the late 1960s. At first the tests were conducted with the safeguards the military were told to use, then it seems new orders were given (possibly by the C.I.A.). Soldiers were moved closer to the bombs being set off on US soil, then they were told to stand and receive part of the blasts. The same thing apparently was going on with the Navy, using the Bikini Islands. Their military records “disappeared” after the bomb tests, and only copies of orders kept by the men proved they had been part of these actions. I helped compile the names of the Army men that were in the tests done in the US, in 1978. The Bikini Islands are still contaminated.

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RODGER D SEXTON October 10, 2011 at 6:02 pm

HI, I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHERE I CAN GET A CLAIM FORM FOR THE CAMP LEJUNE WATER CONTAMINATION…I WAS THERE 1971 & 1972. I WOULD APPRECIATE ANY ASSISTANCE YOU COULD HELP ME WITH THIS. THANKS

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Jerry Ensminger October 10, 2011 at 10:13 pm

There is a beacon of light on the horizon for Senator Burr’s S-277, there is a new effort to find funding for the bill other than stripping the commissary benefits. I can’t openly say where these latest DOD savings would be gained but let’s just say that the proposal is going to be very interesting and it won’t hurt any troop or retiree related issues/benefits…Jerry Ensminger

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Mike Partain October 11, 2011 at 12:33 am

My father was a Marine officer and I was born aboard Camp Lejeune in 1968. Four years ago I was diagnosed with male breast cancer at the age of 39. To date we have located a total of 72 men with the disease who were either stationed aboard the base or lived there as a dependent. Our film, “Semper Fi: Always Faithful depicts our struggle for the truth out the leadership of the USMC and our fight with Congress to obtain health benefits for those who are sick. Please see the website for the film http://www.semperfialwaysfaithful.com and our website, The Few The Proud The Forgotten (www.tftptf.com) for more information about the contamination. I encourage everyone to call the U.S. Senators and Congressman and be heard. The EPA recently reclassified one of our primary contaminants (tricholorethylene) as a known human carcinogen becasue of the chemical’s link to kideny cancer.

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Lori October 11, 2011 at 10:03 am

I share the hope that alternative funding can be identified to provide the much-needed benefits to our Camp LeJeune Veterans and family members who were contaminated. However, I am strongly opposed to funding it at the expense of other veterans and active duty members and their families by removing the appropriations that help cover the cost of the Defense Commissary System. To wrongs do not make a right and the damage this would do all military families would be irrepairable.

Alternative funding for Burr’s S.277 is a must, as is protecting the entire military resale system from budget cuts. I hope you will visit saveourbenefit.com and learn more about how you can learn more about the impact of the defunding the commissary system and help support the quality of life for ALL military families.

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Donna Glenn October 11, 2011 at 10:05 am

Thank you for reporting on our issue. Thank you Senator Burr and all the others out there standing up for those of us who have been poisoned and are still suffering in poverty due to disability.

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Emily Butler October 11, 2011 at 5:59 pm

My husband served in the USMC at Camp Lejeune from 1985 thur 1993. He was in 2nd RECON based at Onslow Beach and was honorably discharged. How do we get furhter info on the contaminated water and effects it may have caused? He also served in Desert Storm. I have heard there is an issue with the vaccines they were given then? Any info would be greatly appreciated.

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Gilnett, Steve D. October 14, 2011 at 5:30 pm

Google Camp Lejeune toxic water

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Gilnett, Steve D. October 14, 2011 at 5:26 pm

Who is the “go too person” on this? I was stationed there the whole year of 1972 and I have had many medical problems since my release.
Not looking for a free ride just, retribution!

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DELVERT W. WHEELER October 14, 2011 at 5:44 pm

I DO HOPE WE CAN HELP THOSE WHO NEED THE HELP FROM THE WATER EPISODE AT CAMP LEJUENE. HOWEVER, I DO NOT WANT TO SEE THE COMMISSARY OR EXCHANGE STRIPPED IN ORDER TO DO THIS. THERE HAS TO BE ANOTHER WAY.
I SERVED AT CAMP LEJEUNE SEVERAL TIMES DURING MY CAREER AS A MARINE FROM 1966 TO 1986. I WAS HONORABLY RETIRED OCT. 11, 1986 FROM CAMP LEJEUNE.

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Levi Newman October 14, 2011 at 5:55 pm

They aren’t taking funds from the commissary in order to do this. They have another plan in place.

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juanita thorne October 15, 2011 at 7:58 pm

All i know is my two children have had medical issues all their lives. my daughter is awaiting a second heart surgery and my son is deaf in one ear and losing hearing in the other… i have been signed up since 2001 something needs to be done NOW.

