On Friday, Congressman Mike Thompson (D-St. Helena) demanded that service members who were subjected to the Department of Defense’s (DOD) chemical weapon testing be able to receive full medical care and disability compensation for their service-connected medical conditions.
Thompson provided testimony along with former senior Navy officer and Humboldt County resident Jack Alderson at a field hearing in Sacramento of the Institute of Medicine Study Committee, which is charged with investigating the potential health impacts of the chemical weapons.
Many veterans who were subjected to chemical tests as part of Project 112/SHAD have developed serious medical issues but do not currently receive priority care from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) or disability benefits because the VA does not officially recognize any long-term health consequences from exposure to the chemical agents from these specific tests.
“Our country must ensure that any service member who has become sick or developed a disability because of these tests is provided with the treatment they deserve and benefits they’ve earned,” said Thompson. “We cannot wait any longer. Many brave men who served our country are now sick or have passed away because of Project 112’s chemical and biological testing. It is our duty to right this wrong and get our service members the care they need.”
For more information about Project SHAD and Alderson's story, see this Lake County News story from May 2008: http://bit.ly/A55Q89.
For more information on the IOM study click here: http://iom.edu/Activities/Veterans/SHADII.aspx.