Anyone there during that time frame might want to look at this,
Anyone there during that time frame might want to look at this,
Are there any other members on here that are part of The Few The Proud The Forgotten?I am
and registered about a year ago
I registered about 18 months ago. Went to school from 1953 till 1957 at mainside. Lived at Tarawa Terrace hjousing. Returned there in 1966at new river, and then 1968 and 1969 at Montford Point. So covered the area pretty good.
Lejeune Water Report Omitted Contaminant
February 18, 2010
WILMINGTON, N.C. --- An environmental contractor dramatically underreported the level of a cancer-causing chemical found in tap water at Camp Lejeune, then omitted it altogether as the Marine base prepared for a federal health review, an Associated Press review has found.
The Marine Corps had been warned nearly a decade earlier about the dangerously high levels of benzene, which was traced to massive leaks from fuel tanks at the base on the North Carolina coast, according to recently disclosed studies.
For years, Marines who served at Camp Lejeune have blamed their families' cancers and other ailments on tap water tainted by dry cleaning solvents, and many accuse the military of covering it up. The benzene was discovered as part of a broader, ongoing probe into that contamination.
When water was sampled in July 1984, scientists found benzene in a well near the base's Hadnot Point Fuel Farm at levels of 380 parts per billion, according to water tests done by a contractor. A year later, in a report summarizing the 1984 sampling, the same contractor pointed out the benzene concentration "far exceeds" the safety limit set by federal regulators at 5 parts per billion.
The Marines were still studying the water contamination in 1991 when another contractor again warned the Navy of the health hazards posed by such levels of benzene.
By 1992, the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease, an arm of the Department of Health and Human Services, showed up at the base to begin a health risk assessment. That's when a third contractor, the Michael Baker Corp., released a draft report on the feasibility of fixing the overall problem.
In it, the 1984 level on the well of 380 parts per billion had changed to 38 parts per billion. The company's final report on the well, issued in 1994, made no mention of the benzene.
Not only hasn't the benzene disappeared from the now-closed wells, it's gotten much worse over time. One sample from a series of tests conducted from June 2007 to August 2009 registered 3,490 parts per billion, according to a report from a fourth contractor.
Kyla Bennett, who spent 10 years as an enforcement officer for the Environmental Protection Agency before becoming an ecologist and environmental attorney, reviewed the different reports and said it was difficult to conclude innocent mistakes were made in the Baker Corp. documents.
"It is weird that it went from 380 to 38 and then it disappeared entirely," she said. "It does support the contention that they did do it deliberately."
News of Baker Corp.'s handling of the benzene levels has ex-Lejeune residents questioning anew the honesty of a military they accuse of endangering their lives.
"It is a shame that an institution founded on honor and integrity would resort to open deceit in order to protect their reputation at the cost of the health, safety and welfare of its servicemen, women and their families," said Mike Partain, a 42-year-old who lives in Tallahassee, Fla., but was born at Lejeune and diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007.
Capt. Brian Block, a Marine Corps spokesman, took exception to characterizing the conflicting information in the reports as anything but inadvertent.
"It was probably just a mistake on the part of the contractor, but I can't tell you for certain why that happened," he said.
David Higie, a spokesman for Baker Corp., declined to discuss the company's reports or why its employees might have revised the benzene levels. He referred questions to the military.
Block said Camp Lejeune held a news conference to alert residents of problems with the water system in 1985 and has spent millions of dollars in outreach and studies. "The Marine Corps has never tried to hide any of this information," he said.
The discrepancies in the reports were tucked inside thousands of documents the Marine Corps released last year to the Agency for Toxic Substances as part of the Marines' long-running review of water supplied to Camp Lejeune's main family housing areas. That water was contaminated by fuel and cleaning solvents from the 1950s through the 1980s, and health officials believe as many as 1 million people may have been exposed to the toxins before the wells that supplied the tainted water were closed two decades ago.
The newly discovered records, first reported Sunday by McClatchy News Service, show that a water well contaminated by leaking fuel was left functioning for at least five months after a sampling discovered it was tainted with benzene in 1984.
