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Civilian Exposure - Water Contamination - Tarawa Terrace Camp Lejeune

Life After Contamination

by Civilian Exposure

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.


I was a dependent wife married to an active duty Marine. When he was stationed at Camp Lejeune (1978-1980), we conceived two children & then a third child was conceived shortly after we moved away from Lejeune. I had no idea of the contaminated toxic water at the base so, in an effort to give birth to healthy children, I drank as much water as possible!!

All 3 of my children have a multitude of health problems due to the water that I drank! The child that was conceived shortly after leaving Lejeune had a tumor in his bladder as a child & was also diagnosed with a brain tumor (about the size of a baseball) in 2015. He is the healthiest of my 3 children.

My two that were conceived at CL have more health problems than I can list in this article. My firstborn was diagnosed with an “ear infection” when she was 7 days old. She is almost 40 & has basically had an “ear infection” her entire life. She has multiple surgeries to put tubes in her ears & still has to have them to this day. Her ears bleed so much that the blood runs down her face & neck or if she’s sleeping, she will wake up with her head in a puddle of blood! Most people would freak out to see something like this but, to us it is not a big deal after dealing with all of the other things that are a part of our everyday lives. All of it due to the exposure of the toxic cocktail of “water” that was intentionally being piped into our home in Tarawa Terrace.

Both of my children that were conceived at CL have vision problems, their teeth are crumbling & falling out & they never even got several of their permanent teeth. They have breathing problems, their spines are weak & crumbling leaving holes that fill with spinal fluid & degenerating, bulging discs. Combined, they have probably had 10-12 miscarriages & such horrible problems with their reproductive organs that they have had to deal with constant extreme pain for most of their lives.

My firstborn only developed one breast & had MAJOR reconstructive surgery as a young adult to “correct” that birth defect. She has to have surgery every few years to remove the over growth of cartilage in her sinuses as it continues to grow & obstruct her nasal passages & sinuses. My 2nd born has malrotation of the abdomen which means all of her abdominal organs are located in the wrong place. This causes a lot of digestive problems & painful digestion & in turn, causes a lot of other health problems.

Civilian Exposure Bad Water at Camp Lejeune

All 3 of my children have an over abundance of cysts, polyps & tumors in various parts of their bodies that cause intense pain – at minimum. They also have auto immune disorders & neurological disorders. It has been almost impossible for them to be able to hold down jobs in spite if them even showing up for work doubled over in pain!

There is NO compensation available to them & with all of their medical problems, it is pretty difficult for me to keep a job as well. I am pretty healthy (compared to my children) other than some liver & thyroid problems. Although, I have been out of touch with their father since our divorce some 30+ years ago, I have heard that he has had testicular cancer & lymphatic cancer along with some other health issues – probably related to the toxic water at CL.

There is no way to put into words the devastation that my family endures every day due to the health problems caused by the toxic cocktail of water that was intentionally being piped into our home at Tarawa Terrace! And, to top it off, my one grandchild that made it into this world in 2014 lost his mother in 2015. He is my sons child & it would seem that the father would get full custody of a child whose mother has passed away. That has not been the case.

My ONLY grandchild was taken by his maternal grandparents before my son was notified of the child’s mothers death. They then falsified court documents in order to be granted temporary guardianship before notifying my son (the child’s father) of the child’s mothers death. They never notified him. He found out from some friends of his. He has been fighting to get his son from them & to have custody of his child for over 4 years. He worked his way up to 50/50 custody which he had for almost 1 year until a new judge was assigned to the case.

The new judge “diagnosed” my son with a “cognitive deficit” that in the judge’s opinion would “prevent him from being able to care for his son properly”. He has several doctors & none of them have diagnosed him with a cognitive deficit at all – much less one that would prevent him from being able to take care of his child. In fact, they say the opposite! So, now, on top of losing about 10 to 12 of my grandchildren to miscarriages due to what I consider to be the government’s fault by knowingly covering up & falsifying records of the CL water contamination, my ONLY surviving grandchild has been ripped away from me/my son (the child’s only surviving parent) because of more falsified documents & a Kern County, Ca court system that allows judges to make medical diagnoses & take children away from their own parents!

I could understand if my son were not capable of raising his own child but that is not the case. He is an excellent father & of the maternal grandparents that have temporary guardianship, one of them is a drug addict & the other is illiterate. On top of that they are both incapable of telling the truth. My ONLY surviving grandchild is at risk of physical danger every day that he is with them & the court system claims that they are doing what is best for the child. He is 5 yrs. old & has already endured so much trauma that he still takes a pacifier & is not toilet trained. He was completely past both of those stages when his father had 50/50 custody.

It breaks my heart & devastates me to no end to see how the dishonest behavior of some people has destroyed the lives of so many people in my family & WE ARE JUST ONE FAMILY OUT OF THOUSANDS THAT ENDURE THESE TYPES OF THINGS – EVERYDAY thanks to the CL Contaminated toxic water!

  • The author, Rosanna, resides in California


Note from the Editor: The account/editorial is verbatim from the author without edit, with only the omission of their name to preserve anonymity.

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