September 24, 2009

Poisoned Patriots?

Posted: 02:43 PM ET

Sometimes stories raise more questions than answers, leaving uncertainty above all else. One example - my recent story on former Marines who now have male breast cancer, and worry their very rare illness was caused by time spent at Camp Lejeune.


A large question remains - will there ever be a day when scientists will have conclusive evidence to prove there is a link between the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, and the Marines who say that contamination caused their cancers and other illnesses?  Who knows?

Records show there was water contamination at the base for decades. The Corps admits this contamination was serious – toxic chemicals, which are classified as probable carcinogens, meaning they are believed to cause cancer in humans. Experts reported the tap water highly contaminated as early as 1980 and 1981. But it took until late 1984 for the Corps to begin testing all the wells and shutting down the contaminated ones. But scientists and researchers now cannot seem to figure out whether there is a conclusive link between illnesses and the contamination. 

The Corps says it is cooperating with scientists to try to research if there is a link. So that means, you have a group of former Marines who are forced to wonder what has made them sick. – knowing they share at least one common thread:  they all lived at Camp Lejeune for a period of time, and drank the water.  These Marines want answers… they say they want the Marine Corps to help them figure out what made them so sick - with such a rare disease for men.  Yet, despite their years of military service, they feel the Marine Corps has abandoned them.  And I think that’s what hurts some of these men so deeply.  They say they gave years of their lives to proudly serve the country – but now wonder where is the loyalty and compassion when they need it the most?

How many more former marines are out there with serious illnesses, possibly not even aware of the concerns over the contaminated water?  And I have one final question for the Marine Corps: Is there anything more you can do to help these former Marines, or children of Marines, uncover why they are so sick?  If you had the chance, and had only one question, what would you ask?

Filed under: Abbie Boudreau • Special Investigations Unit

Share this on:
Marc Mustain   September 24th, 2009 5:03 pm ET

The contaminated water also caused neurobehavioral effects. Central nervous system depression, attention deficits, deficits in visual discrimination, altered visual evoked potentials, along with cancer and all the other damage it does to organs. This is in studies conducted by the navy.
I personally haven't been able to be tested for cancer(s), but, I have been plagued with metal health type issues since I was a child. To some people this is minuet compared to cancers (which I haven't been tested for yet). But my mental health issues alone destroyed most of my life as a teenager and a young adult. As of now I'm supposed to be on mental health medications that I cannot afford.
I was never in the military. So though I support my country I didn't sign up for this or sign my life away as the saying goes.
I was exposed from the ages of 3 months till about 4 years old. Mainly through baby formula mixed with the contaminated water. And of course along with baths etc. My mother was also exposed prior to my birth. Right now I'm 28 years old and looking for people like me and around my age group. Who were not in the military but exposed. How was their life? I can almost bet it was like mine.

craig   September 24th, 2009 6:04 pm ET

I know where there is hope for these men (ny son may be one of them). What I do know is that there is a man in Hawaii who has PROVED that people who have cancer of any type can be cured. This is a non-invasive and IF they will follow the program can be cured within 2-4 months.

I would like to make contact with one of those marines to discuss this with him.

Can you help?

Jan   September 24th, 2009 6:10 pm ET

My brother was stationed at Camp Lejeune in 1970 and was in Viet Nam as well. He was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 51 and after having a mastectomy he developed cancer in his liver, lungs, kidneys, bones, and brain. He died. He had to fight and fight to get the military to say that his cancer could have been caused by agent orange, and now it may have been caused by something in our own country?? He died 4 years ago. Thanks Marine Corps.

John   September 24th, 2009 6:19 pm ET

I was a Department of Veterans Affairs Decision Review Officer from 1997 to 2005. During that time frame I reviewed a denied claim from a Marine who had lived at Camp Lejeune at the apex of the contamination. As I recall he had a very debilitating neurological disease. I did extensive research on his case and obtained medical opinion that his disability was as likely as not caused by the contaminated water. He was service connected and received a total 100 percent compensation.

I would encourage any former service member who believes he has a disability caused by this contamination to file a claim for compensation with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Each case is always decided on the individual merits and the former service member would need to show he was at the contamination site, current medical evidence of a disability, and an opinion by a medical Doctor that his disability was as likely as not caused by the contamination.


Dace Taggart   September 24th, 2009 6:35 pm ET

I was 18 when I joined the Marines out of N.J. in 1956. Apparently before this water issue came up in the 60's. However, I developed breast cancer in 2003 and had the mastectomy. I was lucky it had not gotten into my lymph nodes and I did not have to have radiation or chemo or subsequent treatment. BUT---- I went to Mayo here in Scottsdale for the surgery and treatment. They subsequently asked me if I would do a genetic test to see if I had a mutant gene. I do, and I have a son which is the main reason I took the test so he could at least get tested if he wanted to know. Wonder if there is any relationship of mutant genes to the other men from LeJuene who had cancer. Bet not many had the test.

Billie June Salmond   September 24th, 2009 6:35 pm ET

Hi – I have been watching the Marine water contamination with great interest. My son was a Marine at the base during the years that are in question. After discharge and in his early 20's he was diagnosed with Testecular cancer and had to have a removal operation. A few years later he had to have a tumor taken off near his kidney and at that time had chemo. So he is one of the unheard statistics that the summary says is not the fault of the water contamination. Thank you for this update and news report. I also wonder how many others might be out there that had the same cancer and are either gone or not aware of this study.

Guinevere Olson   September 24th, 2009 6:44 pm ET

If the Corps admits that this contamination was serious they need to have each and every Marine MRI'd, at VA facilities around the country, who served in the Corps during that time period.

The Corps owes it to their former marines. Saying now that there is no proof is wasting time and wasting precious lives.

Are they perhaps putting out the stop signs on this in the event the truth be exposed? Testing each and every Marine is the Corps responsibility. The test results should be proof enough!! Why wait for scientists when Marines are getting cancer now and dying now!

What does the slogan "marines take care of their own" really represent? Step up to the plate USMC and DO THE RIGHT THING!

Come on Marine Corps...cut the bureacracy...issue a directive to have all prior marines who served then to go to their nearest VA facility and get an MRI.

Breast cancer kills!

Andrea   September 24th, 2009 7:05 pm ET

If you are looking for additional information on the Camp Lejeune water contamination, please visit the website of The Few, The Proud, The Forgotten. TFTPTF was formed by 2 Marines (Jeff Byron & Jerry Ensminger) whose families were adversely affected by the contamination. On TFTPTF's site you will find a historical documents library, illness registry, photo gallery and discussion board.

Terri   September 24th, 2009 7:39 pm ET

There is no doubt in my mind that the water is poison at Camp LeJeune. I know because I lived on base and had my water tested on a hunch. I sent a sample of my tap water to my uncle who worked at a NIOSH lab. The results made my stomach turn. I immediately started using bottled water. I knew it would be useless to report it...and kept my mouth shut except to close friends who also looked at the report and started using bottled water. The water was full of chemicals and loaded with lead.

I did this after finding all kinds of trash coming to the surface at the base stables where I rode every day. After a rain you'd see all kinds of gross things (feminine hygiene products for example) laying on the sand. I asked and was told there was a dump under the area. That made me think that the water had to be contaminated and it certainly was!

Without a doubt the water is contaminated, however the government is never going to admit it. If I had dared to say anything while I was living on base my husband could have lost his job....they like their secrets.

kathy   September 24th, 2009 7:40 pm ET

My husband was diagnosed with renal cancer at age 34, twelve years after living at Lejeune, I was diagnosed at age 48 with breast cancer. I have wondered all this time if anything would come of the investagation. I was called by the CDC but all they seemed interested in was our daughter who was born at Lejeune. They did not seem interested that my husband was dead at 42 or that I had gone thru cancer too. We were at housing in TT2, the housing area affected by the chemicals in the wate, in 1972. Do our cancers not count?

jose luis rodriguez   September 24th, 2009 7:51 pm ET

I was station at Camp Lejeune between 1975 til 1992 and retired 1995. I watch anything from antifreeze to oil and cleaning silvent go down to water drain and I did it myself. And a couple of time I was put on a working party to get our linen done at the loundry building and I seen all the dirty water just go down the drain and no one cared. I was with MT and I can tell you guys alot. I just can't stand seeing my follow Marines surfur. Sempi Fi...

Pamela J. Speer   September 24th, 2009 8:01 pm ET

My father also was a Marine stationed at Camp Lejeune. He died in 2002 of metastic breast cancer. I empathise with these men.

Diane K. Collier   September 24th, 2009 8:05 pm ET

I just listened to your story about the men with breast cancer who lived at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. I also lived on Camp Lejeune, North Carolina 1983-1984 and at the age of 24 years old got breast cancer. With no family history of cancer. I had a child on base and was pregnant with my second child when we left Camp Lejeune

There are a lot of families that have been affected, but never notified. In addition to breast cancer, there are other cancers and problems associated with the toxic water supply at Camp Lejeune.

Please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you for your time.


Diane K. Collier

Valerie Emerson   September 24th, 2009 8:10 pm ET

Seeing the article on the male brest cancer and linked to the water, stired my own deep feafactor going on. I live in a small town of Michigan, Whittemore. long story short. some thing big is going on with our water here and no one is talking, a few years back I allowed some enviroment company to put two wells on my land for the sole porpose of monitoring the water. they come a few times a year (4 or 5) they also have another large pump going a block away from my land. Recently they told us they where adding chimicles to the wells on my land again no info, and we where not told to buy bottled water for drinking..also our health dept in Iosco county come to my house to take samples, always insisting she come in and take it her self as if im not trusted to really draw the water from my tap..we have a high rate of mental retardation here birth defects and MS..there once was an article in a paper my brother had spoted posted on a local bar wall telling people to not drink the water if you where elderly or if a baby, as high nitrogen caused blue baby effect. I have been told bu t this on my part is not know factule that when the railroad ran through this town a train wreck happend and train cars made major spils..but it sure would be nice to know the truth. I hope this will peak your interest and maybe some truths will be told..

Darrel McKenzie CDR/MSC/USN (Ret)   September 24th, 2009 8:16 pm ET

Concerning the Poisoned Patriots report, can you give me any update on Sen Richard Burr (N.C.) Bill presently before the Senate: Caring For Camp LeJeune Veterans Act 2009 (July)? This is a Senate Bill to give VA Benefits to Vets and their families affected by the contamination of the drinking water of Camp Lejeune. Any update would be appreciated.. Thank you..

Jerry Ensminger   September 24th, 2009 8:48 pm ET

First let me say that the Camp Lejeune victims are greatly appreciative of CNN's interest in this tragic case of criminal negligence. We served our country faithfully and we had no idea that our leaders were knowingly poisoning us and our families. The US Navy and the United States Marine Corps had regulations dating back to 1963 which had they been followed, the majority of the human exposures at the base would have been avoided. Camp Lejeune's Commanding General issued a Base Order (BO 5100.13B) on 27 June 1974 which declared "organic solvents" hazardous and that improper disposal practices of these chemicals could result in the "contamination of drinking water!" This order designated a specific site aboard the base for the "safe" disposal of these chemicals, any other disposal of said chemicals was unauthorized. The United States Marine Corps to this day claims that there were no standards pertaining to these chemicals! I spent 25 years serving my nation proudly as a United States Marine, I personally trained over 2,000 new Marines as Drill Instructor at Parris Island and instilled in those new Marines the values of our Corps. I can assure all of you that there is no one that has been more disillusioned by the misconduct of the United States Marine Corps regarding this contamination issue than me.........Jerry Ensminger

P.S; Today is the 24th anniversary of my daughter Janey's death. She was conceived and exposed to these chemicals in utero.

Joseph Moen   September 24th, 2009 8:49 pm ET

I was stationed at Camp Lejeune from 1979 to late 1982. I was diagnosed with Stage 4 throat and tongue cancer in May 2008. I have never smoked a day in my life, so how did I get "smokers cancer?" I received notification in October 2008 about the case study and submitted a claim throught the Department of the Navy as required in February 2009. I have yet to hear from them as to the status of my claim. My oncologist is pretty confident that my cancer was a result of the water contamination; there is no other reason for me to have this type of cancer. He also told me that I had a 25-30% survival rate past 5 years after the diagnosis.

Living on a dream.
Joe Moen

Frederick A. Anderson   September 24th, 2009 10:36 pm ET

Add my name to the 20 plus (male Breast Cancer) patients. I was treated at Loma Linda Medical Center. Not VA (20 year Veteran, served at Camp Lejuene 1964/65). Diagnosed 2008, right breast removed. I have followed some of the reports & final report on Water Contamination at the base and is not pleased with findings. My name is registered at Camp Lejuene per their instructions on this matter.
Thanks CNN.

Ed   September 24th, 2009 11:26 pm ET

During the summer of 1978, I underwent training at Montford Point, which is separate from the main base at Camp LeJeune. I was there just three months, which is probably a relatively brief period of time compared to those who are reporting various medical problems.

I haven't developed a serious illness to my knowledge. Still, I have concerns as well as unanswered questions. Was the water supply at Montford Point contaminated? Are there people who spent most of their time at Montford Point having medical problems? What is the least amount of time spent at Camp LeJeune by an adult who has developed a disease or disorder?

My sympathies to all who have suffered illness or the loss of a loved one as a result of their stays at Camp LeJeune.

J Portnoy   September 24th, 2009 11:30 pm ET

I believe there is a more widespread impact from the poisoned water at Camp Lejeune than is being reported.
My father, mother and sister all lived on the base in the 50s when my dad was a dental surgeon to the Navy and the Marines.
My father, mother and sister all developed cancer within six months of each other in 2005/06–and all rare but different forms. My father and sister died from their rare cancers, my mother survived her bout with a rare form of breast cancer. I was born AFTER they returned back to NY from NC and appear to be unaffected by whatever poisoned them. Doctors have told me it is very unusual for three of four family members of different ages to get different cancers within such a short timeframe of each other.
The CLJ investigation intrigues me but won't bring back my father or sister....hopefully my mother stays cancer free and doesn't have her breast cancer return.
Maybe I should share my story with whatever group is doing the investigation? Someone let me know.
J Portnoy Miami

Roger D. Estepp   September 25th, 2009 7:23 am ET

I also am a former Marine & resident of Camp Lejuene. I am currently battling lung cancer & and a survivor of Non Hodgkins Lymphoma. My wife and I also lost 2 children while in the Corps at Lejuene. I am truly sorry for the Brothers in Arms who suffer from Breast cancer.. I am convinced without a doubt that the water has caused this! I am truly appauled that our Military and Country will not acknowledge this, and face the facts! I hold the Corps responsible for the death of My 2 children, and I will never change my mind! It was the water. God help our country! With warm regards I am, Roger Estepp

Andrea   September 25th, 2009 8:00 am ET

Each of you who was there needs to visit our website. Just google The Few, The Proud, The Forgotten. (CNN won't accept my post if I put the actual link here) There are some serious illnesses that need to at least be looked into.

Sjen   September 25th, 2009 8:43 am ET

What question would I ask? As a researcher of women's issues, I would ask if women who had lived on base have a higher incidence of breast cancer than the normal population. Do they?

nancy   September 25th, 2009 10:22 am ET

My Husband was in Viet Nam and at Camp Lejuene – he died August 3rd of Esophagus Cancer – also on the Camp Lejuene and Agent Orange list of suspect cancers. I was told by my Senator from Wisconsin that all the tests have to be done before these cancers can covered by the VA – this is NOT TRUE – it would take an Act of Congress – a senator introduces a bill they vote – (like the one they did so you cannot sue the makers of flu vaccines).
When the Marines joined the service they were told their SERVICE RELATED health problems would be taken care of. Call your Congressmen and Senators.