Benzene, a carcinogen, is a natural part of crude oil and gasoline. Drinking water containing high levels of it can cause vomiting, dizziness, sleepiness, convulsions, and death; and long-term exposure damages bone marrow, lowers red blood cells and can cause anemia and leukemia, according to the EPA.
Camp Lejeune environmental engineer Robert Alexander was quoted in 1985 as saying no one "had been directly exposed" to contaminants, including benzene. In December, Alexander told the AP he didn't recall anything about the well contaminated with the benzene or the ensuing studies that failed to account for its toxicity, but said that the methods at the time were still being perfected, and that he and the other base officials did the best they could.
The records indicate the military knew a lot of specifics.
For years, the Marine Corps knew the fuel farm, built in 1941, was leaking 1,500 gallons a month and did nothing to stop it, according to a 1988 memo from a Camp Lejeune lawyer to the base's assistant facilities manager. "It's an indefensible waste of money and a continuing potential threat to human health and the environment," wrote Staff Judge Advocate A.P. Tokarz.
Minutes of a 1996 meeting with Moon Township, Pa.-based Baker Corp., the third contractor, indicate the fuel farm had lost 800,000 gallons of fuel, of which 500,000 gallons had been recovered. Benzene was "in the deeper portion of the aquifer" and the "fuel farm is definitely the source," the minutes quote a Michael Baker employee as saying.
The Coast Guard categorizes any coastal oil spill larger than 100,000 gallons as major.
Former Marines and Camp Lejeune residents continue to fight for a compensation program and to fund a mortality study that would determine if Marines and Sailors who were exposed to these contaminants suffer from a higher death rate. The Senate passed legislation in September backed by Sens. Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Kay Hagan, D-N.C., preventing the military from dismissing claims related to water contamination pending completion of the several studies, including the mortality study.
"These people knowingly exposed us to these high levels of contaminants and now they don't want to know if their negligence caused harm to the people they say they care so much about?" said Jerry Ensminger, a retired master sergeant who lived at the base and lost his 9-year-old daughter to leukemia. "There is definitely something wrong with this picture."
S/F Gary Alls
This was in my local newspaper, the Quincy patriot Ledger:
Contaminated water at base the cause of Hanover Marine veteran’s cancer
Government links Hanover vet’s cancer to pollution at Marine base
By Fred Hanson
The Patriot Ledger
Posted Mar 17, 2010 @ 07:06 AM
Last update Mar 17, 2010 @ 11:26 AM
The federal Department of Veterans Affairs has ruled that chemical contamination at a Marine Corps base caused a rare cancer in a local veteran.
The decision grants a full service-related disability pension to Paul Buckley, 46, who has multiple myeloma, an incurable form of cancer that attacks blood plasma. It links the cancer to drinking water that was polluted by a fuel spill at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.
For Buckley, the victory was four years in the making and is about more than money.
“They’re finally admitting it,” Buckley said of government officials. “There’s no more wondering how this happened. This is the government’s way of saying, ‘I’m sorry we did this to you.’”
Buckley hopes the decision will help others in similar situations.
“It was the perfect storm, the perfect case, the perfect time,” Buckley said. “Nobody gets that cancer that young. It needs a massive exposure to certain chemicals. I’m hoping this does something for everyone who was there.”
Buckley said he could hardly believe it last week when he got the letter containing the news.
“I thought it was another denial. I’ve had five denials in the past month,” he said.
Buckley, a former Braintree resident, was diagnosed with cancer four years ago, after he drove himself to the emergency room.
“I collapsed at South Shore Hospital and woke up at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital” a few days later, he said.
Since then, Buckley has undergone a bone marrow transplant, and he was on dialysis for a while due to the kidney failure that is related to his form of cancer. He undergoes full medical checkups every four months.
“The cancer is incurable,” Buckley said. “Relapses are part of the problem and, eventually, you succumb.”
He credits his doctor, James Levine, with saving his life numerous times.
Buckley said he started looking at the connection to his illness after his sister sent him an article about a 1984 fuel spill at Camp Lejeune. Near the end of his four years in the Marine Corps two decades ago, Buckley lived for months a few hundred feet from the site of the spill.
He thanked Emma Sanders of the Disabled American Veterans in Boston and the office of U.S. Rep. William Delahunt, D-Quincy, for their efforts on his behalf.
