Local Politics

Bill would provide care for people affected by Lejeune water

Posted February 3, 2011
Updated February 4, 2011

Lejeune water, contaminated water, tainted water

— U.S. Sens. Richard Burr and Kay Hagan introduced legislation Thursday to provide care for veterans and their family members who have experienced health problems because of contaminated well water at Camp Lejeune.

Government officials have said an estimated 750,000 people may have been exposed to cancer-causing substances in the Marine base’s water supply between the 1950s and 1980s.

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry is conducting scientific studies to understand the extent of exposure on Camp Lejeune and is planning human health surveys to determine the frequency of certain illnesses among former base residents.

Similar legislation was introduced in the last Congress but was never approved.

“We now have another shot at doing the right thing for the thousands of Navy and Marine veterans and their families who were harmed during their service to our country,” Burr said in a statement. “While we continue to seek more answers, we can minimize further suffering by allowing Lejeune veterans and their families to receive the care they need and deserve.”

Hagan sent a letter to Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki asking that health claims related to the Lejeune water be simplified and expedited.

"“It is critical that the VA process claims for our veterans more effectively, efficiently and consistently," Hagan said in a statement. "Our servicemen and women and their families have sacrificed so much for our country, and we owe it to them to ease their burden in dealing with VA claims.”

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  • mdbl024 Feb 8, 1:28 p.m.

    I am the daughter of a Vietnam Era retired Marine and my family is among the thousands of others who were exposed to the toxic drinking water of Lejeune.My mother was diagnosed with brain cancer in October of 1995 and she was dead by August of 1996.She was consumed by the cancer and had no chance to fight for her life.There are still so many brave and innocent Veterans,Dependents,and Civilian Employees who have no idea that they are at risk to life and health,so perhaps this Bill will get enough interest by the press to help them learn about their exposure.The cloud of smoke that the Marine Corps and DoD have hung over this tragedy to try and hide it has only compounded the loss of life and loss of good health to thousands of people who have done nothing but volunteer to protect the freedoms and way of life the America enjoys.If these Brave and Innocent souls don't deserve their Countries help,then who does? Semper Fi!Mary Blakley

  • Luv2Kayak Feb 4, 11:26 a.m.

    I wholeheartedly agree that the victims should be compensated. However, rather than having the general public pay, shouldn't the compensation come from that portion of the Defense budget that was allocated to the Marines? And do not increase their allocation, spend some of the money that would have gone for bombs and bullets on these poor victims. If the military can poison their own without consequences, why should they ever stop doing that?

  • shadomy Feb 4, 8:34 a.m.

    Probably why my father got bladder cancer, he was stationed there in the early 50's.

  • RB-1 Feb 3, 7:01 p.m.

    It's a shame it ever got this far.

    Shame on the government for knowingly doing this for over 30 years.

    Praying for those who were exposed, and for their children and children's children.

  • mrlee34 Feb 3, 5:25 p.m.

    I cant believe the government is actually confessing to poisoning its own troops.