Thursday, July 19, 2012

U.S. Senate passes bill to provide health care for Camp Lejeune water exposure

The U.S. Senate has approved a bill that will require the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide health care to veterans and their family members who have certain diseases and conditions as a result of exposure to well-water contaminated by human carcinogens at Camp Lejeune.
The Caring for Camp Lejeune Veterans Act is included in the Honoring America's Veterans Bill.
North Carolina Republican U.S. Senator Richard Burr wrote the Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act. He says, "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 will provide. "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. I am encouraged that the House will pass this bill quickly and it will go to the President's desk for his signature."
North Carolina Democrat U.S. Senator Kay Hagan said, “This bill will ensure that those who were exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune will receive the health care they need and deserve. I applaud the efforts of Chairman Murray and my colleague from North Carolina, Senator Burr, who has worked tirelessly on this issue. Since I joined the Senate, the issue of water contamination at Camp Lejeune has been close to my heart, and I have been working to help provide answers to veterans and their families who have lived or worked on the Marine Corps Base. The push for answers continues, but in the meantime, veterans and family members are suffering. Many need treatment today and cannot afford to wait while studies are completed. The Marines and their family members affected by this tragedy have sacrificed to keep this country safe. After decades of denial, this country owes it to them to ensure they are taken care of in their time of need.”
An estimated 750,000 people may have been exposed to probable and known human carcinogens in the base's water supply between the 1950s and 1980s. To date, this is the largest recorded environmental incident on a domestic Department of Defense installation. 

---- Jerald Terwilliger National Chairman American Cold War Veterans "We Remember" ---------------- "And so the greatest of American triumphs... became a peculiarly joyless victory. We had won the Cold War, but there would be no parades." -- Robert M. Gates, 1996