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.
My dad was stationed at Camp Lejeune a bunch of times. We lived in both Tarawa Terraces when our mom was pregnant with me and my twin and after we were born. We also moved back to Camp Lejeune in the late 60’s and lived there for more than a year. Each of five of us was born at Camp Lejeune (one was born while Mom was visiting family) but our parents lived on base there with every conception and pregnancy of the six siblings and several miscarriages. My mom suffered from bilateral breast cancer and other medical issues.
I won’t speak for my siblings as I don’t have their permission right now, but I too have a huge medical jacket! I was born with deformities in my entire urinary track, plus I have numerous deformities in my spine. I have missing vertebrae. I have vertebrae that are fused that shouldn’t be and I have vertebrae or parts of my tail bone that was supposed to be fused but wasn’t. I’ve had five spinal surgeries on my back and one on my neck trying to correct these problems, plus the severe scoliosis and twisting of my spine. I live in severe and chronic pain and have to live on pain medication.
I can no longer work. I’ve also suffered depression and migraines for years. If I had known about the impact of the poison water, I would have chosen to adopt children rather then pass any of this on to them. My doctor did say once the DNA is changed by poisons it can go on to impact any children you have as well and it has!
Several of us have submitted all the required paperwork to the government along with hundreds of pages of documents and we’ve never heard anything except occasional newsletters! I doubt we will ever see any kind of help in our life time!! Our family moved from Camp Lejeune in 1968 and I now know it was a blessing.
Who knows how bad our health would be if we had stayed there!!
Note from the Editor: The account/editorial is verbatim from the author without edit, with only the omission of their name to preserve anonymity.