Jim Davis, Veterans-For-Change   September 25th, 2009 12:22 pm ET

There are thousands of active military, and veterans as well as their families all affected by TCE/PCE contamination at over 144 bases, most listed on the EPA Superfund list.

Seems to me that both the DoD and the VA are using their usual stall tactics to avoid paying out billions of dollars in additional claims while more and more of our veterans die waiting.

Why does no one cover all those bases listed on the EPA Superfund list? Why is it many veterans are uniting to get the TCE/PCE Reduction Act of 2009 signed and passed?

How many more must suffer or die before they step up to the place and own up to being responsible and provide the much needed benefits and medical care and attention they deserve and are owed?

Michael Cook   September 25th, 2009 12:36 pm ET

I have been diagnosed with cancer within the past three years. The cancers primary source has not been discovered as of present. A genetic biopsy study has been performed on tissue samples. The findings are I could have breast cancer, lung cancer and/or kidney cancer. I am a son of a marine who served between the years of 66 thru 74. I was born at the Camp Lejuene hospital. Question: Why has the Marine Corps. not notified marines and family about this issue, even if they do not believe in the link? It is call responsibility. I have a wife and two children to worry about in case of my passing. If there is any hope to same just one person the Corp should take the responsibility and notify the marines and family.
If anyone would like to contact me please feel free to do so.



Frank   September 25th, 2009 2:09 pm ET

It's not just breast cancer, there are many, many more of us with bladder and kidney cancers and the VA refuses to help. They say WE can't prove the link and they refuse to accept the fact that the water is the link, so they are stonewalling all of us, waiting for marines like me who are terminal to die or just go away. There is just so many of us that they are afraid of the cost. It's all about the money.

Mike Partain   September 25th, 2009 3:08 pm ET

I have been reading the postings to the show and it appears that there are six more men who have BC and links to Camp Lejeune. Another gentleman also contacted us through our website, The Few, The Proud, The Forgotten. How many are out there?

BC in men is just one of the many health effects we are seeing out of Camp Lejeune. Neurological diseases, immune systems problems and cancer of all sorts are common among those from the base. Hopefully, that men are developing breast cancer due to our exposures to these toxic chemicals which were present in our drinking water will open some eyes and force the USMC to deal with their "unpleasant reality" that they were responsible for poisoning the very people who loved the corps and served it loyally.

Jim Davis, Veterans-For-Change   September 25th, 2009 3:09 pm ET

The fact of the matter is many are diagnosed with kidney & bladder cancers, male and female breast cancers, children born with birth defects, and if memory serves there have been 22+ children who have died from the contaminated waters at LeJeune.

But TCE/PCE were used on almost every single military base, MCAS El Toro has been tied up for years due to the TCE/PCE contamination as well as radiation and will cost billions to "clean up" and already the contaminated water has shifted and can now be found in residential areas of Irvine, CA.

Veterans-For-Change took an old bill presented in 2008 by Congressman Hinchey of NY, modified the bill and attempted to have the Congressman resubmit, however, they just weren't interested even having collected at the time 400+ petitions, which the VFC is still collecting.

Daily VFC makes calls to the various members of Congress trying to gain support, a signature on the bill and presentation, but again, not enough interest.

If anyone is truly interested in seeking justice, and willing to sign the petition, please send an E-Mail to:

Barry W. Jones, Sr. D.D.   September 25th, 2009 3:50 pm ET

This is a well written piece of what took place at Camp LeJeune, NC. I served there in 1967-1868. I had called the number which had been given to call about those who were stationed there at one time. What the person told me this was for persons who stayed off base with their family, such as husband and wife.

I did not know that this was supposedly the only place which had contaminated water only. The whole area was contaminated, including the base itself.

The Pentagon, Dept. of Defense, Dept. of Navy and the Marine Corps, should pay for the compensation for those veterans who were stationed at Camp LeJeune for the period of time shown, and should also go back prior to that date. It could be longer then what they want to admit to or acknowledge.

Susan A. Sams   September 25th, 2009 4:28 pm ET

My brother and I lived at Tarawa Terrace and Hospital Point, Camp Lejuene, from 1961-1964. We both have ulcerative colitis. My father, who was stationed there at the time, has had cancer. We would like to know if anyone else has developed ulcerative colitis after their staion at Camp Lejuene.

Carol Szymkowicz   September 25th, 2009 4:29 pm ET

I watched your program on Camp LeJeune with outrage and sadness. My husband was a Marine Lieutenant stationed at Camp LeJeune before and after serving in Viet Nam in 1969-1970. Our first-born son, John, was born at the Camp LeJeune Hospital in October of 1969, before my husband left for Viet Nam. In 1970, after my husband returned from serving in Viet Nam, we returned to Camp LeJeune and lived in base housing (Tarawa Terrace). I am outraged that this is happening to a group of men or their sons who were serving our county, and outraged that this atrocity was going on for so long. I am saddened because I believe that my son was damaged also due to the water at Camp LeJeune. Our son, an otherwise healthy and active young man, has been diagnosed with azoospermia. In March he underwent a very expensive and painful medical procedure, Testicular Sperm Extraction, TESE, in the hope that some active sperm could be found. Unfortunately for my son, his wife, and the rest of his family, no sperm were located. Who knows how many young men are so afflicted who have no idea that their problem may be related to living at Camp LeJeune. During the Viet Nam era, Camp LeJeune was known as a baby factory. Young Marine families would have their children there before leaving the service. These Camp LeJeune children are now scattered around the country or even the world. This is a tragedy that keeps on giving. The sad thing is that it is unlikely that this condition can be definitively related to the contaminated water. A study by the National Research Council recently found that there is no conclusive link between health problems and the water. Additionally, a Federal Court, in either the 5th or the 11th Circuit, determined that a claim for cancer due to contaminated water had no merit because “providing clean water was not a necessary function of the Marine Corps”.
I appreciate you bringing this story to light and hope that you will follow with more investigations about this matter. While nothing may change in the medical conditions for these men, someone should be held accountable for their suffering.

Joy, California   September 25th, 2009 5:54 pm ET

Tragic, but I'm not surprised. Once you're done serving, the military does not want anything to do with you. My sweet man died of cancer two years ago. The doctors said it was caused by his exposure to Agent Orange while he was in VietNam. The military did everything it could to avoid responsibility - they even said he had never been to VietNam. When he produced papers that showed he had, then they said he had not been in combat. He produced papers for that, too, but they kept denying his claims. He finally realized that they were just waiting for him to die so the "problem" (him) would "go away". He died March 2007, prostate cancer AND cancer of the esophagus. The military promises the world to get you to enlist, but when you can't fight anymore, they throw you on the trash heap, don't want to be bothered with you. Am I bitter? You bet!

Jane Clement   September 25th, 2009 6:24 pm ET

If you think the incidence of male breast cancer is high, you should find out how many female staff members (non military) who spent their careers at camp lejeune there are!

I know of three myself in one department alone- plus a host of other cancers including ovarian. The statistics of the women afflicted who lived and worked there, but were not in the service would be interesting to reflect against the national average. I have no doubt the male breast cancer is a result of the contamination. You've never seen such a nervous topic being discussed, they know the stakes are very high.

Navy Wife   September 25th, 2009 6:27 pm ET

Bureaucracy at its best, ... oh no wait a minute that's the VA at its best... and you want me to vote for government medical care??? I don't think so.

J   September 25th, 2009 6:33 pm ET

Sounds like another case of contractors shortchanging the government, just like in the case of the water treatment plants in military bases in Iraq.. ever see the movie 'Iraq for sale'? Everyone should, especially Dick Cheney

Maria   September 25th, 2009 6:35 pm ET

all of these men have been stricken with breast cancer...they all have the same history of being stationed on that base, drinking the water there...someone needs to step up and acknowledge that this is enough proof...I mean what other proof do you need...all have the same cancer...all are marines...all lived at Camp Lejeune. When will we stop failing our veterans? How can you justify there not being proof when all of them have breast cancer?!??! The cancer in itself is the smoking gun. How obtuse and sadly apathetic of them! Thank you for reporting this story.

Ginger   September 25th, 2009 6:36 pm ET

Hi Abbie,

Your story about the marines getting breast cancer was interesting. Are there other marines that acquired this type pf cancer that did not live at Camp Lejeune?

I was just curious,

Marshall   September 25th, 2009 6:40 pm ET

This isn't just a veteran issue, my wife I met in High School at Lejeune in the 80's she lived most of her early life there, while I was only there 5 years. She has had mental and physical problems her entire life, finally being diagnosed as being bi-polar as well has having an anxiety disorder, she has had numerous tumors including one on her arm that we cant get removed since she cant insurance, kidney problems and now what they think is fibromyalgia. We have tried disability but she cant qualify because her health issues have prevented her from having enough work history. As it is we get further and further in debt and she continues to suffer. Incidently her part time job later in high school was working in the very dry cleaning place that was contributing to the contamination.

Ken   September 25th, 2009 6:50 pm ET

I'm sure the military has more chemicals to get rid of now than they did 30 years ago. So things can only have gotten worse. I have chemical sensitivity, live in North Carolina, and complained about the military dumping chemicals in the area and in the rivers. As a result, I am now sprayed with chemicals 24 hours a day. Do a search on Youtube for government chemical spraying and you'll see them spraying my house.

daniel c   September 25th, 2009 6:51 pm ET

My dad was stationed at camp lejeune in the 1980s. My brother and I where both born at the naval hospital there. I never even thought half the medical issues my family has gone through could have been caused by this until 3 months ago when my sister was diagnosed with MS. My brother when he was younger had so many problems with his kidneys growing up which he overcame, but what is to say it won't return. I am 24 and in the Navy the only problem I have had growing up would be I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was in elementary school. When all these things seem to be linked to the contamination and there has not been any help or information sent, accept a survey every year, what will it take for the DOD realize it is a bigger problem.

Holly Johnson   September 25th, 2009 6:54 pm ET

The VA is a fine example of government run healthcare. This organizaton has a history of malpractice and is indicative of a civil service outfit going astray. Many of our government run outfits have. These guys need to be treated in a real medical system. They should be sent to civilian medical treatment.

Ram   September 25th, 2009 6:56 pm ET


See another example of this horrible practice of poisoning our soldiers...their families and in this case in San Antonio- their kids and grandkids as well

Link above or go to Examiner dot .com and search Kelly Contamination

George Gonzalez   September 25th, 2009 7:08 pm ET

Good bleepin grief. This SIU should first investigate a math book or two.

20 male breast cancers out of 500,000 is actually not bad. And a sample size of 20 is nowhere near large enough to draw any conclusions..

And tying the cancers to the water supply is ridiculous. Marines are exposed to many toxic chemicals in their line of work. War-fighting exposes one to all kinds of explosives, oils, solvents, paints, and fuels, at million to billions of times higher concentration than what's in the tap water.

This "story" is unsupported by either facts or reasoning.

Ken Murphy   September 25th, 2009 7:28 pm ET

I'm not surprised, I had polio while in the service in l953. All my records, including my hospital stay have vanished. At the time the Air Force wanted me to sign a waver, releasing them from all future medical claims. I,m 77 years old and still trying to get treatment. Good luck to these guys. There not alone. My prayers are with them.....Ken

Tamara Benson   September 25th, 2009 7:33 pm ET

Not sure if this issue has been addressed yet:

Why would vets be denied treatment at the VA Hospitals? Have the rules changed?

Both my Uncle and my Father were treated in VA Hospitals well after their separation from service and neither of them was considered to have an illness caused during service. (that I know of)

Someone needs to address this issue, those Marines need medical care and I thought they were entitled to VA Hospital care just by being Vets. Is the wording in this article wrong? is there a detail I'm not reading here? Are the Marines seeking medical care at VA Hospitals?

This is not a specific endorsement of VA Hospital care, just a question about the Marines' rights to Healthcare. They served our Nation and they don't have Healthcare???

Deeply concerned,
Tamara Benson

kygirl   September 25th, 2009 7:35 pm ET

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that the water is virtually poison, which is the common link for the illnesses of these men. They deserve the best of medical care! Male breast cancer is extremely rare, "but scientists and researchers now cannot seem to figure out whether there is a conclusive link between illnesses and the contamination..."

Senators, wake up and pass a bill for the VA to treat these people! This is outrageous!

Mike   September 25th, 2009 7:40 pm ET

I am a government contractor working to better understand and clean up exactly these types of water issues on formerly and currently used military lands.

As I and many others continue to be employed, it seems that the government is aware of these issues and is spending large sums of our tax dollars to clean up America.

It is unfortunate that this has happened. I would be furious if this had happened to me or to someone in my family. On the other hand, many governments do not care about their proletariats to the degree the American does theirs. I am greatful that at least something is being done.

On a side note, thank you CNN for bring this to the public's attention. Usually it would take an illness-stricken celebrity blasted over TMZ before ordinarily healthy and happy-go-lucky Americans would hear of it.

Dan Johnson   September 25th, 2009 7:43 pm ET

Please tell me that CNN is actually going to expose the VA for what it is? An adjudication branch of the Executive Branch that picks and chooses what to pay for so that over time they reduce their risks and costs, the same as an insurance company – with no regard for those who provide the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom we live, eat and breathe under. I am a veteran and I have stories you won't believe. Please get it done and bring this to the world.

sally   September 25th, 2009 7:45 pm ET

My heart goes out to those Marines who have or now suffering from male breast cancer. Having had to face breast cancer in many instances within my own family, all female cases, I wonder how quickly the male dominated medical profession will finally find the cause and cure for this horrible disease now that is making a major impact on our men.

james hill JR   September 25th, 2009 7:47 pm ET


Lana Liv   September 25th, 2009 7:47 pm ET

This is the message to the former marine who had been instructor on that base.
I would like him to know that maybe the goverment has abandonned him but ordinary people have not. We`are proud of his service and his life .
What we can do to help?

Shelby   September 25th, 2009 7:49 pm ET

Were all the infected Marines at Lejeune at the same time? That could make a huge difference in the investigation. I wish them all the best and hope that some day we will have a complete cure for breast cancer.

Michigan Marine   September 25th, 2009 7:51 pm ET

I know where these fellow Marines are going through . I myself dont have cancer , but a I have Alot of nerological disorders , Kidney and Liver issues which I feel was caused by being exposed to contaminates! while I was station on Camp Lejuene , NC. I feel that the General did not come prepared for the battle. He didn't have the answers! because he had no answers to change our minds.... Conpliance to the EPa standards does not make it right. If it isn't natural no matter what the estent of the contamination was, it still isn't good to a body and its system.

Robert   September 25th, 2009 7:54 pm ET

Government Agencies such as ATSDR, EPA, and DOD have a fixed (BRAC) game and Veterans have been left out in to die. I have solid FOIA documents that show Agent Orange was illegally sold and stored at Kelly AFB or now Port San Antonio. Once again monetary interest overide the safety and well being of US citizens.

Shawn N. McKay   September 25th, 2009 7:58 pm ET

I am a female, former Marine who was stationed at Camp LeJeune from 1982 to 1983. Recently, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a lumpectomy. Currently, I am going through radiation treatments. My heart sinks that this could be the cause of my cancer.