“I think this has enormous national implications,” Delahunt said Tuesday of Buckley’s case. “This does establish a precedent. It’s clearly justified, and I applaud the Department of Veterans Affairs for the decision. We’re thrilled for Mr. Buckley.”
Jerry Ensminger, a North Carolina advocate for Camp Lejuene veterans, told the Jacksonville Daily News that he knows of only two others who have received full disabilities due to the water contamination at Camp Lejeune.
Marine Corps officials referred questions to the Department of Veterans Affairs. A spokesman for the department could not be reached for comment late Tuesday afternoon.
Fred Hanson may be reached at email@example.com.
http://shar.es/mWvTd (This is a link to the actual online story)
John "J.D." Barber
Past President, Board Member
USMC/Combat Helicopter Association
HMM-263, 1970-1971, EG-11
I just read the VA is now recognizing the toxic water found at Camp Lejeune. I registered with Marine Corps several years ago on the website concerning the toxic water. My question is ....do I need to file a claim with he VA ? Although I don't have cancer, my son died in 1988 from leukemia. Are there other diseases other then cancer that is recognized by the VA ?
VA quietly giving benefits to Marines exposed to toxic water
By Barbara Barrett, McClatchy Newspapers Barbara Barrett, Mcclatchy Newspapers – 2 hrs 16 mins ago
WASHINGTON — Former Marine Corps Cpl. Peter Devereaux was told about a year ago that he had just two or three years to live.
More than 12 months later, at 48, he still isn't ready to concede that the cancer that's wasting his innards is going to kill him. He swallows his pills and suffers the pain and each afternoon he greets his 12-year-old daughter, Jackie, as she steps off her school bus in North Andover, Mass.
The U.S. Department of the Navy says that more research is needed to connect ailments suffered by Marines such as Devereaux who served at Camp Lejeune and their families who lived there to decades of water contamination at the 156,000-acre base in eastern North Carolina . Meanwhile, however, the Department of Veterans Affairs has quietly begun awarding benefits to a few Marines who were based at Lejeune.
"Right now, I would venture to say that any Camp Lejeune veteran who files a claim now is presumed to have been exposed to the contaminated drinking water," Brad Flohr , the assistant director for policy, compensation and pension service at the VA, told a meeting of affected Marines and family members in April.
It's estimated that as many as a million people were exposed to the water from the 1950s to the 1980s. The water was laced with trichloroethylene, known as TCE; tetrachloroethylene, known as PCE; benzene and other volatile organic chemicals.
Peter Devereaux doesn't expect to be around for Jackie's college years, but he hopes to be able to pay for them. Along with hundreds of other veterans across the country, he's convinced that contaminated water caused his cancer.
"It's like it's criminal, you know?" said Devereaux, who has male breast cancer.
While the Department of the Navy , which oversees the base, is funding continuing research on the issue, in some cases the VA has acknowledged that as likely as not, some Marine veterans' ailments were caused by drinking and bathing in poisonous water.
Despite the exposure, though, there's no presumption that a veteran's disease was caused by the contamination. Each case is judged on hits own merits, Flohr said.
Still, veterans' advocates have hope.
"It matters. That's an admission, right there," said Jerry Ensminger , a Marine veteran in North Carolina who lost his daughter to leukemia in 1985 after living at Camp Lejeune .
James Watters of Lubbock, Texas , was told in 2008 that he had a year to live. In June 2009 , he learned that the VA had linked his cancer to the Lejeune contamination.
"This thing is huge in its ramifications," Watters said. "I think it just opens the floodgates."
More Marine veterans are learning about what happened years ago at Camp Lejeune .
Two years ago, a new law required the Defense Department to contact veterans through the Internal Revenue Service and tell them about their exposure.
Many veterans interviewed by McClatchy said they had no idea that they'd been exposed until they opened the envelopes in the mail.
"You know what went off in my head? A light bulb," said Allen Menard , 47, of Green Bay, Wis. His doctor had told him years before that his form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, mycosis fungoides, was chemical-related.
He filed for VA disability in 2008, blaming his cancer on Lejeune's water, and was at first denied before finally he was granted a full service connection, a recognition that his illness is related to his service, this spring.
