U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina

The Veteran’s Administration has had the Marine Corps’ dirty deed dumped on them.  Congress passed ‘‘Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012’’ aka ‘‘Janey Ensminger Act.”  As the VA site puts it:

From the 1950s through the 1980s, people living or working at the U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, were potentially exposed to drinking water contaminated with industrial solvents, benzene, and other chemicals.
New health benefits

Under a law signed Aug. 6, 2012 (215 KB, PDF), Veterans and family members who served on active duty or resided at Camp Lejeune for 30 days or more between Jan. 1, 1957 and Dec. 31, 1987 may be eligible for medical care through VA for 15 health conditions:Esophageal cancer
Breast cancer
Kidney cancer
Multiple myeloma
Renal toxicity
Female infertility
Scleroderma
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma Lung cancer
Bladder cancer
Leukemia
Myelodysplastic syndromes
Hepatic steatosis
Miscarriage
Neurobehavioral effects

Veterans already enrolled in VA health care, contact your local VA health care facility to receive care under the new law. Those not already enrolled should call 1-877-222-8387 for assistance.

Family members will receive care after Congress appropriates funds and VA publishes regulations.
Compensation benefits

The new law applies to health care, not disability compensation. At this time, there is insufficient scientific and clinical evidence to establish a presumptive association between service at Camp Lejeune during the period of water contamination and the development of certain diseases.

VA is closely monitoring new research. VA representatives regularly attend the quarterly Community Action Panel meetings hosted by The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).

Veterans may file a claim for disability compensation for health problems they believe are related to exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. VA decides these claims on a case-by-case basis. File a claim online.
Marine Corps notifications

If you lived or worked at Camp Lejeune prior to 1987, you may register to receive notifications from the Marine Corps regarding Camp Lejeune Historic Drinking Water.

Related Links
http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/camp-lejeune/research.asp

https://clnr.hqi.usmc.mil/clwater/index.html

http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/sites/lejeune/

What brought us to this?  The Military has been sloppy over the years.  Sloppy with their munitions dumps.  Sloppy with their chemicals.  Sloppy with their fuels.  Sloppy with the actual public records of who worked where on what.  It almost looks like a culture based on total disregard for the environment, the people in their employ, and future generations mixed with the idea of “culpable deniability.”  If you can’t prove we did it, we are not responsible for it — is their attitude.

Well, at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina over a million people were exposed to:

Industrial chemical exposure

Drinking-water systems that supplied two areas of housing at Camp Lejeune were contaminated with industrial chemicals from at least 1957 to 1985. The contaminated wells were shut down in February 1985. The chemicals primarily were:
Perchloroethylene (PCE) (145 KB, PDF), a dry cleaning solvent
Trichloroethylene (TCE) (76 KB, PDF), a metal greasing solvent
Benzene (55 KB, PDF), a fuel component
Vinyl chloride (59 KB, PDF), which can form when TCE and PCE are broken down

The contamination was so bad and had gone on for so long with so few reliable records kept that the government’s own study concluded:

 After reviewing the study plans and feasibility assessments, the committee concluded that most questions about whether exposures at Camp Lejeune resulted in adverse health effects cannot be answered definitively with further scientific study. There are two main reasons for this. First, it is not possible to reliably estimate the historical exposures experienced by people at the base. Second, it will be difficult to detect any increases in the rate of diseases or disorders in the study population.

further down

Given the multiple uncertainties and likely variation in contaminant concentrations, the committee concluded that the Tarawa Terrace modeling predictions should only be used to provide a general estimate of the timeframe and magnitude of exposure.
It cannot be determined reliably whether diseases and disorders experienced by former residents and workers at Camp Lejuene are associated with their exposure to contaminants in the water supply because of data shortcomings and methodological limitations, and these limitations cannot be overcome with additional study.

And added:

The contamination of the Hadnot Point system was more complex than Tarawa Terrace. There were multiple sources of pollutants, including an industrial area, a drum dump, a transformer storage lot, an industrial fly ash dump, an open storage pit, a former fire training area, a site of a former on-base dry cleaner, a liquids disposal area, a former burn dump, a fuel-tank sludge area, and the site of the original base dump.

 

08/06/2012 Lejeune Families becomes law!

So what has the VA done since Pres. Obama signed the Act on 6 Aug 2012?

According to a Congressional source, only 16% of Camp Lejeune’s claims for medical conditions linked to the contaminated water were approved by the VA’s Louisville office as of September 2012. The Louisville office approved 517 medical conditions out of 3,233.”

