The ATSDR recently released a transcript of our latest CAP meeting in Atlanta on September 11, 2014. For those that were not able to attend or view the online video streaming of this meeting, this transcript will provide ample insight into all of the topics covered. Among the information discussed during the day-long event includes the newly released Male Breast Cancer Study, the Civilian Mortality Study and the Birth Defects and Childhood Cancer Study.
Officials from Camp Lejeune, the Navy, the VA, the CDC and the ATSDR were present, including Dr. Terry Walters, Deputy Chief Consultant of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Public Health, Post-Deployment Health group (participating briefly by teleconference). One would naturally look to Dr. Walters to be the champion for veterans on this issue.
In a recent article in the Shreveport Times, Dr. Walters states:
“Statistically speaking, there has been nothing really solid to show the toxins caused diseases among Lejeune’s population of that era,” said Walters. “There has been hints,” she added.
Nothing solid? Hints?
Civilian Exposure has learned that this same article, which includes this misinformation, is being forwarded throughout military email networks as of this posting. Yet, Dr. Walters’ opinion is no longer accurate or relevant. When will the VA and government officials stop the spin cycle and open their eyes to the truth?
From the CAP meeting transcript on 9-11-14 —
Mike Partain, The Few The Proud The Forgotten:
“It just goes on and on and on. And here we are, we’ve got scientific studies that are completed and you guys aren’t utilizing them; that’s a problem.“
Gavin P. Smith, Founder/President of Civilian Exposure:
“I’d just like to add in too from the civilian perspective, you know, it’s interesting. I looked at the studies and the elevated risks, and I just have to say that I saw four out of the six elevated risks in my father. He had four of those, so when I look at this report, I see my dad in it. And so I think they’re very important; I think it’s very important to include these and to have updated information to make sure people are aware of what’s going on…to make sure that they’re finding out the right details and getting the guidance that they need…guidance that’s real-time and not outdated.“
The recently released ATSDR Civilian Mortality Study proves elevated risks “for several causes of death including cancers of the kidney, rectum, oral cavity, leukemias, multiple myeloma, and Parkinson’s disease.” These elevated risks were similarly found in a study among Marines and Navy personnel at Camp Lejeune. Equally disheartening is the evidence from the study of Birth Defects and Childhood Cancers.
Added together, it is obvious to all but the VA (and other culpable government agencies in denial) that anybody who set foot on Camp Lejeune for a minimal amount of time between the 1950s-1980s did ingest contaminated water or absorbed toxic soil vapors. Further, this exposure led to elevated health risks for specific illnesses, including leukemia and other fatal cancers.
Dr. Walters, we know that you have had a distinguished career in service to this country. It is both appreciated and without question. We admire and welcome it. You’ve served so many and have a genuine desire to care for those that serve, especially with regard to environmental hazards.
Your actions on this issue do not square with your personal core values. That’s what baffles us most. Maybe it’s just that you are led by convoluted and unclear laws, regulations or other-powers-that-be, causing you to continually practice the DC “two-step” with veterans. Perhaps it’s time to take a deep breath, step outside of the internal political drama and bureaucratic trappings of DC, and get back to your core values. Put veterans and civilians first and put internal Washington politics and bureaucracy second.
With the recent release of multiple studies showing elevated risks of cancers and other illnesses in every conceivable population set at Camp Lejeune, the ATSDR experts are “scientifically speaking” loud and clear.
The real question is…are you now willing to listen?
Download the full transcript of the 9-11-2014 CAP Meeting: Civilian Exposure – Camp Lejeune Community Assistance Panel (CAP) Meeting at the CDC ATSDR in Atlanta