"I did my research. I had to fight," Menard said. "I had two professors at Boston University write letters for me."
One of those professors, epidemiologist Richard Clapp , said veterans deserve an answer about what effects the water might have had on their health.
"It's a horrific problem," said Clapp, who serves on a community panel that's studying the Lejeune contamination. "There are lots of people exposed, some to very high levels of these chemicals. Some for short periods for time, some for decades."
The public is only now beginning to realize the extent of the contamination.
Stories among the veterans indicate a handful have been given service connections. Each case means the VA has established that there's at least a 50 percent chance that the veteran's military service caused the ailment.
The awards are inconsistent, however. While a veteran in Wisconsin is offered payment, one in Florida with similar symptoms is denied. The VA doesn't keep track, and Flohr said this spring that he'd just learned about many of the successful appeals.
Legislation in the House of Representatives and Senate would establish presumptions between service connection and illnesses associated with the contamination, but those bills are still pending.
Although advocates are energized by recent VA benefits awards, a McClatchy review of some Veterans Affairs decisions shows that connections to the toxic water at Lejeune have been made in the past.
In 2002, for example, the agency granted a service connection to a veteran with cancer of the hard palate. The veteran, whose name is redacted, had served from 1982 to 1987 at Lejeune. His application was denied in 1995 and again in 1999.
After he sent in medical opinions about the contamination, an appeals board granted the service connection.
Another challenge for Veterans Affairs and federal scientists comes in deciding what diseases might have been caused by which chemical in the water.
For now, Flohr said the VA is trying to educate regional offices around the country. Last month, the agency sent a memo to its regional offices describing contamination of TCE and PCE.
The memo says there may be limited association between those chemicals and cancers of the kidney, breast, bladder, lung or esophagus.
The Veteran Affairs memo doesn't mention benzene, even though federal scientists said a year ago that benzene has emerged as a central suspect in the contamination. Benzene is a known carcinogen.
The distinction about which chemicals were present in the water is important, because they're associated with different diseases.
For years, Marine veteran Michael Schooler suspected that Agent Orange he was exposed to in Vietnam was responsible for his acute myoletic leukemia. Then McClatchy and other news outlets reported this year that benzene has had a far greater significance in the contamination than scientists had previously realized.
"I asked my doctor, 'Does benzene cause it?' " recalled Schooler, 61, of Jasper, Ind. "He lit up like a Christmas tree. He said, 'That's what causes it.'"
Schooler filed an appeal this spring. He expects to learn this month whether the VA will grant the service connection for benzene exposure.
In Massachusetts , Peter Devereaux also waits, drawing on the patience he learned while he was in the Marines.
"I'm terminal," he said. "Being a man, I only want to take care of my wife and daughter, like I always have."
FOR VETERANS WHO MIGHT BE AFFECTED
Veterans who think they might have been affected by contaminated water at Camp Lejeune can apply for service connection health benefits from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs . You can apply by filling out VA Form 21-526, Veterans Application for Compensation and/or Pension.
The VA recommends that if you have any of the following material, please attach it to your application:
— Discharge or separation papers (DD214 or equivalent)
— Dependency records (marriage & children's birth certificates)
— Medical evidence (doctor & hospital reports)
Veterans who have applied for benefits related to water contamination at Camp Lejeune say they strongly recommend a medical nexus letter from a doctor.
For more information, contact your local VA office or your local veterans service organization, or go online to http://www.vba.va.gov/VBA/
The Marine Corps also has a website about the Lejeune contamination, www.tftptf.com
ON THE WEB
Department of Veterans Affairs fact sheet on Camp Lejeune water contamination
Department of Veterans Affairs benefits website
"The Few, The Proud, The Forgotten: Camp Lejeune Toxic Water "
About Camp Lejeune
MORE FROM MCCLATCHY
Congress pushes military to release data on Camp Lejeune water
Warnings about Lejeune's tainted water unheeded for years
Lejeune water probe: Did Marine Corps hide benzene data?
Judge: Lejeune ex-resident can move ahead with injury claim
Marine base's residents, many ill, only now learning of toxic water
Toxins in Camp Lejeune water 30 years ago still a problem
Follow the latest politics news at McClatchy's Planet Washington
Last edited by charlie8137; 06-20-2010 at 12:19.