 

As on commentator put it

The Marine Corps (the polluter) passes the problem to the VA and gets away with it. The base wells were contaminated by the government (Marine Corps) for 30 years; the VA didn’t want to provide health care and was forced to cover 15 medical conditions by PL 112-154 (August 6, 2012); the VA consolidated the compensation claims from Lejeune veterans in Louisville to reduce the backlog of claims; and the VA, often hostile to veterans, is reducing its compensation claim by issuing denials. Why would the Lejeune veterans be treated differently?

 

We have been through this before.  Mustard gas.  Atomic experiments.  Nerve gas.  Cold War experiments.  MK Ultra in all it’s incarnations.  Agent Orange.  Depleted Uranium munitions casings.  When are we going to hold the US Military accountable?  Accountable for the sloppiness with poisons.  Accountable for the way they waste our young people’s lives.  Accountable for the messes they leave all over the world.

Those fine, brave young people who served their nation proudly in the Marine Corps, and their families, deserve a hell of a lot better than this.  And the civilian workers there and their families are still invisible.

 

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18 thoughts on “U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina

  1. I also have esophageal cancer and was denied on my first letter for compensation. the VBA wanted a NEXUS letter and not one from a private doctor. I pointed out to them on my NOD that my letter was from one of their chief oncologists from the Albuquerque VA MEDICAL CENTER. they failed to see the letter was from the VA doctor. So then they replied to my NOD saying I should have contacted the cancer earlier yet there is no evidence that my hors of research and questioning doctors when it would hit me. All responses were that the cancer will appear if it does when it wants to. There is no time line. So I sent another disagreement letter stating that fact and yet they never said anything about my nexus letter because they didn’t read the letter hear from a VA hospital and I never saw a private doctor for my cancer. My esophagus was remove and that was 2 years ago yet still no response. I have made numerous calls and my benefits shows I haven’t responded but hen I call they say it’s waiting for review. I can’t eat right , can’t sleep on my stomach or side unless I want to wake up with acid in my moth and throat.
    My heart attack was covered under agent orange presumptively 2 years after my stents were put in. I also have PTSD and that causes so much paranoia I just can’t take it anymore.
    Maybe suicide is the answer Tom Kubishin

    • I never recommend suicide. All it does is let the bastards off the hook and punish those who love you.

      I have seen people get results through Congressmen and Senators. Past and present POTUS have been more iffy. I wish you the best.

  2. My husband was at camp Lejeune and now has lots of health problems that I think is connected to the contamination but he got a undesirable discharge is he still eligible for help? Mrs Estes…

    • I don’t know eligibility requirements. It would be worth looking into. Perhaps stopping by a local JAG office would be a good place to start? Or your local county VA representative? I doesn’t hurt to look into basic eligibility.

  3. This is the most ridiculous shit I have ever heard. You’re slow and unwilling to help the families and unborn children who were affected by this disease because there isn’t enough research but it has been fifty damn years and then some! It isn’t our faults it took you this long to own up! We deserve compensation. Every day I slave away making crap for money because of the setbacks caused by my disease. You owe us a valid explanation to why we should be asked to wait. People have started revolutions for less.

  4. Penny Bradley’s comments were spot on!

    your physicians must use the words that the condition that you have been diagnosed with has as likely as not, been generated by exposure to chemicals revealed recently by Camp LeJeune North Carolina.

    I was asked for letters of reference from acquaintances, which delayed the process, I was asked for medical records, Doctors names and addresses, release of information signatures etc…
    Avoid all of this waste of time and contact your current physician and display to them a list of web sites in reference to the chemicals exposed to people living on or near the base. Walk them through the appointment that you payed for, telling them that doctors rarely have the tools to detect this toxicity according to certain Federal authorities web sites (which you can easily locate). The CDC relates there is no known cure for Benzene poisoning, so why do we need letters from our doctors worded with specific language? Myself,… I am tired of the run around. I tried for a long time to get a tort lawyer but all I got then was the feeling of being a proverbial pin ball in the lawyers paddle you back and forth game of life. The VA is our patriotic target group, they deserve the support of the Marine Corps but that is their fight. I’ve approached the proper organization, now they need to do their part with reason ability and just consideration. If the VA needs to take legal action against the Marine Corps…. They both have enough lawyers on staff to work out their own kinks.
    You are your own best advocate, get a copy of every page of your own medical history as soon as possible and at every appointment from now on get a copy of that visit. Attempt to get your letters from every physician you have been to since your stay at CLNC and from this date forward to support the claim process. Send all four letters when collected together as support for your claim. Assess on your own the doctors to which you would be needing to be referred to and structure your words in your statements to your present doctor to reflect upon your past documentation which supports your present needs of a specific type of physicians help. This new physician will need to write you a letter in support worded correctly as well.

