Jun 30, 2011

TOM PHILPOTT | Commissary savings at risk to help ill Lejeune vets

In these tight budget times, the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee has learned it must cut current spending to fund new initiatives for veterans.

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Jun 29, 2011

Senate committee approves legislation on Lejeune water contamination

Legislation to get health care for hundreds of thousands of Camp Lejeune veterans and their families in the wake of significant water contamination took a significant leap forward this morning as a key Senate committee gave its approval to the bill.
The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee has just approved legislation on a voice vote. The bill now goes to the full Senate.

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Survey of 300,000 Seeks Extent of Disease From Camp Lejeune's Tainted Water

About 300,000 people who lived and worked in North Carolina’s Camp Lejeune are being asked to fill out a detailed survey to determine what diseases may be linked to the base’s contaminated water supply. As many as 1 million people may have been exposed to toxins in well water that sometimes registered 40 times higher than safety standards, The Washington Post reported.

camp lejeune, tainted water, wellThe Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry also is surveying more than 50,000 people who lived and worked at Camp Pendleton in California before 1986 for comparison purposes. Officials hope the surveys will provide answers to long-standing questions about the health effects of exposure to such chemicals as benzene, a known carcinogen, and tricholorethylene and tetracholorethylene, possible carcinogens, the Post reported.

Read more on Survey of 300,000 Seeks Extent of Disease From Camp Lejeune's Tainted Water

Brockovich wades into Lejeune water issue

Well-known environmental advocate Erin Brockovich is wading into the Camp Lejeune contaminated water issue.
Brockovich — who became a household name 11 years ago when Julia Roberts portrayed her in a film about the fight against a California company that polluted a city’s water supply — has joined 22 national and state organizations in support of a bill that would make it easier for veterans and their families affected by contaminated water aboard base to receive medical assistance.

Jun 23, 2011

National, State Groups Back Health Care for Camp Lejeune Vets, Families

Washington, D.C. – Veterans and their families made ill by contaminated well water at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina should not have to fight to get for medical care and services.
Environmental Working Group sent a letter signed by environmental advocate Erin Brockovich and 22 national and state organizations representing more than 16 million people to the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs in support of the "Caring for Camp Lejeune Veterans Act of 2011," introduced by Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Kay Hagan (D-N.C.).
Click here to see the letter.

Capitol Hill to see water contamination documentary | documentary, hill, local - Jacksonville Daily News

Jun 22, 2011

Camp Lejeune veterans take fight to big screen

Thirty minutes into a new documentary film about one of the worst environmental disasters in U.S. history, a male breast cancer survivor describes the faith that exists among veterans of Camp Lejeune that justice will be done.
"We're in every town across America," Mike Partain says in the film. "We're in every town, in every city and every state. And every one of us has a congressman and a senator."
"Semper Fi: Always Faithful" illustrates the overwhelming odds in fighting the Defense Department, Congress and powerful special interests over the historic water contamination at the North Carolina Marine base. The two men at the film's center, Partain and veteran Marine drill instructor Jerry Ensminger, remain skeptical of the powerful operators inside the Beltway.
But not so cynical that they don't see some hope.

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NC congressman: Survey of Lejeune water will help

Rep. Brad Miller says it's "wildly unfair" to require victims to prove they wouldn't have gotten sick otherwise, so the survey will help.

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Erin Brockovich offers legal and life advice at NCAJ convention

And she offers words of encouragement for when times get tough.
"There is no obstacle that you cannot surmount," Brockovich said. "There is no challenge that you cannot meet and there is no fear that you cannot conquer not matter how it impossible it may seem."
She said she's even been contacted by thousands of people about the investigation into contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.
"The idea that they have served one or two or three tours of duty in a war and made it home safely to be poisoned on their own soil is something that I don't think any of us can tolerate," said Brockovich.
NCAJ members said Brockovich is a great source of inspiration for them which coincides with the purpose of this convention.

Federal agency begins survey about Lejeune water

A federal agency [ASTDR]  is beginning a survey of diseases that may be related to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, where officials believe as many as 1 million people might have been exposed to toxins.

ATSDR Launches Health Survey of Marine Corps Personnel and Civilians

The Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR) begins this week a health survey regarding diseases that may be associated with chemical exposures related to water at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.
The survey is to go to more than 300,000 people who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune or Camp Pendleton in California before 1986. Camp Pendleton was chosen for comparison purposes.

