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.
Various cancers are linked to the Camp Lejeune contaminated / toxic water crisis. The VA (and this would affect civilian employees employed on the base as well) is doing the EXACT same thing that they did with veterans exposed to Agent Orange returning from Vietnam. They ignored the pleas from these veterans for help and recognition that the cancer(s) they were developing was service connected. Only after the vast majority had succumbed to their cancer (after about 10 years) would the VA then admit to responsibility or really their culpability. Of course, with most of these fine service members now dead, the VA had to do little to nothing for the few who remained! Quite a set up!
Now, veterans (myself included) are coming down with a condition called MGUS (Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance). It is the precursor to multiple myeloma – currently the second most deadly cancer there is out there. There have been to date three directly related service connected triggers that have been definitively linked to the development of MGUS and then multiple myeloma. My own oncologist for the VA even wrote a nexus letter to that fact and the VA will not acknowledge it or accept their responsibility. I cannot even get my own Congressional representative to get the VA to address this. They also WILL NOT answer the questions of why – if the ccientific community and ALL oncologists agree this this is a service connected condition – why will they not recognize it? I have come to the VERY SINCERE conclusion that the VA does not want to accept their responsibility. All I have ever asked for is if you will not accept your responsibility, then in a public forum explain why and how ALL of these researchers and their scholarly publications are wrong. The VA is nothing more than a bunch of cowardly thieves – they will sacrifice the health and lives of Veterans to save money to pad their own pockets thru ill gotten bonuses and self promoted raises.
In short, the VA simply does NOT care about VETERANS and in doing the right thing, It has ALWAYS been my experience that those who are in the right are not afraid or ashamed to talk about an issue and those who are guilty ALWAYS hide behind NO COMMENT, and if we just ignore the VETERANS long enough they will just waste away and die off. I know that is what they are hoping will happen to me!
Now, I do not know if you can bring this story to light and get enough people incensed enough to force the VA thru public outcry and Congressional mandate to take action by recognizing, treating, and then compensation these veterans. All I know is that at this point in time I am at a 1-in-10 chance of fully converting to multiple myeloma. With each and every passing year my chances of survival and dying from this condition drop. I am now just hoping i live long enough to see the VA be held accountable?
I don’t hide behind ‘No Comment’!
Note from the Editor: The author currently resides in Indiana. The account/editorial is verbatim from the author without edit, with only the omission of their name to preserve anonymity.