Lawmakers Appeal on Camp LeJeune’s Drinking Water

Photo courtesy: The Few, The Proud, The Forgotten website.

Displeased with the VA’s response to requests for free health care for veterans exposed to Camp Lejeune’s contaminated drinking water between 1957 and 1987, lawmakers are appealing directly to President Obama reports The Army Times:

In February, Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., the House Veterans Affairs Committee chairman, proposed VA could at least provide health care for Camp Lejeune veterans by creating a special health care category that covered them. The cost of care could be paid, Miller suggested, by $5 billion in excess health care funds the VA discovered when preparing the 2013 budget.

Miller’s proposal, which would have applied only to veterans and not to family members who might have lived or visited Lejeune, was rejected by VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, who said in an April 9 response to Miller that it was premature to provide health care to everyone who served at Lejeune from 1957 until 1987.

Miller and other leading members of congress sent a letter to the president asking him to order the VA to provide free health care to veterans exposed to the contaminated water during the 30-year period.

“These are wounds that cannot wait,” Miller said in a press release Thursday, April 19, 2012.

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2 Responses

  1. I have no family history of cancer at all, but I was recently diagnosed with Bladder Cancer and wonder if the water may be a contributing factor.
    I lived in Jackonville from the age of 6 months (end of 1975) till about 2 (mid 1977) while my father was in the Marines stationed at Camp Lejeune. I know that this falls in the date of the known water contamination. However we didn’t live on base. We lived just outside the front gate on Piney Green Rd.
    Then I was also station there myself for a month in early 1994 and then again from July 1995 till Oct 1997. I know this falls outside of the 57-87 datesbut has it ever been confirmed that all issues were rectified by the time I was stationed there myself?

    Since We didn’t live “on base” when I was a kid and wasn’t stationed there myself till after the dates listed in VA fact sheet could this be a contributor to my cancer?

    • Dear Cpl. Stolark,

      I hope this finds you and your doctors in a successful fight against your bladder cancer. A close family member of mine is a 5 time bladder cancer survivor. It is an achievable goal.

      Secondly, I plan to follow up on this. I don’t have an answer right now, but your query seems reasonable. I don’t know how extensive the testing was – if at all – just outside the gates.

      Give me a couple of weeks … then check back. Until then, my best wishes are with you.
      Bobbie O’Brien
      bobrien@wusf.org

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