Please feel free to contact me about this at

william deskins   September 25th, 2009 8:10 pm ET

william Deskins stationed at fort ord army airfield the most contaminated site at Fort Ord California

Douglas Burgess   September 25th, 2009 8:12 pm ET

I would like to get in contact with Marc Mustain or any one else his age
who parents were station at Camp LeJeune. I have four children who have birth defects.

elaine   September 25th, 2009 8:17 pm ET

search google - lindane superfund camp lejeune

israel reportedly banned lindane and breast cancer cases declined

lindane isn't mentioned anywhere in any of the comments. it should be.
camp lejeune has a lindane superfund site. EPA and ATSDR know about lindane.

Jody   September 25th, 2009 8:21 pm ET

My husband's name was Colin. He died of Prostate Cancer at the age of 47. He was in utero in 1957 and lived as a child at Tarawa Terrace at Camp LeJeune. His father was a Lt Col. and both were proud Marines. Both are dead.

Colin grew up and joined the Marines and became a Corrosion Control Specialist. He worked with TCE, PCE, Benzine and other chemicals. Yet the Corps says he was these "carcinogens" did not cause his Cancer. He drank toxic water in his baby bottle.

My husband was denied help while he was alive. I have been denied Survivors Benefits since his death. He had a very aggressive and rare type of Prostate Cancer and was diagnosed at the age of 42, however, died at 47. His father died of complications to a very rare type of Leukemia.

When the NRC report came out, I poured over the cited data and found several errors in the reports. I contacted them and they emailed me back admitting that the data was misquoted. The NRC report was to be corrected. I have the emails that say they were to correct them before they would be used to make any decissions. They did not correct this report. The NRC sent the misquotes out to those making the decisions in order to squew the data, I can send it to anyone who needs it. I would love to have asked the Marine Corps about the validity of this report they are using to dis-prove cancer links to the water.

Abbey, please email me and I will forward those emails from the NRC.

We have been deceived, poisoned, killed by the Marine Corps, and then they have no answers and no help for us. I cannot even bury my husband in a National Cemetery.

Thank you for running this story and I hope that everyone with a son or daughter considering joining the military takes note of what disregard they have for the lives of those that protect us all. My husband died for this Country, yet his death has been swept under the rug.

Thank you CNN, Rick Sanchez, Campbell Brown, Abbie Boudreau, Mike Partain, Jerry Ensminger, the Byrons, Bill Levesque and everyone else that helped bring this story out!

Greg   September 25th, 2009 8:23 pm ET

The problem at Camp Lejeune comes down to solvents in the drinking water exposed a wide variety of people (servicemembers, spouses, civilians, etc.) to unsafe water. The current role of the government and academia post-crisis is to investigate potential relationships that may exist between exposures and outcomes.

Presence of the solvents may be attributable to poor disposal practices, however, it is far more likely that these chemicals are as a result of dry cleaning effluent from a long-abandoned dry cleaning business in the vicinity of contaminated wells.

Cancer is a common affliction, unfortunately. And given the sheer number of potentially exposed people and other coincident exposures (tobacco smoking, heavy drinking, chemical smoke), if enough people are potentially exposed during a timeframe–in this case, 500,000 people were notified by the Marine Corps, I would expect a number of conditions to appear. Important to realize–some would occur anyway.

Brain cancer, lymphoma, prostate cancer, and other conditions appear at rates in any given population of sufficient size. Because of this, one of the roles of epidemiology is to attempt to sort which cases would have occurred anyway, and which may be above and beyond those levels. Its not an exact science. In this case, 'does an increased risk of cancer (or other condition(s)) result in this population.' Then second to that, causation would show 'is there a relationship between the exposures and outcomes.' In other words, personnel with low exposures should have low outcomes, and ones with higher exposures should have higher outcomes. Its part of a toxicology investigation to show (or debunk) a dose-response relationship.

It would be a mistake to believe that environmental causes, and not other factors (genetic, lifestyle, etc.) cause all cancers. But in the case of this reporting, male breast cancer appears to be a rare occurrence. And now 27 personnel with potential exposures to the same source have the same rare condition.

Kudos to CNN for getting this one right. It is a tragedy that epidemiology has placed statistical inferences and causation above common sense. A thorough discussion of the legal standards of causation, association, and more-likely-than-not would be helpful. Causation is a very high standard in epidemiology. And because of a causation standard, which is often unachievable, the Marine Corps may avoid responsibility when the lines of control are all too clear.
It seems obvious from the evidence that association(s) clearly may exist, but the limitations of epidemiology and other evidence may undermine a dose-response investigation, and thus justice may never come. This follows the same track as Agent Orange exposure, Gulf War Syndrome, and Nuclear Downwinders; that an association may truly exist, but causation is difficult to prove–and therefore justice may be delayed or never happen.

Connie Willis   September 25th, 2009 8:42 pm ET

I was very interested in this segment, I am a 66 year old woman who lived in Camp Lejuene , NC for at least 2 years with my Marine husband and small daughter in early 1960's,,,I was diagonosed with lymphoma a few months ago..and am quite concerned of course could it be related,,,We lived in one of the base housings mentioned
"Tarawa Terrace" at that time...My husband passed away a few years ago he was a vietmam vet and also had health concerns...

Sandy Merrill   September 25th, 2009 8:43 pm ET

I was very interested in the report of the Marines w/breast cancer since my husband, also a Marine, died of breast cancer - however, he was stationed at Camp Pendleton during 1966-67, not Camp LeJuene - he was diagnosed at 35 in 1980, died at 37 two years later. With the commonality of Marine, young man & breast cancer, I'm wondering if there could possibly be any connection - if there have been any cases from Camp Pendleton & if possibly there was a link
between the 2 camps of something other than the water – ??

Michael W. Glenn   September 25th, 2009 8:47 pm ET

I served my country as a Marine from 1976 until 1982. My children lived at Lejeune from their births in 1978 and 1979. They both have optic nerve atrophy and are blind because of it. Both have type 1 diabetes (a very destructive affliction). They need their 10 year old tort claims settled asap so they can have some type of a normal life.

Beth   September 25th, 2009 9:07 pm ET

To Maj. Gen. Jenson: You need to tell the truth and answer the questions we all have. Service related disability should be established because even at 19 years old, I know Carcinogens cause Cancer!!!!!!!!!! Your base command DID dump chemicals into the ground! It is fact! It has been proven. It has been photographed! It has been admitted to. You are not even a good liar! The proof is in the reports from the 1950's to the 1980's. Ruthless and discusting! I hope they never know our pain!

To the world: My dad died of Prostate Cancer. His PSA score was over 1500. Normal scores run 0-2. He was born at the Camp LeJeune Base Hospital. He and my grandpa are dead. Grandpa died of Leukemia. Both of them died from rare and aggressive cancers. Neither had a family history of Leukemia or Prostate Cancer. Both lived and served there. Both lived at Tarawa Terrace.

My dad and grandpa sacraficed for the USA. Both have been forgotten by the VA. Nobody is helping my mom pay for my college. My mom is struggling on her own and has lost her job and we have been in and out of foreclosure since dad died. Nobody helps.

We are trying to bury my dad in a National Cemetery, but mom was just denied again. Dad served for twelve years. We can't prove service connections. His cancer would have had to been diagnosed while he was on active duty...that is crazy. Everyone knows that it takes a while to show up. I am 19 and I even know this.

My mom has data to prove the NRC report is filled with lies.

I am glad I didn't follow my grandad and dad into the Corps.

Thank you for running this story and I hope you follow-up with many more.

Thank you Abbey and Rick.

Prostate Cancer, Leukemias, Lung, Ovarian, and Breast Cancers are amoung many many illnesses that have been forgotten about. What about the DNA??? I am having health problems too. What about the kids??? The Marines need to answer to all of us!

They wont even bury my dad.

Erica   September 25th, 2009 9:10 pm ET

Dear George Gonzalez –

You would not think it was unsupported if YOU were a victim. Male breast cancer is not the only illness that the victims have been stricken with, but it IS indeed rare... unless you lived on board and/or served at Camp Lejeune. Male breast cancer is a horrible diseas, and there are also many others.

It doesn't take a "rocket scientist" to know something WAS up with the water & that there IS a connection when you speak w/other victims & hear about the birth defects, "rare" illnesses, & death every way you look surrounding people who lived there either as a military member, in utero, or as children of a Marine. If you saw the thousands of us, perhaps you'd change your tune (some accounts say there are up to 1,000,000 of us!!).

"And tying the cancers to the water supply is ridiculous. Marines are exposed to many toxic chemicals in their line of work. War-fighting exposes one to all kinds of explosives, oils, solvents, paints, and fuels, at million to billions of times higher concentration than what’s in the tap water."

In response to that part of your comment, you are right... they ARE exposed to many toxic chemicals in their line of work... but how do you, George, explain why the health of the spouses & children of the marines were also devastated by so many health issues?!?!?! We weren't out of the battlefield... running drills, etc. BUT, we WERE drinking the water, bathing in it, swimming in it, cooking in it, eating food cooked with it, cleaning with it, playing in it, etc. Also, not every marine there on the base went to war, but they did use the water in all of the ways (& probably more) as mentioned above.

Perhaps you need to hear ALL of the facts before you assume these men & the rest of the VICTIMS are part of a story that is "unsupported by either facts or reasoning." We may not be rocket scientists, BUT we don't need to be to know what caused our health issues.

Jim Fontella   September 25th, 2009 9:28 pm ET

Fantastic Abby,
Bid dah, Bid dah, Bid dah. I couldn't tell if that guy was a Marine Corp General or immitating Elmer Fudd...............Jimmy

MSgt Richard Mijon Retired   September 25th, 2009 9:35 pm ET

I too am concerned, but in my case I now wonder whether or not my youngest daughter was affected. I am not ill, but my daughter was diagnosed with Type I insulin dependent Diabetes, yet knowbody else in my family or my wife's side of the family has it. I too was stationed in Camp Lejeune. My daughter was diagnosed at the age of six and is now 18 years old.

I hope and pray for all my fellow Marines who have it worse. And I hope this Country does what is right and make them whole.

Semper Fi.

Jim Davis, Veterans-For-Change   September 25th, 2009 9:47 pm ET

To all those who have served, Welcome home, and than you for your service to our Country!

Mr. Hill:
I would re-apply and/or keep appealing your claim, and if you have the ability to have your records reviewed by a civilian doctor who specializes in cancer, call and talk to them see if they are familiar with TCE/PCE and it being a carcinogen. And if possible ask for a Nexus letter.

Mr. Johnson:
Being a Veteran’s advocate I do know, and hear more often than not the horror stories of malpractice, abuse within the VA Medical Centers, how Veterans are treated worse than illegal aliens and worse than 2nd class citizens. One of the many issues Veterans-For-Change fights for every day! Keep fighting, don’t give in and let them win!

Thank you for being a part of the clean up, it’s not safe, and I’m sure not fun, but still appreciated even though many years too late to help those now affected and those whom we’ve lost already.

You’re 100% right, but we need every voter in America to pick up the phone and call this toll free number 866-272-6622 and ask to speak with your Senator or Congressman and ask when they will step forward and sign the TCE/PCE Reduction Act of 2009 and put on the floor for a vote.

Most vets aren’t immediately qualified for VA Medical care, they’d have to pay a co-payment for services and more often than not it’s cheaper to go to civilian doctors and hospitals. Now if they retired they’re cared for no problem and also have what’s called Tricare for life.

But NOT all VA Medical Facilities are good, or even well equipped, not to mention have qualified and licensed doctors. A Doctor doesn’t have to have a license to practice medicine in that state to work for the VA.

George Gonzalez:
Evidently Sir, you’ve never served in the military, nor have had any real knowledge of “cancer clusters”. Once case alone is high, but 20 of a very rare cancer? BE REAL! This is absolutely outrageous, and what CNN fell short of finding out was how many others who are affected by this contamination don’t live in North Carolina any longer but in many other cities and towns nationwide who were not privy to the show or it’s expose.

We are literally talking several thousands of men, women and children nationwide and this is not the only base contaminated by TCE/PCE in the ground water, there are 144 bases nationwide that are badly contaminated, with the #2 location being the former MCAS El Toro, in Irvine, California.

There are thousands and thousands of pages documenting this, as well as the fact that it does cause the many illnesses these families face!

I surely bet you’d be singing a lot different tune if this were you, or a member of your family, how cold and callas can you be?

I couldn’t agree more, most veterans should be simply handed a medical care card good anywhere in the world, and allow them the choice and freedom to be treated by the best hospitals and doctors as our VA Medical system is morally and financially a disaster place.

They know it’s a massive problem that’s why they pulled all funding for research, to avoid paying out billions of dollars in benefits and medical care!

Keep a personal daily journal, document the spraying of these chemicals, you never know you may end up needing it to prove your own VA claim some day!

You’re also right this isn’t just a veteran or military issue, we already have evidence of former school age children and teachers from schools on bases also having been contaminated and having been ill or dying!

Anyone who served on any base esp. those 144 bases on the EPA Superfund list will have cancer of some form, or other illnesses, children born with birth defects, you name it we still don’t know all the illnesses that can be connect to exposure.

The Government, Military, and Congress have been failing veterans for decades! Ask any veteran! This is not new, and the amount of claims backlogged is almost 1 million claims and it’s only getting worse every month with an estimated 80,000 new claims per month.

A Corrupt VA System, poorly managed, no over-sight, no fiscal accountability and the people who suffer are the veterans and their families!

No it’s not a matter of contractor’s short changing the military, it was years of disposing of the chemicals right into the ground by CO’s orders which in turn contaminated the drinking wells, then contaminated humans, and/or the actual use of the chemicals with no protective gear being mandated.

Navy Wife:
You’re right too, how can we trust the government to run health care when they can’t even manage the health care system for our heroes, our countries Veterans and their families?

Wouldn’t make any difference if there at the same time or even different bases! Just like with Korea and Viet Nam when Agent Orange was being sprayed all over and contaminated thousands and thousands of service men and women. Contamination is contamination, and we’re just now assisting Viet Nam to clean up the Agent Orange from 40 years ago!

Lana Liv:
Everyone, active duty military, veterans, spouses, civilians all can help by sending for a copy of the petition, signing it and getting 14 more signatures and mailing them in to force members of Congress to pass the bill. E-Mail:

Joy of CA:
My condolences, and thank you, for your husbands service to our Country!
The VA will always do everything in it’s power to “deny, deny, until you die!”

Shawn Mc.Kay:
You and anyone else who served in the military dating back to WWII should demand a full physical and full body cat scan annually! Protect yourselves!

There are countless thousands of pages of evidence of storage of Agent Orange, it’s still be sold in New Zealand and even here in the United States!

Anyone is susceptible and some illnesses may not show up for years! Doesn’t have to be LeJeune, could be MCAS El Toro, MCAS Pendleton, Cherry Point, any where.

Contact your Senators and Congressman, get them involved!

