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 stationed at Camp Lejeune from September through November of 1985. During that time, I was assigned at Camp Geiger at the field wire school. For about 35 years following that, I started having a host of problems from orthopedic problems to muscular skeletal problems to nerve problems. I have fibromyalgia, degenerative disc disease, weakness in the legs, high blood pressure, and hearing loss. I’ve had 9 orthopedic surgeries in the last 10 years.
The Veterans Administration doesn’t seem to want to acknowledge the fact that these issues are all related to the Camp Lejeune toxic water issue. I think it’s high time that the VA starts recognizing that there are thousands upon thousands of Marines, Navy, and civilian personnel that were there that have a host of cancers and other diseases that aren’t even on the 8 presumptives listed in their view as related to the toxic water issue.
There really needs to be a discussion in Congress about fixing this so that most of us that have these issues can get some kind of compensation from the VA. We served our country honorably and now they’re just throwing us to the wolves. How many more of us have to die before something gets done with this issue?
I call on my Congresswoman Cheri Bustos and my Senator Dick Durbin who are very vocal about other issues in Congress and the Senate. As far as this issue is concerned, they have been totally silent. I’m calling on you to please, please look at this issue of military contamination in Congress and try to fix this problem. Thank you.
Note: The author currently resides in Illinois. This account/editorial is verbatim from the author without edit, with only the omission of their name to preserve anonymity.