The survey will ask people about where they lived and worked at the bases and about their health history. Everyone who receives the survey will have detailed instructions on how to fill it out.

Jun 15, 2011

CDC to survey Marines, civilians about possible exposure to contaminants

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention plans to survey more than 300,000 Marines and civilians who lived or worked at two military bases to collect information about their possible exposure to contaminants.

Jun 12, 2011

Exclusive Interview: Senator Burr talks Camp Lejeune toxics

Exclusive Interview: Senator Burr talks Camp Lejeune toxics: "WASHINGTON, N.C. - On Wednesday, lawmakers heard testimony on a bill to compensate families who got sick from contaminated tap water at Camp Lejeune. Leading that charge to pass the bill is North Carolina Republican Senator Richard Burr. And it’s a fight he takes personally."

Lejeune water contamination hot topic at hearing

Congress to view 'Semper Fi: Always Faithful'

Note From Mike Partain @

Next week the Camp Lejeune documentary, Semper Fi: Always Faithful, will show at the Silverdocs film festival near Washington D.C. On Thursday night there will be a special screening of the film on Capitol Hill for members of Congress and their staff.
This screening is especially important because on Monday 29 June, S-277 will be one of the bills up for a vote in the Senate Veteran Affairs Committee (SVAC). We urge all of our members to contact their U.S. Senators and request they and their staff attend the viewing of the documentary on Tuesday 23 June at 7PM. We also encourage you to contact your U.S. Representative and request they attend the viewing as well. Please see the link below for a copy of the information flyer.
Last year S-1518 was killed in committee. Now a year later, Senator Burr has kept his promise. Once again the Caring for Camp Lejeune Veterans Act is poised for another vote in the SVAC. If S-277 successfully clears the SVAC, it can proceed to the Senate for a full vote. It is time for all of us to act by showing our support. This bill will be a crucial first step in resolving our issue and will not succeed without everyone's support.
Mike Partain

Jun 9, 2011

Burr talks toxic water following U.S. Senate committee hearing

At a hearing on Capitol Hill Wednesday, senators made clear they are committed to fighting for the rights of those that say they were sickened by contaminated tap water at Camp Lejeune.

Warning: New 'unfunded' bennies can hurt veterans

Richard Burr (NC), advocated for his bill (S. 277) to extend eligibility for VA hospital care, medical services and nursing home care to as many as 600000 veterans and family members stationed at Camp Lejeune during years well water there was contaminated.
Retired Marine Master Sergeant Jerry Ensminger testified that his daughter, Janey, born while the family was assigned to Camp Lejeune, died of acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 1985 when nine years old. He blames chemicals found later in the tap water there, including two known carcinogens, benzene and vinyl chloride. He said the Marine Corps and Navy Department knew about the contamination for several years but failed to act.
He referred other potential victims to a website,, for more details. Ensminger said more than 170,000 members of the Camp Lejeune community have registered with the Marine Corps as having been exposed to the water at Lejeune sometime during the 30 year period.

Hagan, Burr Work to Advance Bill Providing Health Care to Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Victims

U.S. Senator Kay R. Hagan today commented after the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee considered the Caring for Camp Lejeune Veterans Act (S. 277) that she co-sponsored with Senator Richard Burr. The bill would open access to VA health care for veterans and their family members who developed health problems after exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.


Jun 8, 2011

Bill to help Camp Lejeune water victims faces uphill fight

Legislation that could offer health care to hundreds of thousands of victims of water contamination at Camp Lejeune, N.C., continues to have trouble gaining traction on a debt-wary Capitol Hill.

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They are waiting for us to die... yea we know we have a HUGE debt... however seems we have plenty of cash to build things and give it away to other countries...

Camp Lejeune toxic water takes center stage in U.S. Senate committee hearing

Camp Lejeune toxic water takes center stage in U.S. Senate committee hearing
The Senate committee for Veterans Affairs is meeting to look at the “Caring for Camp Lejeune Veterans Act of 2011.” It provides health care and medical services to marines and families affected by contaminated water. North Carolina senator Richard Burr is the chair and cosponsored the legislation with Senator Kay Hagan.