Protecting our veterans' children
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Camp Lejeune: Marine Corps Base Health Survey Flawed

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Camp Lejeune: Marine Corps Base Health Survey Flawed

It doesn’t take a doctoral degree in science to know that a survey of two Superfund sites thousands of miles from each other may show higher incidence of cancer and other diseases than found in the general population.

Yet, that is exactly what the Agency for Toxic Substances Disease Registry, aka ATSDR, plans in a health survey of a group from Camp Lejeune and a comparison group from Camp Pendleton.

The health survey is apparently intended to answer the basic question whether rates of cancer, birth defects, and other health problems are higher among Lejeune residents than they should be. Put another way – are they high enough to justify giving them medical benefits and disability when they are too sick to work as a result of exposure to toxic chemicals.

WHO’S FUNDING THE HEALTH SURVEY? THE USUAL PRACTICE IS THAT ATSDR OBTAINS APPROVAL FROM THE NAVY FOR ITS ANNUAL WORK PLAN WITH THE FUNDING COMING DIRECTLY FROM THE NAVY. IT’S NOT INCONCEIVABLE THAT THE NAVY IS FUNDING THE LEJEUNE/PENDLETON HEALTH SURVEY AND COULD HAVE PRESSURED ATSDR TO INCLUDE PENDLETON AS THE COMPARISON GROUP. IN ANY CASE, THE INCLUSION OF SUPERFUND PENDLETON IS QUESTIONABLE AT BEST.

Using national rates would prove that being at Lejeune was hazardous. That would cost the feds hundreds of millions in medical benefits and disability coverage.

The alternative – call in ATSDR – the agency famous for finding nothing is wrong. Just ask Congress.

If you’re getting the sense that ATSDR should look at the available national statistics and drop the idea of comparing a Camp Lejeune group to a comparable one at Camp Pendleton, you’re got the idea.

One national known toxicologist, who asked not to be identified, told me that the study can only find out if the people who spent time at Lejeune have worse health problems in some specific areas of health than people who were at other contaminated bases. Sounds to me like it’s designed to say, “Hey, you’re no worse off than others in the service, so stop complaining.”

I hope the public will find this unacceptable – that they will stand up and fight for veterans and their families. The tables are turned now and they need our help. It’s the right thing to do. We will get a government no better than the one we demand.

The good news is that while ATSDR is processing their health survey, two bills (one in the House and the other in the Senate) are working their way through the legislative process. S. 277: Caring for Camp Lejeune Veterans Act of 2011, is sponsored by Senator Richard Burr (R, NC) while HR 1742, The Janey Ensminger Act, is sponsored by Representative Brad Miller (D, NC). Both bills would provide medical care through the VA for veterans and their dependents (but not civilian employees).

 

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Legacy of Our Veterans' Military Exposures
  1. Amelia Reply

    Anyone remember a David Maxwell Cox? He’s my dad. He committed suicide 18 years ago yesterday. He was based in Camp Lejeune in the early 80’s. We’ve all tried to move on from his death but it creeps up on us now and then because we don’t really know the true story behind his death and mental illness beforehand. All I know is he was exposed to some toxic gasses while training for Operation Eagle Claw. Any info would be appreciated.

  2. wade porche Reply

    i have the same problems as porter only i have a sever hypertension problem doctors can not figure out only way they can control it is to keep me on xanax all he time been through so many test it is unreal my x wife who was there with me has the same thing what the hell is going on all ihear is talk from the marines and get a letter saying they will help. it got so bad can not even pass aphysical any more and all started a year after i left

  3. Naveen Reply

    Nice post…………. Keep it comig

  4. Commission Black OPS Bonus Reply

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  6. Gregory Porter Reply

    I too have had various problem from Diabetes high blood pressure having problem hearing and seeing as well need too know who too talk about this problem was at lejune from 1980 to1983 ps reply Gregory Porter CPL.

  7. william theodore hargrove jr Reply

    I am 100% service connected disabled former Recon Marine that was stationed at Onslow Beach at Camp Lejuene, my 3 offspring have developmental problems and i do beleive my bi-polar problem was being exposed to contaminated drinking water that i also took showers in and swam in a camp lejuene, i have had some nuero- problems since leaveing the Corps in 1985

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