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Bob Stephenson October 15, 2011 at 9:39 pm

I live in FL and was told all claims are being handled by the Louisville KY VA office.my claims were all routed there,including my percentage increase,due to being a dependent at LeJeune from 66-71

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marie blagburn October 15, 2011 at 10:25 pm

i cant believe that people want to not help people because it might affect thier family these men did thier time and they should be took care of .some are saying let s take care of mine but not the ones who are older let me tell you it dont matter who you are if you served and was giving tosic water you should be took care of no matter how many there are and i dont know about your family but mine is as good as your any day they mean as much to us so let not try n say take care of mine but not yours sorry america these me deserve the best they can get they did what they had to now america do what you need to do take care of our vets thanks for letting me speak my mind

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Don Clark October 16, 2011 at 8:30 am

Concerned about how our country feels about we who served. Proud 2/2 and Nam vet 1968 & 1969. Combat experience was not enough we also get poisoned too and find out way down the road. Semper Fi brothers !

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PFC VidalFrederick Padilla October 17, 2011 at 1:35 pm

I was a 0331 machine gunner in 1977 I was housed at the Hadnot point miltat barracks I have a degenterative bone decease and other varoius ailments on record through veterans hospital I do not recieve any service connected disabilty though I am on SS disabity it is a very minial amount I have had a couple of opperations as a result of degeneration Bone decease brain disorder dementia I’m 51 wht can I do to get help??Semper FI….

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Harry Eisenberg October 17, 2011 at 6:36 pm

Its a disgrace. The government should take care of all who however served in the military.
USMCR

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WayneO October 19, 2011 at 5:49 am

Does anyone know if this effected New River Air Base?

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MELODY YURCHISON October 29, 2011 at 11:41 am

MY DAUGHTER-IN-LAW WAS BORN THERE. WAS BATHED IN THE WATER AND EVERYTHING. MOM AND DAD WERE STATIONED THERE. WHEN GIVING BIRTH THIS YEAR SHE HAD TO HAVE A C-SECTION. THEY FOUND OUT HER PELVIS DOES NOT OPEN FOR A BABY TO COME THRU-APPARENTLY IT IS FUSED…HOW DO WE GET THIS RECOGNIZED BY VA SO SHE CAN GET MEDICAL HELP.

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MELODY YURCHISON October 29, 2011 at 11:44 am

CAN YOU KEEP US INFORMED ON ANY AGENT ORANGE UPDATES TO SEE IF THEY ARE TAKING CARE OF THE KIDS WITH DISABILITIES. MY SON WAS BORN DISABLED IN 84–DAD NOW DECEASED WAS A 100% DISABLED VET-MY SON HAS MULTIPLE THINGS WRONG WITH HIM AND AM WORRIED THINGS WILL GET WORSE….THANKS

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Daniel W. Fluellen,HM3/USN/Ret. December 5, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Re:PFC VidalFrederick Padilla;
I was a Corpsman in 2nd Supply/Maintenance/Medical Bn’s, and Naval Hospital, CLNC from 1983-1988. I also have degenerative disc disease, PTSD, and recently suspected symptomology for “Multiple Myeloma”. Do all you can to retrieve any records of sick-call complaints, subsequent treatments and all surgeries, and present them to a Compensation and Pension board for evaluation. The only way to get anything done, is to first get things started.
I hope this is helpful.

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SSGT JIMMYL.JONES May 25, 2012 at 11:01 am

HELLO ALL MY FORMER AND PRESENT MARINES, I WERE STATION OFF AND ON AT CAMP LEJEUNE FOR OVER 9 YEARS, FROM 1979-1988, PRESENTLY I’VE BEEN DIAGONIOS WITH MANY SYMPTONS, FROM HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE, THYROID COMPLATIONS, POOR VISION AND I HAVE LOSE 12 TEETH DUE TO A GUM DISEASE CALLED PERIODONTAL DISEASE AND I HAVE A BLOOD CLUG IN MY HEAD WHERE IN 2006 I HAD TO HAVE AN OPEN EAR OPERATION. FELLOW MEN AND WOMEN OUT THERE THIS WATER CONTAMINATION THING IS REAL. I DO HAVE A CLAIM IN WITH THE VA BUT THEY DENIED ME HELP WITH THE CONTAMINATION CLAIM. I’M LOOKING INTO LEGAL HELP NOW. WE MUST STICK TOGETHER ON THIS TO GET THE JUSTICE WE ALL DESERVE WHO SERVED OUR COUNTRY. THANK YOU. JIMMY JONES USMC SSGT. VETERAN.

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jonathan naugles August 7, 2012 at 5:37 am

I would like to know more about my claim. I was station there at Camp
Lejene. NC.

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Jonathan Naugles August 7, 2012 at 5:40 am

I would like to know more about my claim. I was station there at Camp
Lejene. NC.June 1981- Nov 1981

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Paul Morin August 13, 2012 at 7:59 pm

My family and were expose to the Contminated Water at Camp Lejeune
I have degenerative dic decease and neurobehavioral effects from the Contaminated water

Paul Morin
MSgt USMC (Ret)

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