N   September 25th, 2009 9:57 pm ET

You need to get Erin Brockovich involved!!! The Marines (and all military soldiers) are trained to protect the people of the United States even if it means laying down their own life. So, why does the United States government scrutinize and become tight-fisted when it comes to giving money to the Marines and any other military soldier for keeping their lives healthy or restoring them to health? The Marines involved with the Camp Lejeune cancer-causing contaminated water should ONLY have to worry about getting their health restored and NOT the stress of how they are going to pay for their healthcare!! It's said that one of the perks of working for the government is getting great benefits...things that make you go hmmm! The government is fine with these men and women going to war and risking getting killed but when they SURVIVE WAR then they have another battle to face if they become sick...fighting the war to win their VA benefits! The government allows these men and women to live in horrible conditions and in climates that their bodies are not used to and yet those same soldiers can not turn to the government and say they refuse to fight. This is disgraceful and needs to be stopped. It's disgusting that America allows sports figures, celebrities,etc. to get paid millions (to entertain us) and be able to afford top of the line health insurance while we let the men and women that risk their lives daily (military, police, fire fighters,etc.) to get paid pittle and have" just enough to get by if you don't get sick" health insurance. Enough is enough already!!

mike spies   September 25th, 2009 10:02 pm ET

Much thanks to Ms Boudreau for her fine report and investigative skill. Those of us who were at Lejeune and have been diagnosed with cancer will always be in your debt.

bobby ford   September 25th, 2009 10:19 pm ET

station at lejeune from 1968 to 1970 any one who had colon cancer,and believe it was caused by the drinking water at lejeune please contact me at had ulcers/ rashes semper fi

Jerry Ensminger   September 25th, 2009 10:47 pm ET

I could see and hear your frustration with both Rick Sanchez and Maj.Gen. Jensen! I am quite confident you were prepared to counter the "smoke and mirrors" spewed by the USMC's spokesperson this evening. I am fully prepared and willing to do a follow up interview with CNN to dispute every false response made by General Jensen this evening, and back my responses up with their own documents which counter his own statements.

Rick, I know that you are an anchor for CNN but you really need to understand when you are encroaching on a subject which you didn't have any subject expertise. You blew this interview with Maj.Gen. Jensen this evening for Abbie!!! Jerry Ensminger

Debbie NY   September 25th, 2009 10:51 pm ET

I Lived at Camp Lejeune 1978-1979. My husband was stationed there 1974-1979. he died 2005 from a fast moving, vicious & rare cancer. I've had many health problems myself since living at LeJeune. Alot of the heartache In my life makes alot more sense after seeing this story. Makes me sick to think the contamination at LeJeune could have caused most of the misery & loss in my life. I wish I could say I'm suprised by any of this but I'm not. As someone else said "the MC likes their secrets" I thought the MC was ordered by congress to notify ALL residents of Camp LeJeune during the effected dates? I knew nothing about ANY of this until I saw the CNN report yesterday!! Thank you, I hope to hear much more about this SOON.

Torey R. Romero   September 25th, 2009 10:54 pm ET

I was a female Marine stationed at Camp Lejeune from 1983-1990.
As a Marine I was tasked with constant contact with the local water in food preparation, ingestion and cleaning eqiupment/galley.
I found a large lump and I was diagnosed with breast cancer in May (2009). To-date I have been through chemo (hell). Now I will have surgery next week and start radiation after recovery. I am not doing my health care through the VA, they are too slow in addressing serious health issues.

Lori Shue   September 25th, 2009 11:48 pm ET

I am an employee at VA. In order for these veterans to receive any compensation, a few things must happen first. Congress must ask the National Instutite of Health to furnish a decision on the relationship between exposure to the chemicals found in the water at Camp LeJeune and subsequent diagnosis of breast cancer. The NIH has provided lists of conditions presumed related to exposure to Agent Orange and Radiation in the past. The relationship between the exposure and disease is determined based on NIH review of research studies. Statistical correlations must be shown. If a relationship is shown, congress will then pass a law allowing VA to pay compensation. NIH may or may not already be involved. Currently, we do not grant service connection for any diseases related to exposure to contaminated water at Camp LeJeune.

The Marine Corps cannot do anything for these veterans except furnish information to NIH pertaining to the chemicals found in the water at Camp LeJeune.

In addition, men are diagnosed with breast cancer all of the time, but not nearly as frequently as women. Just because they were exposed to toxic chemicals, does not mean it caused their breast cancer. Thousands of soldiers probably drank that water, but most of them did not get breast cancer. There are veterans who never served at Camp LeJeune who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. There are men who are not veterans who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. While everyone is sympathetic to a person diagnosed with cancer, a scientific relationship must also be shown.

These veterans will never get 34 billion dollars from VA. Compensation from Veterans Affairs will be several hundred dollars per month, unless their cancer is still active. If the cancer is not active because they were cured by mastectomy, they will receive compensation for mastectomy only. Compensation will be paid from the date we receive a claim, not from the date of exposure to the chemical, or the date of diagnosis of cancer; or, from the date of change in law adding breast cancer to the list of presumptive diseases, depending on what congress decides.

In response to comments about the heartlessness of VA. Please understand, VA cannot pay compensation for anything ulness authorized by congress. If a veteran was not diagnosed with a disease during his active duty (some conditions such as cancer may be diagnosed within one year after discharge, MS within 7 years ), and it is not a disability presumed associated with some type of exposure such as Agent Orange, we have to deny the claim. Even so, the VA pays out billions of dollars to veterans. Everything we do is mandated by congress. You cannot imagine the legal maze we must follow to adhere to the law. If correspondence or decisions from VA seem convoluted, it is because we are required to follow the law. If our decisions appear to be short or abrupt, it is not because we do not care as individuals, it is because we are required to pump out decisions like widgets in a factory.

Dr. Claude Lambert   September 26th, 2009 1:21 am ET

This is a tragedy of epic dimension and I feel for these men and their families. I can really help these men and I am willing to do it pro bono. Just tell them to contact me personally.
Thank you,
Claude Lambert, MD

Deni Ann C Gereighty   September 26th, 2009 2:11 am ET

I am saddened by this report but not surprised. My mother did some of the field research on the studies done on agent orange, and heroin use in the military in the 1980s. I have worked in a military hospital in the US both at peace and at war as an RN (civilian) and the care is very, very basic. Bad tooth, pull it out. Delivered a baby? make your own bed. Many dependents were on food stamps while their soldier was at war. It should be within the mission of the VA to treat these men for their cancers. Last night at dinner I was discussing this with a veteran of Vietnam, he has some sort of heart problem developing and he cannot even see a cardiologist. He waited 2 hours for a nurse practitioner who ordered some tests and then they would see in a month about sending him an hour away to see an actual doctor. No EKG has been ordered. this is not healthcare. I think every member of congress should get the same healthcare as is provided to veterans and uninsured people. Not as a congressional member at walter reed either. I suspect they would change their minds quickly. I would love to have the congressional health care plan. I lost my house paying for my cancer care, and I had private employer paid insurance and COBRA. Maybe the public health option, if initiated would be better than the VA. Blessings to one and all.

Amy Hans   September 26th, 2009 6:39 am ET

Great journalism. I feel so horrible for the Marines suffering from breast cancer and the rest of us who have had our health affected by the toxins at Tarawa Terrace. I lived there as a pregnant mom and wife in 1982. We had a 2 year old son at the time. All of us have serious stomach problems, sinus problems, headaches, etc...and I have recently been diagnosed with MGUS a precursor to Multiple Myeloma. My body is in a constant state of pain from inflammation and bone degeneration. I have severe episodes of pain like a tile knife is being raked down my legs and spine – after that my head becomes foggy and my lower jaw starts to tremble. Then my legs and arms start jerking. This used to only happen a couple of times a year. Now it is happening every month or so and so far the doctors I've seen can offer no solution. I am now a single mom and my two youngest children watch in panic as these episodes occur. We all feel so helpless. I hate that this is happening to us.

I once wrote a magazine article entitled Semper Fidelis More Than a Motto for Leatherneck Magazine. I loved the corps. Now I need them to love me and my family back.

Jason Leigh   September 26th, 2009 7:50 am ET

Greetings, and thank you for the story on suffering Veterans.
Being a Nationally known Veterans Advocate for many years now, I have found a GREAT source for information on disabilities:
We proudly display the link/banner at our website and in our 'Veterans Issues' section.
I pray you pass this on . . .
God Bless all our proud Veterans who gave of themselves for the sake of our combined freedoms and liberties.

anonymous   September 26th, 2009 9:18 am ET

Thanks to CNN for shining a light on this story. However, I have to echo much of what has been written above in the comments. The health impacts go FAR beyond male breast cancer. Do a little digging and you will see a lot of people who used to live in Camp Lejeune have bizarre maladies. This is tragic and shameful.

We as a people need to understand that when we choose to go to war the impacts are far reaching, permanent, and long lasting. (Divorce, tarnished reputation, civilian deaths home and abroad, psychological impacts on soldiers and loved ones). Does anyone see a connection between the fact that we were involved in two wars and took our eye off the ball and presided over one of the biggest financial crisis in the world? The point is, there better be an imminent threat and a good reason before undertaking an endeavor that no matter the justification will cause pain for a great number of people.

I know that the Marines can't change what has happened. At least the Marines or our government could step in and TRY to make some amends for what has happened. Either that or they should change their motto to "Fere Fidelis" or "Not Quite Faithful"

I urge everyone to write to Congress and not let this issue be swept under the rug.

Jerry Ensminger   September 26th, 2009 10:30 am ET

Major General Jensen's performance on CNN last night proves what I have been saying all along, the leadership of the USMC is only concerned on how they are going to escape this negligence. It also proves that the health, safety, and welfare of their Marines, Sailors, their family members, and civilian employees is NOT their first priority as they like to claim. It has already been stated by the leadership that their deepest concern related to this issue is the precedence it would set for all DoD contamination sites if they (the USMC) were to admit their guilt in the Camp Lejeune drinking water contamination issue.

Maj.Gen. Jensen, I would like to point out that the former Installation Restoration (IR) site #82 was labeled as the "VOC disposal area" which was in use well into the 1970's in the woods beside lot#203 and it was in violation of Base Order 5100.13. I would imagine this title "VOC disposal area" was viewed by your Environmental Management Department and the good folks at Navy Facilities Engineering Command, Norfolk, Va. as a huge mistake after the fact so they did away with that title and site # and combined it into site# 6. General you sat there on national TV last night and made the statement that there was no illegal dumping of these chemicals taking place at Camp Lejeune in the 1970's, how do you account for site #82 General? Was the use of this area not a violation of the above mentioned base order? You also stated that there weren't standards in existence back then which would have prohibited these chemicals from being present in our drinking water, what about the military's own standards General? You conveniently forgot to mention those last eveningl!

General, you looked like the proverbial "cat that ate the canary" last evening, you were obviously uncomfortable and it wasn't due to appearing on TV. As a General officer, you are accustomed to the media and speaking to large groups of people so I know that wasn't the cause of your discomfort. No General, it was the message you were sent there to deliver, it was flawed and you knew that going in! General Jensen, next time, try the truth and you won't appear so fidgitty! Semper Fi??? Jerry Ensminger

P.S; I am glad to know that our motto and our slogans still mean something to our Marines and Sailors down at the unit levels, I am however dismayed to know that those values are so perishable at the upper echelon!

anita   September 26th, 2009 10:47 am ET


Michael Paul Weber   September 26th, 2009 12:04 pm ET

After a tour in Viet Nam, where I was exposed to Agent Orange, I served nineteen months at Camp Lejeune 1-1-67 to 8-2-68. I have a variety of illnesses mental, neurological, some loss of vision, bone and joint and muscle diseases. I developed a lump or growth in my left nipple That over a period of time increases in size and discharged a vile fluid from time to time. I had surgery to remove the lump. I awoke from surgery with an incision that tracks from my armpit to my breastbone. I had been given a mastectomy. I was never really told exactly what the growth was. The surgery took place October , 1993. . It has been sixteen years. I am still sick. I was sickened to see my Marine brothers so mutilated and denied help.
If I can help them. If my story can help their cauise please forward my address. I would also be interested in other illineses that may have been caused from the water at Camp Lejeune. S/F Mike W.

Kris   September 26th, 2009 1:37 pm ET

Thanks Abby for your reporting on those of us who suffer with Male breast cancer as a result of the contaminated waters at Camp LeJeune. I am one of the twenty mentioned in your report, but could not make it to the interview. I played in the ditches around Tarawa Terrace, rode at the stables, went to school, swam and drank the waters while my dad was stationed at Camp LeJeune. Like Mike, I had the genetic testing and did not test positive for the genes that cause breast cancer. There is no history of breast cancer in my family. Again, it is strange that so many men that lived at Camp LeJeune are connected because of male breast cancer and drinking the water at Camp LeJeune. They story needs to continue until something is done. Thank you.

Ringo   September 26th, 2009 1:57 pm ET

I want to know if anyone is studying the occurence of disabilities of the children born to the people (particularly women) who grew up on the base at that time. I was told there was no study done or planned.

Jill Watson   September 26th, 2009 2:09 pm ET

Hey my brother passed away 1 year ago on the 4th of July from Renal cancer. He was retired from the Marine Corp and still lived in Jacksonville. His family still lives there.
My niece works on the base

Loughrey   September 26th, 2009 2:09 pm ET

I can envision the Federal Governtment pulling the strings on this just as they have done with Agent Orange and Hep C. It saddens me as a marine who served in Viet Nam. I chose the Marine Corps as my home. To see the Corps side step this is not like the Marine Corps I joined. We vets have been fighting the Federal Government and the Veterans Affairs Office for coverage and compensation ever since we were released from Duty.
After seeing this story and seeing what groups like the ACLU and other bleeding hearts who rag on the governement until it seems as the tail is wagging the dog and not the other way around I am not sure I would join the Marines if I had to do it all over again. The Corps leadership needs to remember what Semper Fi means or atleast what it ment to the ground pounders and wing wipers.

Tom Brown   September 26th, 2009 2:12 pm ET

To Abbie,

I just finished watching your piece on this tragic story about our dedicated Marines. As a former member of the Navy enlisted alumni I especailly apprciate the attention you are giving this and hope we will here more.

I just wnat to say I think i first saw you several months ago and regretfully said to myself – 'here we go, just another pertty face'. But this is hard news and important and pertinent. I say congratulations and I hope you will dig dig dig on the topics that really affect Americans.

There is amazing abuse in our institutions today. Most of it has been institutionalized such as the owning of congress by the corporate world and the destructive and dysfunctional monetary system at the base of all our problems and the most reecent demise of the financial sector and the bailout for it and not Americans.

I applaud you and hope you and CNN will continue and devote even more and more time to this substantive reporting.

Take care – be careful and good luck.
Thank you very, very much for your hard work in keeping us informed about what really matters. You are something special!

Thurston Murrat   September 26th, 2009 2:13 pm ET

I am 64 years old and a male. In 1983, I was diagnosed with Male Breast Cancer, had part of my chest removed and received 23 Radiation Treatments. I was stationed at Ft. Bragg, N.C. and had no history of Breast Cancer in my family. The radation treatment could have affected my blood vessels. I visited the Cleveland Clinic, after my heart surgery failed to correct my problem. I was wondering if my being stationed at Ft. Bragg, N.C. in 1969, may have led to my Breast Cancer, when I was 37 years old. You know military bases on the Superfund List are all hiding these problems. So if anyone is in my boat and served at Ft. Bragg,N.C. please let your voices heard by E mailing CNN. What a wonderful servece CNN provided by airing this story. Thank you for investigating the base that you did. You are the best news network in the world. Sincerely, Thurston Murray

Thurston Murray   September 26th, 2009 2:16 pm ET

My last name is Murray, I hit the wrong key. thurston

john nashville,tn   September 26th, 2009 2:19 pm ET

I worked at a VA Hospital and I know we were sent a memo telling us to treat the GULF WAR veteran's sweat as toxic. How many notes about this must be floating around somewhere.

