The following is a personal story submitted to Civilian Exposure and published as part of our new series: “Contamination Chronicles: Personal Stories of Exposure”. If you would like to submit your story, you may fill out our form here or send directly via email to share-@-civilianexposure.org.
During my last year in the Navy, I was stationed at Camp Lejeune Naval Hospital. I didn’t find out until a few years ago about all of us drinking, showering and washing our hands in very contaminated well and groundwater. I’ve often wondered why my behavior and my health have gone downhill since then.
I have lost all my teeth. I’ve had chronic pain most of my life. I’ve never been able to hold a job very long. For 10 years or more, I have been in a homeless state. The military has a lot of forms and regulations to fill out in order to be able to get any type of compensation.
My daughter is in her 30s and she has also had many problems since birth, such as scoliosis. We put rods in her spine at a very young age and since then, she has had strokes and bad headaches. Is this because her father (me) gave her something at birth that was carried on with our genes? Am I going to live much longer?
I feel the military and our government need to take care of all people that where stationed or working there in Camp Lejeune from 1953 till 1987 with no questions asked. Many solders or veterans are getting turned down on their claims. Am I next? Should I claim my father received same problem from Agent Orange in Vietnam?
They never gave him compensation. Why would they give it to me? Please be aware of what is going on in the background to our families. Good luck to you younger soldiers who are in the military at this time
Sincerely, an old Naval veteran
Note from the Editor: The author currently resides in Seaside, California. The account/editorial is verbatim from the author without edit, with only the omission of their name to preserve anonymity.