    • I had the nexus letter done with the exact wording the VA requires for esophageal cancer the response was “your private doctor does not have the expertise our doctors have” WAIT HOLD YOUR PANTS ON THE NEXUS LETTER I GAVE THEM WAS WRITTEN BY THEIR OWN ONCOLOGIST AT THE ALBUQUERQUE VA MEDICAL CENTER. My case was denied and I sent a NOD and pointed out that the letter they had was on VA letter head, the doctor was an oncologist hired by the VA and the letter is part of my permanent record if you look it up on My Healthy Vet Blue Button. So if you’re banking on a letter from a doctor it doesn’t matter because they have a 84% denial rate and are pleased that they can deny anyone no matter who gives the recommendation.
      Semper Fi Tom Kubishin kubishin@hotmail.com

      • My ex was a Vietnam era Coast Guard veteran who had done 2 tours in Nam. He had a knee injury. Watching how he was treated and mistreated during our 10 year marriage has made me very jaundiced about the VA system. They seem more than willing to addict you to as many pills as possible, while doing nothing to actually treat the issues.

    • I SERVE AT CAMP LEJEUNE FOR 2.5 YRS AND NOW GOT SLEEP APNEA AND BREATHING AT NITE WITH MACHINE , I KNOW GOT CONNECTING WITH IT AND AIN’T THAT BEFORE THAT. A MAJOR
      OPERATION ON SINUS EFFECTION YRS LATER . WHILE SERVICING
      IN OKINAWA, SLEEP DISORDER AT NIGHT AWAKING THREE OR FOUR AT NITE FOR YRS . TIL FEW MONTH I FOUND MY PROBLEM
      SLEEP APNEA . THANK GOD THAT GOT HELP THUR VA HEALTH
      CARE FOR VET.

      • @ gratis sex contact

        I found myself getting so angry over the things I researched that I had to step away for a while. I’m considering starting back up.

      • @ CHARLES EDWARD SANDERS JR

        The VA is only as good as the doctor team you have been assigned to. Some are quite good–and I’m grateful for that. Our servicemen and women deserve good care.

        The majority of VA care in this country is overbooked, understaffed, inexperienced, and push pills instead of treatment–when they do cover the veteran. After I wrote this article is when the scandals of people dying waiting to be seen came out. The system also loses records in numbers that show gross incompetence.

        In my humble opinion, the system needs overhauling and competence restored. Enough money to actually do their mission. And the support of the Armed Forces whose veterans they serve.

  5. I was stationed at Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base twice from 1976 to 1981, I have several medical conditions that has caused my life to be a unbearable hell for over twenty plus years. I take several medications that are outrages in cost.

    • First off: Thank you for your service.

      One of the pages I linked to has advice for people like yourself on how to apply for VA benefits under this Act. I will hunt for it now.

      • http://www.veteranstoday.com/2012/10/08/louisville-denies-most-lejeune-claims/

        This one seems to give the best advice for Marines to get help through the VA. Down the page, under the heading
        SUCCESS WITH REDUCING THE BACKLOG

        “Camp Lejeune veterans need to know that disability compensation claims filed without medical nexus opinion linking current medical conditions to the contaminated water and without supporting medical documentation are going to be denied. .

        No Lejeune veteran should file a VA disability claim without help from an experienced Veteran Service Office (VSO).

        For about $12, veterans can purchase a paperback copy of John Roche’s The Veteran’s Survival Guide. Roche, former Marine and retired U.S. Air Force Major, worked for the VA as a claims specialist in Florida. His advice is excellent; the man knows what he is talking about.”

        And
        “Unlike Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange, there is no presumptive compensation disability for Camp Lejeune veterans. Veterans’ compensation claims must still be supported by medical documentation and a medical nexus opinion that states the veteran’s medical condition(s) is “at least as likely as not” due to military service.”

        The VA is pissed that they have to cover this. They are going to make it hard. Don’t let them wiggle out of it. I wish you the very best success with this.

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