William/Delia Wallace   September 26th, 2009 2:29 pm ET

I'm a Marine Wife,my Husband and I where stationed at Camp Lejeune between 1980 and 1987, In 1999 I had a very large Lipoma removed from the left side of my neck, and are also having to live with another Lipoma that is in my stomach, and also have severe breathing problems, my Husband has serious stomach and sinus problems, headaches, chronic Kidney Disease, recent Cervical Surgery, Lumbar Disk Degeneration, serious hipertension problems, can someone e-mail us back , and let us know, if any of these symptoms , are related to the Contaminated water, that we where drinking at Camp Lejeune, while station there. (

doug kelly   September 26th, 2009 2:37 pm ET

i was stationed two time at camp lejune in the mid 70's along with my sister i personaly poured degearser and other things out behing the building along with everother marine in the class and now my sister is dead of cancer march 5 2008

Trevor D. Hitchin   September 26th, 2009 2:38 pm ET

September 24th, 2009 6:19 pm ET

"I was a Department of Veterans Affairs Decision Review Officer from 1997 to 2005. During that time frame I reviewed a denied claim from a Marine who had lived at Camp Lejeune at the apex of the contamination. As I recall he had a very debilitating neurological disease. I did extensive research on his case and obtained medical opinion that his disability was as likely as not caused by the contaminated water. He was service connected and received a total 100 percent compensation."

First and foremost – fantastic article and love the blog follow-on. Great reporting and hits the 'Core' of this American experience..

I hope all can appreciate what is going on here, just by the comments and platform available to (YOU) the reader. By using technology we are able to "invite" other victims to tell their story, in real time. Fantastic and power to the people! I suffer from PTSD and this is my "souvenir" from LAPD and Big Pharma from 1991- more on this later, this post is not about me. Just want to say "stand up" and be heard. Synthesize your data and thank google / cnn etc.. for talking about this. BTW, ptsd is the biggest enemy of the US Armed forces, it is the Tsunami if you will that is headed toward the US. It is estimated that 1/3 of ALL servicemen/women will return with debilitating affects of this prolonged exposure (PE) of trauma (read: as humans we are not programmed to see the atrosities of war and we are not programmed to be living in for years on end sand blowing people up, it is very unnatural for most. Keep in mind Genghis Khan and the former USSR could not win in Afghanistan, and after 8 yrs Mike Mullen addmitted this week that we are "not driving the ball" (read: we are still getting our &$$e$ think of it more like one big target range to keep the Defense Industry calling for more orders to replace (riffles, shells, tanks, clothes, food, e v e r y t h i n g). It is a business. Let me repeat: o n e t h i r d ! ! ! of all returning soldiers will have very serious and debilitating traumatic "aftershocks" from theater time.

Currently I am asking senior EPA Officials to investigate bio-hazards that are being exposed in IMSI facility in Boise, Idaho by a victim and survivor Mr. Robert Heizelman. The EPA doesn't want to touch the issue, yet thousands are being contaminated in cages right now, as I write this so yes, this matter is timely and my compassion goes out to anyone directly affected by this USMC embarrassment.

To John, the gentleman from the Dept. of VA. Great post. Thank you for encouraging others to come forward and apply for assistance. It is a very "ego-based" decision and one that has historically been met with fear of retaliation, lack of masculinity, shame, pain, anger etc... all the stuff found under the umbrella of deep psychological pain that comes with life-threatening physical pain. I would suggest that PTSD is the ribbon that holds all of these others ailments together, it is the pain you can't see. Let's not forget the feelings of abandonment (in this case by the USMC 'family').

If anyone is interested in water, I highly recommend researching the work by Dr. Masaru Emoto "The Hidden Messages of Water". Fascinating and remember, we are all 80% H2O. Buy spring water, it is cheaper than dealing with the disease later. The Govt does not want you to know that simply drinking 1 gallon of spring water everyday will keep you healthy... try it. $1.50 a day for health insurance is not bad. Also google (dehydration depression) and you now have the message. To healing.

Respectfully / ***namaste***

Trevor Hitchin
Boise, Idaho

doug kelly   September 26th, 2009 2:39 pm ET

i get these reports about the water from the dod and hqm different times but nothing has come of it

Michele B   September 26th, 2009 2:39 pm ET

First, let me say that my heart goes out to all those servicemen and their families dealing with breat cancer. My father served in the Philippines during WWII. During that time DDT was used to combat lice and malaria. My father was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1960; and, testicular cancer two years later (1962). I'm his 3rd child, and was diagnosed with breast cancer in 8/07. Please let me know if anyone else has had a similar experience. Thank you.

Trevor D. Hitchin   September 26th, 2009 2:44 pm ET

"providing clean water was not a necessary function of the Marine Corps”. – w tea f?

Ginny Casida   September 26th, 2009 2:47 pm ET


I started an "comment" a minute ago and the computer shut down.

As I was saying, we were involved in a serious medical case awhile ago and a very excellent attorney from Denver, Colorado helped us with that. It is my understanding this attorney has been involved in a number of high profile cases.

Fleishman & Shapiro, P.C.
Attorneys and Counselors at Law
1600 Broadway, Suite 2600
Denver, CO 80202-4926

(303) 861-1000
FAX (303) 894-0857

May God bless you and please give my best to these brave marines.
We thank them for their service.


Ginny Casida

Warren Partain Jr   September 26th, 2009 3:37 pm ET

My father retired after 22 years of service as a Major, USMC. I was born at Parris Island and received a Presidential Appointment to the US Naval Academy and was commissioned, in 1966, as a 2nd LT USMC, an Officer of Marines. I am the proud father of Mike Partain and commend him for his efforts to bring these matters forth to the public. I was brought up, trained to and tried to the best of my abilities to take care of my Marines and their own. I was always taught that the Marine Corps did the same and that was the meaning of the Motto, Semper Fidelis.

Another way of putting this, as taken from a USMC web site " Marines are held to the highest standards, ethically and morally. Respect for others is essential. Marines are expected to act responsibly in a manner befitting the title they’ve earned. Courage is not the absence of fear. It is the ability to face fear and overcome it. It is the mental, moral and physical strength ingrained in every Marine. It steadies them in times of stress, carries them through every challenge and aids them in facing new and unknown confrontations. Commitment is the spirit of determination and dedication found in every Marine. It is what compels Marines to serve our country and the Corps. Every aspect of life in the Corps shows commitment, from the high standard of excellence to vigilance in training."

I am requesting the Commandant to take charge in this matter, so crucial to the beliefs of the Corps, and resolve it for the good of the Corps and the men and their families of which it is composed. “When principle is involved, be deaf to expediency,”-Commodore Maury. 1849.

Warren Partain Jr - Semper FI!

JacklynD   September 26th, 2009 3:54 pm ET

If I had one question to ask it would be how can we help you. I don't care if its the water (in regards to insurance issues not in preventing more sickness) or psychosis. These men and women deserve our unconditional support. If they are sick then take care of them. We all deserve "no fault" insurance.

They were there for us, ready to put their lives on the line. It's disgraceful that they have to line up and show their scars asking for understanding and help.

Alphonso Manning   September 26th, 2009 4:06 pm ET

As being one of these individual who has a vested interest in this study.I hope in my remaining lifeline that they will do the right thing for all who are effected or suffered from the tainted water supply.

mr.Ariel Cintron   September 26th, 2009 4:22 pm ET

thank you ,for getting the word out...I have no doubt you saved countless lives with this report... for more info please let the people know that they can get more information at the few the proud the forgotton ......72-73.. H & S 3BN/8th marines..sember fi

Richard Ayars   September 26th, 2009 4:51 pm ET

I was a refueler on Lejeune from 1976 – 1980 I can tell you that I was allowed at least 500 gallons a month spillage per truck from the books in fuel a month. I came up with a idea how to elimate alot of this but when submitted to the navy was told it was not in there best interest!!!! French Creek, Lejeune.....

Lou G. Small Jr.   September 26th, 2009 5:00 pm ET

Thank you for airing this issue. I have been following this for several years and it's not just some coincidence that this is happening to all these people.

I was at Camp Lejeune in 1961-1962 and again later at reserve summer camps. The contamination was believed to have been going on then. I was surprised that there was no mention of the local off base dry cleaning plant that was dumping dry cleaning solvents into their septic system (a known site to the EPA) besides any on base things that may have caused any contamination.

My first born son died of spina bifida complications at 2 days old, but my wife was never at the base, only myself. Since others who were on the base were born with spina bifida, it makes one wonder if I was a carrier of this bad gene my son received 10 years later.

I am part of the study and have registered with the USMC as having been there. I was not notified by the mass search to find people who were on the base during these times, so that procedure has not found everyone involved. I found out from The Few, The Proud, The Forgotten.

I believe this issue is far greater than it appears with many others affected or already dead not even knowing what caused their sickness.

Domingo Aguilar Jr   September 26th, 2009 5:08 pm ET

I was stationed in Camp Lejeune from 1976 thru 1979.I worked in French Creek Force Troops as a heavy equipment mechanic.I recalled always having alot of headaches,and other illnesses.I now suffer from several health problems.I am legally blind in the left eye with a visual acuity of 20/2000,i was told that i had suffered a stroke to the eye causing permanent damage to the retina.The doctors call it a Central Retinal Vein occulsion,they are unsure what caused this.I am currently not working due to my blindness,the doctors examine me every 30 days just to make sure that my right eye won't have the same problem.I have several medical conditions to many to list at this time.I hope the Marine Corps takes responsibility and compensate their Marines for their losses.

Dennis Lambert   September 26th, 2009 5:10 pm ET

I was in the Marine corp from 1969 to 1973. I was at camp Lejuene before and after I was in Vietnam. These problems I have, have cost me my wife and children my health and employment. All the government does is brush you off hopingyou will go away. I can not even find out how to get the proper forms to file a claim about this issue when I call camp lejuene they say they will sent me the forms but I never get them. I am lost on this matter, any help out there.

Robert O'Dowd   September 26th, 2009 5:19 pm ET

The Marine Corps threw the Lejeune male breast cancer survivors under the bus on Friday night.

On Friday's Campbell Brown show, Major General Carl B. Jensen, Marine Corps Installation East Commander and the spokesman for the Corps, danced around the issue of causality for the Marines with male breast cancer.

He had it wrong.

The VA does not require total proof of a service connection to award a compensation and disability pension.

The VA requires a nexus opinion from a medical doctor but you don’t have to show a 100% probability that the injury was service connected. A 50% probability of service connection is all the VA needs.

The Lejeune count of male breast cancer Marines is up to 27 men as of Friday, September 25, 2009. This disease is so rare that the thought of "cancer cluster" immediately comes to mind.

It’s obvious to me that the Corps could care less about these men. All of these Marines served honorably and expected support from their Corps when help was needed. Instead, the Corps avoids the issue by citing inappropriate legal standards of "proof."

Please note that the VA requires these veterans to provide medical support that their breast cancer was “at least as likely as not” service related. The VA standard equals to a 50% probability, not total proof of causality or 100% probability as suggested by the Major General Jensen.

CNN didn’t challenge MG Jensen on the need for a veteran to provide evidence showing that Lejeune was the cause of his breast cancer.

MG Jensen's said that the Corps couldn’t help any of these men unless they had proof that their disease was caused by the contaminated water at Lejeune.

MG Jensen said that the studies funded by the Corps were done to obtain proof that the contaminated water caused various diseases to veterans and dependents.

If this is the reason for the Marine Corps' funded water studies at Lejeune, it makes little sense to me. While the Corps is waiting for proof that organic solvents in Lejeune's water systems caused diseases to veterans and others, those who drank the water are seriously ill, dying or already dead.

To support a VA disability claim, veterans need medical documentation and a nexus opinion from a medical provider that there current disability is service connected. They do not need "proof" from water studies funded by the Corps.

Here's how it works: If a medical doctor provides an opinion (nexus) that a veteran’s current disability of breast cancer was “at least as likely as not” connected to service at Lejeune, the veteran has a solid basis for a VA compensation and disability claim.

Why is the Corps using a higher standard than the VA? Could it be the toxic tort claims (over $35 billion per CNN) filed by dependents at Lejeune? Is this really a money issue for the Corps and DOD?

With over 1,400 military sites contaminated with TCE, the DOD stands to lose a lot of money in tort suits from dependents and civilian workers.

None of the Marine veterans with breast cancer can file a successful toxic tort claim. Based on the Supreme Court’s Feres doctrine, any injured Marine veteran can only file VA compensation and disability claim.

Since the male breast cancers did not occur until years after their discharge dates, these men may have to pay for an Independent Medical Evaluation (IME) to support a VA claim. That’s the rub. IMEs can run into thousands of dollars.

Only a medical doctor's opinion (nexus) is required, but doctors not familiar with the VA's nexus opinion requirements would naturally hesitate to write such an opinion. Currently, the only alternative is for a veteran to obtain an IME to support his/her VA disability claim.

There's enough evidence of well contamination at Lejeune. The Corps could request the VA to approve presumptive disability for Lejeune Marines with organic solvent linked diseases like male breast cancer. This would avoid the need for a nexus opinion or IME.

Don’t look for the Marine Corps to go the extra mile for these veterans. And, unless these men have several thousand dollars to fork over for an IME, they will not obtain any VA compensation.

So much for Semper Fi from the Corps’ leadership!

john   September 26th, 2009 5:21 pm ET

Lori Shue, Please get your fact right. I have received benefits for the toxic water at Camp Lejeune. They do grant service connection for the toxic water at Camp Lejeune. Please get your facts right before you open your mouth. John

P Hunt   September 26th, 2009 5:30 pm ET

We were at Camp Lejeune in 1970 for less than a year. I have had breast cancer, with NO family background, and have suffered seizures, with no doctor being able to diagnose any problem. This situation has adversley affected everyone and their families who was stationed there, no matter the time frame.

Teresa   September 26th, 2009 5:32 pm ET

ok, so maybe it aint the water...

it must have been something else.... but it was SOMETHING. Did the men get a particular vaccine while stationed there?

that is just too many guys with this type of cancer.

Keep fighting for your rights, vets....It's a damn shame in this country that people, especially VETS, have to fight for what is rightfully thiers.

Missy   September 26th, 2009 5:38 pm ET

I can say without a doubt that if you have been exposed to PCE/TCE and other chemicals you will develop some type of problem whether it be cancer, autoimmune disease or even infeftility problems we all know that exposure to these chemicals will kill us or disable us.

The Marine Corps needs to step up to the plate and be honest with all of us that were stationed there. I have been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and I believe this problem is a result of my short time being exposed to the water. Since my family has never had any type of auto immune disease one has to question why me? I have served honorably and spent 3 months at Lejeune. I feel for those who were there longer.

Please people call your senators and demand they pass the bill for Marines and their family. I have always been proud to be a Marine but I will not tolerate this country turning their back on all the sick Marines and their families. Time for the Corps to step up and admit they screwed up.

To all those sick Marines, God Bless I will keep you all in my prayers.

