Camp Lejeune Marines receive compensation for exposure to toxic water
Posted March 14
Camp Lejeune, N.C. — Tuesday was the day Marines stationed at Camp Lejeune who were sickened by tainted water at the base for decades could file claims with the Department of Veterans Affairs for compensation.
For Patsy Canady, the street address is still vivid.
“We lived at 2824 Bougainville Drive,” she said.
But, thinking back to her military upbringing, Canady also believes it was her family’s time spent at Camp Lejeune during the water contamination that caused the cancers that killed her brother, mother and father.
“My father died with complications from colorectal cancer and he had heart problems. My mother died with pancreatic, brain and spinal cancers,” Canady said.
While the cancers are not currently covered by a Veterans Affairs $2.2 billion payout to those who served at Camp Lejeune for 30 consecutive days between Aug. 1, 1953 and Dec. 31, 1987, the VA said they will compensate for kidney and liver cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, adult leukemia, multiple myeloma, Parkinson’s disease, aplastic anemia and related syndromes, as well as bladder cancer.
Veterans who fit the criteria, including Joseph Ball, can now apply for compensation.
“In 2009, I was diagnosed with bladder cancer,” he said.
Ball served at Camp Lejeune in his early 20s. He says he drank and bathed in the contaminated water and he said compensation is the least that can be done for those impacted.
“I think the veterans who were damaged or were harmed by the water should receive some type of compensation,” Ball said.
While the cancers in Canady’s family have not yet been linked to the contaminated water, she’s encouraging others to apply.
“If you have the opportunity to take that compensation, go and get it,” she said.
Several family members of veterans and civilians said they hope the compensation will grow to include more diseases that they believe are linked as well as civilian employees who may have been exposed to the toxic water.