Open Letter to The Whitehouse

Presumptive service connection for Camp Lejuene Contaminated water

Greetings,

I am writing in regards to the 8 conditions are on the VA Presumptive List for compensation. The VA stated yesterday that they are not using the Subject Matter Experts (“SMEs”) for these 8 conditions. However, in my case they have, and I am still waiting for a decision as are many of the Marines that have had theirs lives destroyed because of the exposure the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. They continue to delay and deny claims while leaving us no recourse and allowing us to continue to suffer with no end in site. To have to wait years and decades for any relief is cruel to those of us that put our lives on the line to ensure our country’s freedom. With regards to the Subject Matter Experts (“SMEs”), why is it that we are being held to a higher level of scrutiny than anyone else.

The problem is not just with the Veterans Administration, but Congress and the Senate which have done little to address this issue other than to pass the buck. The fact is that we are victims of a one of the biggest crimes that has ever been perpetrated on a group of citizens in the United States The fact that this was covered up for so many years makes this a criminal enterprise and none of the perpetrators are being held accountable. This includes the United States Navy, The United States Marine Corps, The Department of Defense The EPA, The State of North Carolina and so on. They all had a duty to protect us. Since ABC laundry is also responsible, they and the company that provides the insurance need to be paying their part in damages.

The worst part of all of this is that it is not only the Marines that have been victims of this. It is also the family’s and the citizens that live in the surrounding area.

Exposure to Contaminated Drinking Water at Camp Lejeune

In the early 1980s contaminants were found in several wells that provided water at Camp Lejeune, N.C., The contaminants included the volatile organic compounds trichloroethylene (TCE), a metal degreaser, and perchloroethylene (PCE), a dry cleaning agent, and vinyl chloride, as well as benzene, and other compounds. It is estimated that the contaminants were in the water supply from the mid-1950’s until February 1985 when the wells were shut down.

There is evidence of an association between certain diseases and the contaminants found in the water supply at Camp Lejeune during the period of contamination.

From August of 1953 through December of 1987, persons residing or working at the U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, were potentially exposed to drinking water contaminated with volatile organic compounds, to include:

  • benzene,
  • vinyl chloride,
  • Tetrachloroethylene (PCE) and
  • Trichloroethylene (TCE)

Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012

Veterans’ health care
In accordance with the 2012 Camp Lejeune health care law, VA provides cost-free health care for certain conditions to Veterans who served at least 30 days of active duty at Camp Lejeune from January 1, 1957 and December 31, 1987.

Qualifying health conditions include:
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Renal toxicity
  • Female infertility
  • Scleroderma
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Lung cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Hepatic steatosis
  • Miscarriage
  • Neurobehavioral effects

Veterans eligible for health care under the 2012 Camp Lejeune health care law may enroll in VA health care and receive medical services for the 15 covered health conditions at no cost (including copayments).

Disability compensation

VA has established a presumptive service connection for Veterans, Reservists, and National Guard members exposed to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune from August 1, 1953 through December 31, 1987 who later developed one of the following eight diseases:

 

  • Adult leukemia
  • Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Bladder cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Parkinson’s disease

Presently, these conditions are the only ones for which there is sufficient scientific and medical evidence to support the creation of presumptions; however, VA will continue to review relevant information as it becomes available.

Playing the Hand Your Dealt

My Father  gave me advise on how to deal with adversity as I have been going through some medical issues. What He told me was to keep a Positive Mental Attitude. (PMA)  While this can be a hard thing to do when all you are getting is bad news and each visit is worse than the last, it is imperative for your own survival. I have come to the conclusion that having the right attitude is even more important than prayer in that it puts the burden and responsibility on one’s self. In short, it is called faith. However, I am not here to teach about faith and the love of God. What I am talking about is the type of attitude that will help us transcend the negative aspects of living and dying in this life.

We all have to play the hand we are dealt and it is not a matter of life being fair of not. It is all about how we play the game.

Marine Corps General Orders

The eleven General Orders for sentries never change.  They constitute the unyielding bedrock upon which Marines enforce military security in the United States and throughout the world. General Orders dictate the conduct of all Marines on guard duty.  These orders apply to all Marines at all bases and outposts in time of peace, and in time of war.

Marine recruits in boot camp must memorize these General Orders. Woe be unto the unfortunate recruit who can not shout out, verbatim and without hesitation, all eleven of them. Such a recruit will incur a firestorm of wrath from his Drill Instructor. There is sound logic for this rigid training. The eleven General Orders will guide each Marine throughout his years in the Corps:

  1. To take charge of this post and all government property in view.
  2. To walk my post in a military manner, keeping always on the alert, and observing everything that takes place within sight or hearing.
  3. To report all violations of orders I am instructed to enforce.
  4. To repeat all calls from posts more distant from the guardhouse than my own.
  5. To quit my post only when properly relieved.
  6. To receive, obey, and pass on to the sentry who relieves me, all orders from the Commanding Officer, Officer Of the Day, and officers, and non-commissioned officers of the guard only.
  7. To talk to no one except in the line of duty.
  8. To give the alarm in case of fire or disorder.
  9. To call the corporal of the guard in any case not covered by instructions.
  10. To salute all officers, and all colors and standards not cased.
  11. To be especially watchful at night and, during the time for challenging, to challenge all persons on or near my post, and to allow no one to pass without proper authority.

U.S.M.C. Rifleman’s Creed

 In boot camp at Parris Island or San Diego, and in the Basic School at Quantico, no one escapes from the Rifleman’s Creed.   Every Marine is trained, first and foremost, as a rifleman, for it is the rifleman who must close with and destroy the enemy.  The rifleman remains the most basic tenet of Marine Corps doctrine. All else revolves around him. Marine Aviation, Marine Armor, Marine Artillery, and all supporting arms and war-fighting assets exist to support the rifleman.  It is believed that MGen. William H. Rupertus, USMC, authored the creed shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.  It is commonly known as the Rifleman’s Creed, but it has also been called “My Rifle: The Creed of a United States Marine.”   Every Marine must memorize this creed.   And, every Marine must live by the creed.

This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine.My rifle is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life.

Without me, my rifle is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless. I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter than my enemy who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will…

My rifle and I know that what counts in war is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our burst, nor the smoke we make. We know that it is the hits that count. We will hit…

My rifle is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strength, its parts, its accessories, its sights and its barrel. I will keep my rifle clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each other. We will…

Before God, I swear this creed. My rifle and I are the defenders of my country. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviors of my life.

So be it, until victory is America’s and there is no enemy, but peace!