Michael W. Glenn   September 26th, 2009 5:39 pm ET

Ms. Abbie, great work !
We could see it on your face, it was a mirror of how we feel. My 30 year old son has never been able to drive a car due to his blindness from the optic nerve atropy, he has 20/400 vision. He cannot see his child's face; he cannot work even at Mcdonald's. The Corps has my children raising their families in poverty, why? Because I served my country honorably! This is why the torts need to be settled now, not 10 more years from now when my kids and others may be deceased from their afflictions. People are not worth as much dead, And the Sec. of the Navy/ JAG office know that. And it is common knowledge that type 1 diabetes shortens the life span.
Think if your child could never drive a car, or if you had to face your child's death, like Jerry and others have. It makes you sick inside. Then, to have our great country refuse to take responsibility, and send billions of our tax dollars abroad. Money needs to be put into the torts.
The breast cancer cluster makes a good point! And what are all the other health issues involved with the 1600 tort claims? The "Forgottens" web-site shows them. The diabetes is a big one, and eye disorders too. Our Neuro-Ophtalmologist is sending us to Emory University on Nov. 25 for genetic testing and our family doctor is having us go to Fullerton Genetics in Asheville, NC on Nov. 11 (Veteran's Day) to do test about my two childrens' diabetes. We will have DNA evidence then. We would love to talk to you all about our suffering. Thank you for what you are doing to bring out the truth. The Glenn family

Christina Clark   September 26th, 2009 5:59 pm ET

This story is very distributing and more needs to be done. My husbands family lived in Midway Park Housing complex on board Camp Lejeune from the early sixties. After his father was killed in the war they moved to into a near by community in the City of Jacksonville. In the last nine years I have seen my husband bury his mother, sister, brother and now another brother was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer. When are they going to gather data from nearby communities to see how this contaminated water affected people not assoiciated with the military/or outside the gates of Camp Lejune and the military spouses who have also passed away? Additionally, I have seen a whole neighbhood pass away from cancer. I have much respect for our Marines, however, I feel this issues goes further then just the base.

Thomas A. Townsend   September 26th, 2009 6:06 pm ET

The Navy and the Marine Corps have been dodging the truth and refusing to accept resposibility for what their collective negligence and
disregard of written orders has wrought. For more than ten years several
Marines have worked together to gather documentation that describes in
detail how the deadly contamination came about and when discovered
the actions taken or failed to be taken.What is criminal,in my view,is what
the Navy/Marine team failed to do is disregard the public health orders
of the Navy that allowed the contamination of the water supply to continue
for years with no remedial action.My familly lost a son and loving wife of
52 years to this reprehensible lack of leadership by the Lejeune leaders and their Navy advisors.Rregret my typing layout,I am just a
happy old Marine to see this Holocaust out in the open.The Congress
must require remedial action be taken for the injured and bereaved.

Wayne Brownfield   September 26th, 2009 6:27 pm ET

Subject: Camp Lejeune, N.C. Contaminated Water

I served in the USMC from 1978 to 1982 at Camp LeJeune, N.C. I was assigned to the 2nd Radio BN, 2nd FSSG Atlantic, as a 2651, Special Intelligence Radio Operator and obtained the rank of Sergeant before ETS out with an Honorable discharge. I live at 2200 Tarawa Terrace Blvd and qualified many times at the rifle range, both places were heavily contaminated with VOC.

My story is that I lived and worked at Camp Lejeune from 1978 to 1982, not knowing the water was contaminated. I did not find this out until March of 2008, when I received a memo from the Department of the Navy. This leads to the rest of the story, in December of 2007, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer at age 48. There was no family history of this type of cancer, even my doctor was surprised. I had my prostate out in February 2008. There is no known cause for prostate cancer, but all the research I have done shows that is slow growing cancer. That TCE/PCE and VOC chemicals that were in the drinking water could have played a significant role in me contracting cancer. The fact is that microscopic pieces of these chemicals could have lodge there and grew into cancer over the past 30 years.

I began wondering since this is so rare with no family history and such a young age, how many other Marines have had this type of cancer? How many found it in time before it spread to their bone marrow and thus was untreatable? Prostate cancer is treatable if detected at an early stage. I am in full remission and thankful to have caught it in time by yearly physicals.

The impact on my family/friends/co-workers has been profound, all were as shocked as I was. I was off from work on FMLA for 8 weeks, surgery, recovery, follow-up appointments. Also the mental and physical aspects of having cancer are dramatic, I still have boughts of depression with knowing that this might not be all that is wrong with me. The fact that the water at Camp Lejeune was contaminated, and I drank and worked around areas of Camp Lejeune that were contaminated still concern me. Why are so many veterans uninformed about this? What other support do we have? The other ironic thing is that the VOC were at their highest levels during my stay at Camp Lejeune. This fact only worries me more about the future I have. It is my intention and hope that this letter will help not only me, but others who are in this same situation. I would like to see a congressional hearing/investigation into this issue.

LagoonVet   September 26th, 2009 6:28 pm ET

Your argument doesn't hold water on the causation of illnesses related to the toxins in the water because the Marine Corps omitted adults from their studies. That's like testing mice on the adverse health affects toxic chemicals have without testing the mice. Your technical writing is very familiar, Guilty minds make guilty key boards.

Abbie, Jerry is right Rick Sanchez fluffed General Jensen's pillows for him and took the rebuttal of the evidence away from you. General Jensen is fully aware of the base orders that were set in place back in the 60's and 70's to prevent contaminants from entering the drinking water but Marine Corps officials ignored them and we are suffering as a result of their negligence.

I hope CNN will give Abbie Boudreau an opportunity to do a one hour special so she can present the entire story with the documents the USMC is hiding from. Abbie was in a groove and she was just getting started when she was cut off by Sanchez.

Gloria E Full   September 26th, 2009 6:35 pm ET

Hello Ms Abbie

Thank you for your support!!! I sent an email to Campbell Brown this morning, hopefully it will reach your hands as well!!
My name is Gloria Full and there is not doubt in my mind that all the legacy I have from the USMC is Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma!! They continue to play games, they continue to lie and deny accountability of something that they created themselves!!
I saw my grandson bleed to death in 2002 after he was diagnosed in 2001 with a very rare form of sarcoma of unexplained origen.
As I watched your segments on the subject, I could not believe that to this date they continue to lie!!!
I was in Washington DC in 2005, right after I was diagnosed with NHL, with a group of other victims of the "SYSTEM". We met with Senator Dole and Senator Jeffers, who were the only ones who expressed genuine interest for our cause. Please contact them, they will give you their perspective. Feel free to contact me, I will assist you in any way possible, believe me, I have plenty to say.
Thank you!!

Gloria E Full

THERON LEE EDGE   September 26th, 2009 6:55 pm ET

I was station at Camp Lejeune from 1985 til 1987, I went to my doctor on June 6, 1994 for a lump behind my left nipple and I was told that it was gynecomastia and was given some Motrin 800mg for the problem, I figured that they must know what they are talking about because they are the doctors. The mass is still there to this date and after I seen the special on Camp Lejeune Marines, I think it's time to get tested again.

Sue Balderrama   September 26th, 2009 6:57 pm ET

I was stationed at Camp Lejuene in 1984, at age 41 I was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer. I have no family history of any type of cancer. If there are at least 20 men out there with this disease then how many women that were stationed there also have or have had breast cancer. We may be more prone to the disease, being exposed to the chemicals found in the water there certainly increased all of our chances of getting cancer.

Terry   September 26th, 2009 7:02 pm ET

I think this is a tragedy i was on camp lejune during that time. i cannot believe it.They knew we were drinking this poisoned water and did nothing.the marines are supposed to take care of one another.I quess everything they preach about is hog wash.semperfi

mr.Ariel Cintron   September 26th, 2009 7:03 pm ET

I hope there will be up dates on this story on cnn..thank you

Stacey Wells   September 26th, 2009 7:06 pm ET

Ms. Boudreau,

Thank you so very much, from the bottom of my heart, for reporting this story. My boyfriend's mother died on July 8 this year – she was a former Marine who was stationed at Camp LeJune in the early '80s. She developed parathyroid cancer about 8 years ago and fought it. It never went away completely and it ultimately spread into her lung (which was then removed), heart and brain. She was mother to three, the youngest just 7 years old. It is a tragedy to have lost her, as she was an integral part of this fight against the Corps.
It is my hope that your story will open eyes across the country to what an injustice has been done. Good people – the people you and I rely on to keep us safe – are suffering and the Marine Corps would just as soon turn the other way.

God bless you.
Stacey Wells

In Memory of Denita Ortega McCall

peter dohan   September 26th, 2009 7:07 pm ET

dear ms boudreau, the story is sad but perhaps could be resolved by the techniques of epidemiology. was this a point outbreak lasting over a period of years, has there been any new cases outside of the time of this cohort once the water has been cleared and perhaps most importantly, can a retrospective exam of previous cohorts of lejeune residents be done to see if there were a spike of cancer or there was a steady incidence of breast cancer in males. and oerhaos most importantly, how does the rate of male breast cancer in the marine lejeuners compare to the general population of similarly aged males. it is possible that there is too much attention on the water and not enough on the epidemiology congrats on your work

yours, peter h. dohan, md

david sheets   September 26th, 2009 7:28 pm ET

As is her routine of poor journalism, campbell brown has this story at least partially wrong: The VA will treat any veteran for a medical condition that he or she currently has – which if these men are enrolled in the VA healthcare system they could receive such CA tx. However, what they are not entitled to is being paid for this condition of breast ca since there is no proof that this occured while on active duty and thus would not be eligible for a service connection or monetary payment. But again they are entitled to medical care once enrolled in the VA. She is sounding more like several other CNN commentators who do not do their homework prior to making such comments for headline grabbing.

Cath   September 26th, 2009 7:44 pm ET

My husband is a Marine that worked in the Engine Rebuild Facility from 1976-1979. He told me that the degressear pits leaked and they were told to just keep refilling them.

We have a child that was born on Camp Lejeune and exposed before birth to the waters. She is a mess. She was a failure to thrive baby and I was told it would be best if I did a prepaid funeral arrangement so at least I wouldn't have to worry about that.

This child was taken off base and we were able to clear her failure to thrive status...and went right into asthma and environmental disorders.Meningitis hit when she was 3.

She is now 31 and has been diagnosed bi-polar, for want of a better diagnosis. All I know is my child, who I stayed home for her entire life because others were afraid to help, is still in need of assistance.

As for me, I went into *Ovarian failure * at 35 and that's all she wrote.

It seems very unfair that our government won't help the miltary or their offspring.

Thank you for shedding light on this subject.

Irene Compton   September 26th, 2009 7:45 pm ET

My husband was stationed @ Camp Lejeune. We lived in Tarawa Terrace. I have been diagnosed w/Hodgkins, 3 times and thryroid cancer as well.
How much do we have to go through???
My heart goes out to everyone who has been effected by all this.

My father is a Vietnam vet (3 tours) gave 31 years of his life to the Corps, my husband gave 13 1/2.
What did the Marine Corps do for us???

God help us....

Andrea   September 26th, 2009 7:57 pm ET

You did a fantastic job. I spoke to my parents and Mike and we all agree that you have by far done the best job when it comes down to getting into the nitty gritty. Thank you again so much!

Andrea Byron

For anyone looking for additional information, please visit the website of The Few, The Proud, The Forgotten.

Greg   September 26th, 2009 8:14 pm ET


I am not defending the Marine Corps/ATSDR study. I do not doubt it is in fact flawed, and the fundamental limitations of epidemiology are shedding doubt on the validity of the injured Marines' claims.

Scientists DO know in fact that benzene, TCE, PCE and the other detected solvents DO cause toxic effects. But the fundamental problem with toxicology is the research related to toxic effects in animal studies, either extrapolated or interpolated to humans. It would be wholly unethical to test chemicals on humans to determine the toxicology curves!

And that is exactly what I was attempting to point out–not as a Marine Corps apologist. The VA, the Federal government, and civil courts will rely on causation–and not association, to make or break arguments.

Thanks Dr Dohan. You and I seem to understand this well.

L.T.   September 26th, 2009 8:24 pm ET

I personally know of an older sister that has the same genetic disease. that has became aware to run in the family but was not known until 22 yrs ago. She was in the military when she noticed symptums and was sent to numerous DR'S but wasn't able to find a definite diagnosis until after she was out of the military and her genetic disease had progressed. She filed for VA compensation but originally was denied. She appealed. Finally, she was declared to be "100%" disabled and she and "able" bodied husband live off 7000.00 a month VA-plus all the perks that come with it-ie...paying no property taxes,free medical and dental for the both of them-also, the goverment "US" pays for her to get a new fully accessible van with gps,2 dvd players and it comes with a seat warmer–the husband doesn't work and plays golf 3 or 4 days a week-they go on cruises 3 or 4 times a yr and the kicker is they live in a very affluent part of South Florida, in a gated community, in a brand new 4 bedroom-3 full bath home with a pool.

As you can tell I am somewhat bitter because she has got the same GENETIC disease I have and I am barely able to get by. But, because they found a loop hole in the "system" that states you have to come out of the military in the same condition as you went in and because she didn't know of her gene pool being crappy, they "the military DRS" didn't do genectic testing prior to her joining, she and her husband are living off of the government "US"-

Trevor D. Hitchin   September 26th, 2009 8:43 pm ET


Sat night and you're moderating your blog – love it!!!

Thank you for posting my comments, honestly, I wasn't sure they would make the cut. I hope you get nominated for a (fill in name of the most coveted journalists award here) for your heroric actions and right-on tme follow up. When you are ready to take on the issue of "Do no harm" and why people get sick, die, or disabled when they run into police and/or hospital staff IN a hospital – I have the next blockbuster story for you. If you have ANY interest in an exclusive, please contact me at

It is a noteworthy story and the coverage and interest would be worldwide. In one story you could cover Police Misconduct (and the high price cities pay), Dangers of Inpatient Hospitals (behind closed doors), the motivation for Quacks to drawn down your benefits from $60,000 to $0 then kick you in the backside on the way out, torture, as well as forced psychotropics and the most fundamental Civil Liberties we have left – NOT to have our minds altered for cash.

In my case The US Supreme Court (Harper v. Washington) ruled on this exact issue one year earlier in 1990. I have all my evidence and the story is just breaking now (by me) to my abusers (UCLA, LAPD, UCLA PD, Torrance Memorial Medical Center and a very dangerous psychiatrist named John Moeller in Torrance, California. Intense stuff but here you have a track record now of excellence . Feel free to contact me off-line if there is interest. It's big and you can have right of first refusal.... Regards and congratulations, go toast one high. TH

aaron lohden   September 26th, 2009 8:58 pm ET

Thank you: I was in the Marines 1978-1981 @ Camp Lejuene. Over the last 15 years Ive put up with being bi-polar, severe depression, migranes, and a stress in my neck and back thats like fire! I never had these problems before,nor has anyone in my family history ever had depression or bi-polar. I have had very severe skin rashes over the last five years. Ive scratched so hard they bleed and have skin damage. Ive had intestinal inflamation. Ive had a weak liver. I get fatigue easily. I dont have cancer that I know of but do to the exsposure of these toxic chemicals I have severe maladys I have to live with every day. Because my bi-polar is pre-existing Im not elgible for insurance, My claim 95 Is almost ready to send of if its even worth it. My Dr. understands these chemicals and side affects that have played a role in my ailments. Im getting ready to see if VA will help but I know they are turning all of down.Im going to be 50 Oct 4 and Im raising a 4 year old little boy buy myself. God please let me get thru this and get him raised. I do use about $400.00 per month of holistic products that have helped the rashes and intestinal flareups. I have the worst sinus itus that you ever seen. I have to go thru a whole box of tissues daily. After seeing 5-6 Dr.s and not getting answers I went and seen a well known Omish Dr. that is an Iradoigist. He has read my eyes and understands the chemical damage more than anyone... When I first seen him may of 08 he said I was a two. Just July of 09 He said Im a 6 on a one to ten. And thats the best I will get. I will take it. I try to read how to manage my problems to the best of my ability. It has helped but I will never have the quality of life I could have. This is for real. Thanks Aaron lohden If I could be of help to anyone in anyway I will. Let me know!