Should be able to get answers at this site.
Hate to put this out, but acording to military.com there have been at least 10,000 cases of possible HIV, Hepatitis B & C at Murfreesboro, Tenn., Miami, and Augusta, Ga. over bout the last year. In my books if there are that many at just 3 places, they are many more at sites not even reported yet. I am glad I cancelled a Dental Appt. just last month, as thats the way most cases are spread, dirty dental equipment, and a bunch from colonostemys, and other tests from dirty equipment. No wonder they keep saying we will all be dead by 2015. Sounds like they already know we are going down to me. Well, I may be fooled, but I have no intention of being Dead by then. They can certainly paddle up river if you ask me. A fast river at that. Thats about what I got out of the article. Don't believe me, check it out. Semper Fi, and READY-APP.
I will just add a bit. They may want us to believe only a few of the over all 10-12 plus thousand Vets exposed have, or will come down with the diseases. In time, I believe almost all that were exposed to the dirty equipment, will come down with any one of the desieses, when the bodies immunine system goes down. I know that, and I'm not in the medical field. Semper Fi, and READY-APP.
I know this is an old thread, but it is very important to us who have served at New River. I watched a special on MSNBC regarding the Camp Lejuene water contamination. I think that everyone who has served there needs to register at http://www.marines.mil/clwater or call (877) 261‐9782
Hours: M‐F 8:30am‐5:00pm EST. What they found can effect your health and the health of your childern.
Senate passes Camp Lejeune water-contamination bill
By FRANCO ORDONEZ
WASHINGTON -- After an impasse with a South Carolina senator was broken, the Senate passed a historic bill Wednesday by unanimous consent that would help thousands of sick Marine veterans and their families who were exposed to contaminated water at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Sens. Patty Murray, a Washington state Democrat who's the head of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, and Jim DeMint, a South Carolina Republican, brokered the deal on the Senate floor moments before she was expected to force his hand by publicly calling for a unanimous-consent vote on the measure.
Instead, she announced that they'd reached a "gentlemen's agreement" on modifications DeMint had been seeking in the bill.
"These families have waited for decades to get the assistance that they need and should not be forced to wait any longer," Murray said from the Senate floor.
DeMint said he was always supportive of the "underlying bill," but he'd put a procedural hold on it and charged that there weren't enough safeguards to prevent fraud by those whose illnesses weren't due to contaminated water.
"The modification would make sure the veterans who deserve these benefits get them and they're not taken advantage of by fraud from others who don't deserve it," he said from the floor.
Last month, the House of Representatives and Senate veterans committees agreed on a bill that would provide health care to sick military personnel and their family members provided they'd lived or worked at least 30 days on the base from 1957 to 1987. They also must have a condition listed within the bill that's associated with exposure to these chemicals.
The agreed-on changes add language from existing laws that provides exceptions if a doctor can prove that the person didn't contract the illness from the base's contaminated water. For example, if the person had the illness before being at Camp Lejeune.
The changes ended a standoff between DeMint and Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., who was the lead sponsor of the measure.
"This has been a long time coming, and unfortunately many who were exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune over the years have died as a result and are not with us to receive the care this bill can provide," Burr said in a statement. "While I wish we could have accomplished this years ago, we now have the opportunity to do the right thing for the thousands of Navy and Marine veterans and their families who were harmed during their service to our country."
Congressional aides said the House might take up and pass the bill in the next couple of weeks. It could be on President Barack Obama's desk by the end of the summer.
The measure is expected to help as many as 750,000 veterans and their families who were exposed to drinking water that was poisoned with trichloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene, benzene and vinyl chloride.
"This is a huge first step," said Mike Partain of Tallahassee, Fla., who lived at Camp Lejeune as an infant. "We've been waiting for over 15 years for a resolution to this."
Five years ago, Partain, who's now 44, learned that he had breast cancer. Partain was born at Camp Lejeune, where his father was a Marine officer. Fewer than 2,000 men are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, but Partain said he'd since found 80 male breast cancer patients from across the country with connections to Camp Lejeune.
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