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 served in the US Marines at Camp Lejeune in 1954 and 1955. I drank the bad water because no one told me that someday it would harm me. Now that day has come!
As of now, I have had colon cancer and prostate cancer with operations for both. Now, my urinary tract is shot. I lost my ability to have sex. I have to take a pill to be able to urinate and I am incontinent. However, I must congratulate the US government as well as the VA for keeping the problem a secret from 1953 to 1987, or until most of us where dead.They refuse to pay for what I got out of my service and came up with a list of maladies that they would pay for. The list was formulated for those that had one foot in the cemetery.
Let me tell you about my next dumb move. While I was a Marine, I was trained as a scout sniper. So when my time in the Marines (1953 to 1957) was up, I joined the US Army because they needed my MOS to protect and take the first Atomic Rocket to Germany – The Honest John.While in Germany, I started to get very bad headaches, so bad that they sent me to the the main hospital in Wurtzberg. There, they did tests and could not come up with an answer. I continued to complain to the point that they gave me a choice of a medical discharge or the choice of taking on another less stressful job until my time was up. I elected to stay.
However, today I still get those headaches. One night, I had one that made me black out and fall. When I fell, I hit my head which resulted in another operation for a subdural hematoma. Once removed, I went through several months of rehabilitation. I notified the VA of all this, and yet they continue to sit mute and refuse to compensate me for my service to our great country.In total, I was hurt by the Lejeune Water, Yet, the VA ignores my case only because some group of jackass VA doctors put together a list that they will pay for that can only be collected in the cemetery!
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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