Arlene Smith   September 26th, 2009 9:09 pm ET

I was a Woman Marine stationed at Camp Lejeune, NC. My husband
was also. I lived on the base and in the housing area that was mentioned on the news report (Tarawa Terrace). I was there in the early 70's. I went thru radiation and chemo for Anal Cancer in 2003.
I feel I got this from the water also. I found out about the water study
when I was surffing the internet for information about Camp Lejeune.
I was very happy to see this news report. I can't remember anything on the news about all the Vietnam veterans dying from Agent Orange?

Mary Byron   September 26th, 2009 9:14 pm ET

Thank you so much for doing this investigative report. We commend the men that participated. We are certain that it took a lot of courage for them to remove their shirts on national television. They have no idea how many people they have touched. We have had so many emails from people wanting to know more. Many that are just finding out, many that wondered what they had done wrong. They did nothing wrong. They were at the wrong place at the wrong time. Again, thank you so much.

Jeff and Mary Byron
The Few, The Proud, The Forgotten

Terry Fristoe Dyer   September 26th, 2009 9:22 pm ET

I lived at LeJeune for 15 years.with my family. We were civilians. My Dad was a school principal. We lived there from 1958 to 1973. I have the web-site THE STAND @ All my family is sick. We have been most of our lives. I am fighting bladder cancer right now and am interested if anyone else that lived there has had this form of cancer. My sister and I have been fighting this for over 11 years now and made many trips to DC to ask for help. It has been a real roller-coaster ride. Hopefully with this great report from CNN more attention will be payed to what we are going through. If we can help you or answer any questions please write to me All I can say is we have become a true family through all of this and we will fight this to the end until we get the help and justice we deserve! Shame on you Marine Corps and shame on the Commandant you interviewed for his total lack of care and responsibility. There is a moral code here, even if the Marine Corps wants to admit it or not!

Michael Doyle   September 26th, 2009 9:32 pm ET

(Mike D. Warren Mi.) I started getting sick very soon after leaving camp Lejeune in January 1977 (Hadnot Point – mainside) protien in urine... just felt sick most of the time and in 1987 was dignosed with a rare auto – immune disease (dematomyocites) also (interstitial lung disease) and (avascular nacrocis) (7 joint replacments) (4 lunber degenerated discs) (blood clots both legs) a total nightmare of pain and porverty.... since leaving there. I've been 100 % disabled since 1987 unable to work.. I sure hope our leaders will reconize these illness as being caused by the military – and pay those of us who have suffered – a disability retirement

Mike Partakn   September 26th, 2009 9:35 pm ET

My wife and children were amused at the General's overactive eye blinking. We tried to count the number of blinks but quickly lost count after the second minute. I wonder what the accurate count would be?

Jeffrey A. Trueman, Founder V'ERPA (1999)   September 26th, 2009 9:39 pm ET

Under the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1950 Feres doctrine and its “mandate”—these Veterans MUST be provided the BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT standard under the Veterans Administration laws arising from their “incident to service” injuries and ailments. This is another example of the chilling effects of the Feres doctrine in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Jeffrey A. Trueman
Founder, V’ERPA

Gao Fulang   September 26th, 2009 9:40 pm ET


The corporate Marine Corps response to your CLNC cancer investigation further confirms a pattern that has been observed in more recent issues, such as lacking MRAP capabilities. In both cases past willful blindness by USMC led to the preventable suffering of Marines. Then when confronted with the consequences in the present the priority of the current leadership becomes the protection of the "corporation" over the needs of the Marines to whom it had always pledged to remain faithful. What fuels this betrayal is a small handful of General Officers who want to minimize damage to legacies (past and present) by not admitting wrong, to include a refusal to hold anyone accountable. This is why you find PAO and OLA (the Praetorian Guard of the Marine Corps’ senior leaders) shirking any admission of responsibility, and seeking legal cover instead of embracing the needs of Marines who are jeopardized.

Here is why MRAP is so similar to the water-cancer connection. CNN and many others reported that USMC's burying of a request for MRAPs in Iraq delayed their fielding by 19 months during the height of the insurgency there. It has been argued that this led directly to hundreds of preventable deaths and thousands of maimings in HMMWVs attacked by IEDs. Accused of gross mismanagement by several members of Congress, including but not limited to then-Senator Biden and Senator Bond, the DoD IG investigated. The IG report found that the Corps was aware of the vulnerability of HMMWVs to IEDs as early as 1994 and the need for MRAPs. Worse yet the IG found that Marines in Iraq urgently requested MRAPs from Quantico in 2005, and that the request simply disappeared. In spite of the IG’s highly critical report and continued press and Congressional interest, no public apology by the leadership has been offered and not a single individual has been held accountable for the willful blindness that led to preventable tragedy of inferior HMMWV protection, a vulnerability that continues in Afghanistan today. Here too the young Marines who went faithfully to war were betrayed as they suffered unnecessary death and injury lacking MRAP armor because that particular outside solution threatened HMMWV contracts and JLTV R&D funding. The young Marines constituted warriors on the wrong side of a “business case.” They went to war on the promise of a brother and sisterhood founded on Semper Fidelis only to find that at the senior leader/corporate level it was a sham.

It wasn’t always this way. We have known great leaders in the Marine Corps, in fact there is not a Commandant in memory that has failed to own up to the Corps’ shortcomings, to make sure that Marines of the future are better prepared and cared for. But this current regime is different, an unfortunate departure from the foundations of responsibility, accountability, and “Semper Fidelis” that we all grew up on as young Marines. Therefore, in addition to commending you for your investigative reporting that will certainly help our brother Marines, I encourage you highlight this shirking as a coincidental trend in the current regime, one that is worthy of public, Congressional, DoD and even Presidential attention.

Clairen Reese   September 26th, 2009 9:44 pm ET

As several people have mentioned in the above posts, does anyone really know the far-reaching effects of this contamination outside the base into the local community?

My family lived immediately outside of the New River Air Station in Jacksonville, NC from 1986 to 1989. My husband was a Cobra pilot with a squadron there. He was later killed on active duty overseas in 89.

In 1999 my oldest daughter became very ill and was in contstant pain. She was married to a Navy man and they were stationed in Whidbey Island, Washington. We talked frequently about the terrible pain she felt in her lower abdomen area. Doctors dismissed her concerns repeatedly because she was just 23 years old. She visited the Naval Hospital in Pensacola while here visiting us on their way to be stationed in Jacksonville, FL. Again, they told her it was all in her head, and to take some Tylenol. We said jokingly, but seriously, they'd probably tell her she wouldn't be dying if they'd have caught this in time.

In May 2000 she called in tears begging for someone to cut her open to stop the pain. I had to get very aggressive and go to the top of the chain of command in Jacksonville, FL. When they finally called her in to test her she was a couple of days near death from Stage Four color cancer (which we have absolutely no history of). From that point she battled with every ounce of stregnth she could (she had two small children) and finally passed away five years ago on September 24th. In essence, I guess you might say both the Marine Corps in Jacksonville (?) and the U.S. Navy in three commands gave her an unnecessary death sentence just two weeks short of her 28th birthday.

The point is, she was a child when we lived in Jacksonville, N.C. Not too long ago, one of our neighbors there contacted us to tell us that 80% of the children who lived in the Gateway Manor subdivision off Blue Creek Road had been diangosed with various serious cancers and some have died. Is that a coincidence? I'm sure it is not, but is anyone going to any length to investigate these stories outside the base itself? Good grief, I wish we'd have never lived there. My beautiful, vivacious daughter is gone and her little ones are left to grow up without their loving mother.

As a journalist, I feel compelled to help share this story in whatever way I can. I am so sorry for everyone's pain, suffering and loss. It is definitely time to hold the guilty parties responsible for this horrible nightmare.

Paul C. Akers,MD   September 26th, 2009 9:59 pm ET

My family was stationed at Camp LeJeune from 1954 until 1960 and lived in Tarawa Terrace II the entire time. My sister and I attended base schools. My mother was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer while we were stationed at LeJeune/she died in 1960 when I was 14 and my sister was 12 yrs. old. My sister passed away in June of this year with metastatic malignant melanoma and I have been diagnosed with stage 4 non-Hogkins Lymphoma.Except for the three of us, there is no family history of malgnancy . One last point, the fourth agent noted to be in the water (Vinyl chloride) is prohibited to be transported on a commercial plane or train but you can apparently pour it on the ground or put it in the drinking water. .

Jim Davis, Veterans-For-Change   September 26th, 2009 10:17 pm ET

Irene Compton:
It certainly won’t be easy dealing with the VA, but get a GOOD VSO’ and get a Nexus letter from your doctor. If you need assistance my E-Mail is in many of the postings I’ve done so far for the petition.

David Sheets:
There has been one claim made with the VA to date that I know for fact was approved for 30% disability and is now being paid on TCE/PCE exposure and illness so what you’ve said is not quite accurate, however, it’s NOT going to be easy to get a claim approved, I’ve worked on two more cases one was denied, the other was remanded.

Ariel Cintron:
We all need to push all our media outlets to bring this more to light. This is happening at over 1,000 bases nationwide and 144 bases are on the EPA Superfund List as badly contaminated for years and years dating back to the 1960’s and is well documented. I just wish CNN had done a boat load more of their homework and brought this to light too!

Sue Balderrama:
You’re not alone, and even the spouses of those who served on the base and their children all are affected, and many are ill, and now live throughout the United States, where was CNN in their report on this?

Theron Lee Edge:
You and all those who have served from WWII on should get annual physicals and demand a full body cat scan, you just never know when or if something will show up as is the case with hundreds of people.

Gloria Full:
We should all be calling on our Senators and Congressmen, you can call toll free at 866-272-6622 just ask the operator for the representative you want to speak to and ask them what they are doing and why they all refuse to sign the TCE/PCE Reduction Act of 2009 and put on the floor for a vote and passage, I co-wrote the bill and have been fighting since February 2009 to get it signed!

I strongly suggest you and your husband contact a VSO and immediately file a claim, and also obtain a nexus letter from your civilian doctor. Again, if you need assistance, please let me know.

Wayne Brownfield:
All those who served or resided on base there and many others should be worried, and they should have notified you sooner, a lot sooner, but that would have opened the door as accepting responsibility and being held accountable.

File your claim and fight like hell!

Thomas Townsend:
My condolences to you and your family!
I would try and find a good VA attorney and file a tort claim!

Christina Clark:
You’re so right it goes a lot further! Thousands of bases, and in the case of MCAS El Toro the ground and water are badly contaminated in residential areas as far away as 8 miles from the base.

It absolutely was the ground water, had CNN done their homework they could have very easily exposed as few as 144 bases and well more than 1,000 bases nationwide, and not to mention many ships!

Domingo Aguilar Jr:
You too file a claim immediately, and fight like hell don’t let them win!
And call your Senators and Congressmen too!

Dennis Lambert:
And any other veteran who needs a VSO to file their claim, please contact me I have a list of thousands nationwide and will be happy to assist! JDAVIS92840@SBCGLOBAL.NET

Richard Ayars:
You too could have been contaminated by the fuels but with other chemicals!

Jacklyn D:
Again, get on the phones and call your members of Congress at 866-272-6622 ask the operator for your member of Congress by name, call back and do the same for the remaining two. Demand they take action!

Doug Kelly:
Only believe 10% of what you read from the DoD if it’s made public, it’s more likely tainted so as not to admit guilt!

Trevor Hitchin:
Thank you for your due diligence, we need MORE VSO’s like you! Sad to say 50% or better couldn’t care less! It’s about quantity not quality for most!

John from Nashiville:
I would love to get my hands on one of those memo’s it would help Gulf War vets if that were exposed! How many have filed claims and appeals and all been denied repeatedly!

Veterans have been having to fight for what was promised and due for decades, and when veterans wake up and realize the Service Organizations will not do the job and join advocacy groups to fight not much will ever change!

Jill Watson:
Your brothers wife should file an immediate claim for DIC (Dependency and indemnity compensation)… she will be denied but she should appeal as many times as it takes until she is awarded benefits!

Anyone interested in signing the petition to help force a member of Congress to sign the bill, please E-Mail me: JDAVIS92840@SBCGLOBAL.NET

Or if you’re a veteran, spouse or widow who needs to file a claim, E-Mail me the City and State and I can provide you a list of VSO’s in your area.

We simply cannot let this go and the DoD and the VA and the Marine Corps needs to stand tall, be held accountable and responsible!

And CNN needs to really do their homework, check the EPA superfund list, and make note of ALL military bases affected and ALL the illnesses people are suffering from at the hands the USMC, DoD and VA!

Carmella   September 26th, 2009 11:20 pm ET

My father was a marine from 1952 through 1972, we were stationed at Camp Lejeune, Midway Park and Berkley Manor. My father had throat cancer and died 4 years later of pancreatic cancer. My mother died of pancreatic cancer after spending most of her life battling thyroid issues and depression.. My uncle John who was also a marine, died of pancreatic cancer, my uncle fred died of heart disease and his wife, my aunt, died of pancreatic cancer, she also had brain tumors and diabetes. They were military. My aunt Joanne died of cancer, a tumor that exploded in her back? They couldn't explain that one, her husband, my uncle, also in the military, their kids, my cousins, 2 girls have breast cancer.

Our family is large and widspread, but only family members that have lived on a military base have had health issues. All the other family members are fine.

My brothers and I have been dealing with mental illness, heart disease, diabetes, thyroid problems, heart problems. Just let me say, we are very afraid of that grim reaper sitting out there on the front porch rocking away on that old rocking chair, we just live with that time bomb ready to go off at any moment, to be told we are as good as dead because we had the misfortune to be born into the military.

I pray that someone can light a fire under the commandant to give all of us the medical testing and attention we deserve.

Christopher Guy(Graham)   September 26th, 2009 11:28 pm ET

my grandparents(mid 60's) and my parents(73-78) lived on base in housing. My grandmother and mother are both deceased. I don't have contact with my father. I was born in Oklahoma, but was in utero there while my mom and dad lived there.After I was born, my mother and I moved back. My younger brother was born there in 77. I don't know yet if I have any cancers, but I have other problems that are unexplained. my younger brother has neurological problems( never explained, just treated). I've read that not only individuals and their children were affected, but their children also. I received a letter in early 2000 asking me to call a 1800 number. They took some kind of health survey over the phone. at that time I was unaware of any health risk I had. I have since then read all kinds of victim stories that I can relate to.I firmly believe, I (as well as my brother) may be victims. I have great concerns that this issue will not get resolved in my life time, but I pray that it does soon.

david corwin   September 27th, 2009 12:21 am ET

i served from 57 to 59.10th marines. at lejeune. i gave up my prostate to cancer a cpl yrs ago i have had kidney stones since in my early 20s. i have serious spinal problems. gall stones, arthritis, bad problems.i have had appendicitis and had to have 2 surgery's to fix it what can all this mean? maybe i am getting old, BUT i can bet a lot of it came from the contamination at the camp. god bless you all and semper fi. i am humble by those who have gone before. dave corwin

Elaine   September 27th, 2009 3:02 am ET

See Cornell University website on lindane and breast cancer

Camp Lejeune has a toxic Superfund Site with pesticide lindane.

