The Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in eastern North Carolina supports Marine Corps commands, a Navy command and a Coast Guard command …. And it hosts the largest concentration of Marines and sailors in the world as the HOME OF EXPEDITIONARY FORCES IN READINESS.
But for 30 years in their own backyard Camp Lejeune military and their family members faced an unseen enemy.
If you served or lived at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987 including in these base housing areas —Tarawa Terrace, Midway Park, Berkeley Manor, Paradise Point, Hadnot Point, Hospital Point, Watkins Village — you were exposed to bath water and drinking water containing more than 70 chemical contaminants including degreasers, dry cleaning solvents and flammable liquids at concentrations 240 to 3,400 times permitted safety standards.
In fact the government shut down the contaminated water supply in the mid-1980s — then the government turned the water back on in violation of the law and once again EXPOSING Marines and their families to the toxic water.
This toxic contamination of groundwater is responsible for these diseases and conditions: bladder cancer , breast cancer, esophageal cancer, female infertility, hepatic steatosis, kidney cancer, leukemia, lung cancer, miscarriage, multiple myeloma, myelodysplastic syndromes, neurobehavioral effects, Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, renal toxicity, and scleroderma.
But there is some assistance available for veterans and their families.
Want to know more? Click on the graphic.
DID YOU KNOW that Congress passed a law providing for medical care benefits and reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses if you were at Camp Lejeune during that time?
DID YOU KNOW the Supreme Court heard ruled in a 7-2 decision on June 9, 2014, that a group of homeowners in North Carolina cannot suit a company that contaminated their drinking water decades earlier because the state deadline of 10 years had passed before they filed suit against the company — nevermind that these homeowners were unaware of the circumstances surrounding the toxic water until after the deadline had passed. . . . The ruling was a clear setback for Camp Lejeune Marines and their families and likely meant that none of the affected individuals would be able to recover damages because the government relied on the same North Carolina law to avoid liability, until ….
DID YOU KNOW that North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law a bill that clarified the intent of the state’s original “statute of repose,” saying it was only intended to cover product liability lawsuits and not the type of damage claim Camp Lejeune Marines and their families would be seeking. This law revives the possibility that victims can sue the company and the government for damages caused by the groundwater contamination.
DID YOU KNOW that the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that time has run out for Camp Lejeune victims and families to file lawsuits seeking damages or other remedies because of North Carolina’s “statute of repose”, a 10-year limit on lawsuits for liability. The appeals court found that the clarification passed unanimously by the state legislature and signed by Gov. Pat McCrory after the Supreme Court ruling could only apply to future claims.
DID YOU KNOW that finally — two years after Congress passed the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act — the VA announced it would begin to cover out-of-pocket costs for dependents of Marines affected by the Camp Lejeune water contamination. The VA will reimburse family members back to March 25, 2013 if they have been diagnosed with one of 15 contaminant-related illnesses. That date was when Congress began providing funding under the new law. Families can find out more information on the Camp Lejeune Family Member program here.
DID YOU KNOW that the VA has extended the deadline for veterans to request status as a Camp Lejeune veteran until September 24, 2016 — and be eligible for retroactive reimbursement of out-of-pocket medical costs back to August 6, 2012, the day the legislation authorized the VA to begin providing benefits to Camp Lejeune veterans.
DID YOU KNOW a Dec. 12, 2014 law changed the VA health benefits eligibility dates for veterans and their families who lived at Camp Lejeune? The new eligibility period is living at Camp Lejeune for 30 days or more between Aug. 1, 1953 and Dec. 31, 1987, revising the previous eligibility start date, which had been Jan. 1, 1957.
And DID YOU KNOW that on August 3, 2015, the VA announced it will begin the review process for amending its regulations to establish presumptions of service connection for disability related to certain conditions caused by exposure to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune?
Be sure you’re receiving the treatment and care you and your family need, or if you know someone who served or lived at Camp Lejeune, make sure they’re aware that disability compensation and health care benefits are available.
Membership in VetsHQ gives you an instant read on ANY AND ALL of the veteran benefits you may qualify for …. including any related to living in or service at Camp Lejeune.