Curt   September 27th, 2009 3:57 am ET

Thanks for doing the story on the impact of toxic water at Camp Lejeune. This is a story that is long overdue. I feel like I am living it all over again how Agent Orange had/has been handled by politicians, government officials, the VA, DOD and the military. I watched my Marine brother-in-law slowly die in the 70's from the effects of Agent Orange. During that time the various government agencies and the military were doing all they could to deny how dangerous Agent Orange really was and to avoid any responsibility for what it was doing to the Viet Nam vets. Many years later my brother, who was also a Marine, died in a VA hospital from the effects of Agent Orange.

I joined the Marine Corps during that time also and I am now seeing what appears to me to be, most politicians, the Marine Corps, the decision makers and the various government agencies including the VA and DOD playing many of the same games to avoid dealing with the problem...deny, delay and defend. Apathy and a failure to deal honestly and fairly with this situation seem to be the order of the day. I am not saying this applies to all of the people that work in these agencies as I have also had very positive experiences with helpful and caring staff and believe most of the folks that work there do have a genuine concern and they do the best they can with what they have to work with.

There is a reason why the chemicals we were exposed to at Lejeune are on the EPA's list of toxic substances... they are either known or suspected human carcinogens. Toxic chemicals don't always kill immediately, sometimes they take their time and the direct link of cause-effect is not so obvious but the results are just as damaging and deadly. In our case, the passage of so much time makes it nearly impossible to make a direct connection of the toxic chemicals to the medical problems experienced, but that doesn’t make it any less likely. The chemicals are “poison,” if they are not dangerous and deadly then why do the EPA, ATSDR and other monitoring agencies continue to monitor them in water and continue to list them as toxic?

It took my brother-in-law about five years to die from the effects of Agent Orange. My brother died forty years after exposure. The effects of exposure to toxic chemicals do not always appear immediately after exposure. The effects on our immune systems and DNA structure are not always immediate and obvious. The damage done to our organs can be progressive and is not always the same for everyone but the damage is done none the less.

I am another one that can be added to the list of Marines who was diagnosed and treated for very aggressive prostate cancer (Gleason Score of 9 on a 10 scale) before age 50 and I also had no family history of cancer. In addition, I have several of the other serious health issues mentioned by others here and again with no family history of the problem. I don’t know if anyone will ever be able to prove beyond a doubt that our medical problems are a result of our exposure to the toxic chemical cocktail we were served at Lejeune but there definitely is a connection.

In the case of veterans, because of the Feres Doctrine, there are few options open to the veterans to deal with this situation. This suggests a presumptive disability finding of the more likely medical conditions is a reasonable solution. I understand the VA looks at a claim and tries to establish their findings by applying a principle that the disability was incurred or aggravated by service that caused or contributed substantially or materially to the medical problem(s) of the veteran. Put another way, the VA wants to know that the illness was “at least as likely as not” service related. The VA standard equals to a 50% probability with a tie going in the veterans favor. It doesn’t say it has to be an absolute cause or a 100% probability for the medical problem. It appears rather obvious that there is a service connection to many of the illnesses and early deaths described by me and others that resided at Lejeune. The EPA’s (and others) list of toxic substances and their known or likely consequences of exposure at the high levels of our water supply bear this out.

The 15 million dollars that was mentioned as being spent by the Marine Corps to answers the important questions is a lot of money and is appreciated. That said, when you consider all the Marines, dependents and base workers that were there during the period in question, it is really a small investment considering the time that has been allowed to pass and the large number of people that have died already or still suffer as a result of drinking and bathing in the contaminated water. Let’s face it, it is far cheaper for the Marine Corps to let the Lejeune folks continue to die off and eventually the problem will take care of itself.

I feel like the Marine Corps has abandoned me and others and continues to let me and others down. The illnesses are real and the connection is there, the only thing left is for the Marine Corps to meet their responsibility. The Marine Corps I respected and who always talks about "taking care of their own" needs to do the right thing now. We did our part for the country and the Marine Corps when needed, we should expect and get no less from the Marine Corps.

One final comment for Abbie Boudreau, you handled this story very professionally and did an admirable job of presenting our situation in the limited time available. I thank you and my best to you!

Greg   September 27th, 2009 4:25 am ET

So I saw the story, and talked to my mom and family that lived at camp Lejeune. and they were stuned. and tonight while on youtube I came acrossed a song that songs like what has happened there. The song is by darryl worely if something should happen. the link is almost sounds like it has been known about for awhile now..

Jon Bruce   September 27th, 2009 5:12 am ET

I watched and was saddened that our Goverment left my fellow Marines behind. Semper fi is our Moto and the code I have lived by for 59 years so far. I was with the 2nd Marines at Lejuene 68-70. If I have any cancer I don't know about it yet and I only pray I don't hae or get it. I watched my WWII Vet Father die of cancer and even at the Hospice it was the hardest thing I ever witnessed in lived in my life so far. Brothers and Sisters God Bless you and your families and I hope our Leadership gets behind us and pushes for help. I know also after loosing a job in the early 80's due to a Shipyard closing how I also got left behind. No service connected disability no medical help no matter how much medicine I had to buy. 150 a week unemployment 50 a week child support. All I got for my Marine Corps service and 16 years service with the shipyard was a block of cheese and a block of butter. It was rough, single, 2 children to support and bills on that 150 a week. Took 5 weeks till I got my 1st unemployment check. Went to VA for help with meds and employment. No help, no meds, no job. Thank you Marine for your service. Now I see food thrown away thats given free and paid for out of my tax dollars. Some to people not even citizens. Makes you wonder whats wrong with this picture. We served our country because they needed help. Now my Fellow Marines need the Countries help. How about giving us some! I appreciate your hard work in showing the world what is happening to my Brothers and Sisters. Keep up the good work and God Bless you and God Bless America, Semper fi, Jon Bruce USMC 1968-1974

Hilda Rose   September 27th, 2009 5:17 am ET

We were stationed at Camp Lejeue and lived at Tarrwa Terrace from Jan 1984-1985. Both my children were conceived on the base and both had serious problems. My oldest son was diagnosed with a heart murmur and was developping a stomach ulcer.
My youngest son, was born two weeks prematurely with a debilitating Kidney problems. He had a major operation at age one to correct the reflux that he had on both kidneys. Recently, he had to go through a Kidney transplant at age 21. I give him my kidney so he will have a semi normal life. He will have to take medication for the rest of his life and have to worry about the costly medicine and wether he has insurance to cover it.
I have to work as a contractor overseas to ensure that my son's medical bills are paid and that he is provided with a clean healthy environment because his immune system is vulnerable due to the medications that he is taking.
My family has suffered a lot and will still suffer do to the Marine Corps mishap. We are screaming for help but nobody can hear us.

Peggy Shupe   September 27th, 2009 8:17 am ET

I was stationed with my husband at Camp Lejeune from 1963' thru 1966'. I had a miscarriage in 1964'. In 1965' my daughter Debbie was conceived and exposed to these chemicals in utero. She was born with hydrocephalus, anecephaly, spina bifida, cleft palate, and paralysis. 3 months later she died. I was told at the time that the birth defect was not genetic, and that they didn't know the cause. I know in my heart that the similarities are not a coincidence. Thank you CNN for airing some of the health problems that have been plagueing us for years. Thank you Abbie!!

tina v   September 27th, 2009 9:57 am ET

my husband was stationed at lejuene in the 80s i have health problems myself kidney bladder cancer

Jose   September 27th, 2009 9:58 am ET

Hi to all.
I am Puertirrican and i am a former MARINE . From Now on i will write in spanish for all the latin people that are in the same position of sickness and they are left out. OK. Para todos los MARINOS estacionados en CAMP Lejeune N.C. . En un momento dado cuando yo estaba estacionado en el campamento empece a tener un dolor de cabesa fuerte luego un rash en la piel constante y al final mis nervios se descontrolaron. Pues yo no entendia porque tuve muchos problemas con mis superiores sin tener deseo de tenr problems . En estos momentos tengo un cuantas enfermedades que son raras tiroide,artritis,osteosporosis, hepatitis rash en la piel problemas con el sistema nervioso desde depresion, ansiedad, panico pesadillas y descontrol en toma de decisiones. Pues es hora de que investiguen si todo lo que espamos pasando es por consecuencia de el agua contaminada en el Camp Lejeune. Si algunos de ustedes tienen problemas de salud raros pues unanse el pidan la investigacion.
Thank you

Marc Mustain   September 27th, 2009 10:19 am ET

First off I would like to thank Abbie & CNN for the research toward this American tragedy. Maybe something can be done about it. That's what counts. Keep at it!

We already know this type of contaminated water has ill effects of all sorts. This is a fact no matter how you look at it. If it wasn't, than bottle this military water, sell at the store and also have their specialist drink it. Take a sip, go ahead! Okay the Marines invested "15 million dollars" basically to cover up this scandal. I wish I had the 20 million dollars to uncover it. Because that's what it's probably going to take. That would make "their specialist" to rethink the verdict. Along with all this news coverage and more.

See this isn't like Agent Orange and all the other "war time" issues. This happened on American soil by an American military. Meaning it has effected civilians such as myself. You would think on-base would be one of the safest places to drink water. Bottled water wasn't even popular back then so tap water was all people really drank.

For the Marines to say water studies in this country was new at that time is a lie. Especially on a military base. (The new study was us) Simple fact: when the American Military atomic bombed Japan back in Word War 2. They had to say, well, yeah this is going to effect the soil, the water, etc for a very long period of time. So let us debunk that lie as well. THEY KNEW!

What hurt me is the water probably had to be at the highest contamination level back in the 80's when they finally ended it after 3 decades of contamination. See when they found out in 81 (so they say, though I believe the Marines knew a lot longer) if they would have cut it off immediately I personally would have never been exposed.

The VA needs to step up but they won't for a while because that means they have to be liable for civilians such as myself. This was not a "war time" mishap. I mean you never think this would happen from our own military.

Ruben   September 27th, 2009 11:02 am ET

I feel a great deal of compassion for the Marines because I was in the military too and went through similar trials and tribulations while in the Air Force. We expect our governement to protect us from toxic chemical exposure and to help us when they fail. But sometimes, government expects more than it is willing to give and buracracy takes over. That's when we feel that our government cannot be trusted with our lives and our childrens lives. As a result, the military suffers because we advise our kids to stay out of the military out of fear that they will be treated the same way.

With agent orange the VA allowed disability under the presumption of exposure and those exposed were awarded benefits but it took years. By that time many had suffered and many had died. So, they saved money by prolonging the suffering. Therefore, there should be a presumptive clause that allows veterans to be treated early on in cases like this, not just after years and years of protest and investigations. Further, if after years of protests and investigations benefits are awarded the VA should pick up the tab for past medical expenses and then those benefits should be awarded postumously to surviing families. That will motivate a quicker and more deliberate response.

Also, it is not just the military. Some cities have a long history of dumping or allowing industries to dump deadly toxic chemicals in landfills near and around low-income neighborhoods. In some cases the same kind of chemicals are found in the soil and groundwater in those low-income neighborhoods. These people suffer similar fates as the Marines and should be investigated too. Cities should be held to the same standard as the military. They are suppose to protect their citizens and they should be held accountable whent they do not.


Frank   September 27th, 2009 11:07 am ET

I feel for all the military and nonmilitary personnel going through this with NO HELP FROM THE MARINE CORPS. They should be ashamed and that two star general that was on tv should also be ashamed. HELP ALL THAT NEED IT RIGHT NOW

John   September 27th, 2009 11:35 am ET

Just to set the record straight on the source of the contamination. The source was from a civilian laundry just off base within sight of the fence line. The laundry had been dumping dry cleaning chemicals onto the ground for years and it slowly seeped into the aquifer. I pulled the following quote from a CNN story.

"Camp Lejeune's water supply was polluted from 1957 until 1987 by TCE, a degreasing solvent, and PCE, a dry cleaning agent. The chemicals apparently came from a dry cleaning store near the base, according to the government."

The research I did as part of a service connected claim as mentioned in my earlier posting on this issue also disclosed the source of the water contamination as the civilian laundry.

Although this does not alleviate the military from responsibility. I just want to point out where the water contamination came from since some of the readers may not have picked up on this fact.

Other readers also pointed out other issues regarding contamination to potent chemicals while doing there military duties such as hydraulic fluid, gasoline, cleaning compounds, etc; I would agree with those posters that there is a distinct possibility that their current ailments could be directly related.

I would also have to disagree with the poster regarding service connection criteria for disabilities which arose from chemical contamination while in the military. All disabilities can be service connected by direct incurrence if a veteran can show through evidence that he was exposed to a certain chemical and current medical evidence/opinion relates the current disability to that exposure. "38 CFR Sec. 3.303 Principles relating to service connection."

For those that missed my first posting I am a retired Federal Civil Service employee who worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs. I was in the position of Decision Review Officer from 1997 to 2005 when I retired.

I also have to send out my sympathy for all the dependents that were also exposed to the contaminated water and are now sick from it. My heart goes out to you and I hope there can be some kind of compensation for you very soon. Hang in there and god bless you.


Pete Devereaux   September 27th, 2009 11:53 am ET

Abbie I want to thank you for doing such a great job on the interview. Thank you so much for your help, it was a pleasure meeting you.

Leon Sellers   September 27th, 2009 12:01 pm ET

I also feel my family has been affected by the contaminated water at Camp Lejuene. My father was a marine who died at the age of 51 from colon and liver cancer. My mother passed away at the age of 55 from unknown causes, but had a double mastectomy from breast cancer in her late forties. I was born at the Camp Lejuene’s hospital in 1959. At 47 I became disabled and have issues from osteoporosis, multiple spine surgery that failed, spine tumors, and several spine diseases. Also kidney stones, liver disease, vitamin and testosterone deficiencies, testicular problems and no telling what other undiscovered health issues. Thank you CNN for not letting this issue die like the marines would like to happen. I also thank CNN for your coverage of this shameful act by our government. You could see the shame on the face of the marine’s Major General that you interviewed on your show. Keep up the good work.

Leon Sellers

Frank Clark   September 27th, 2009 12:50 pm ET

I was stationed at Camp Lejeune in 1960. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005!!!! But not only was I at Lejeune, I was involved in 11 atomic tests in Nevada in 1962, and have no idea of the levels of radiation to which I was exposed. I'm trying to get my medical records from the Corps now to understand whether I got a one-two punch.

Jeffrey A. Trueman, Founder V'ERPA (1999)   September 27th, 2009 12:57 pm ET

P.S. I am writing the "V'ERPA Report" and the reasons why–the Feres doctrine is the number one enemy of all U.S. military and families.

It will be included at Chapter 3 of my pending book:

"The Broken Scales Of American Justice." Here is a brief excerpt from the "judicial dissent" section:

"Finally, in the matter of Costo v. United States, USSC No. 01-526; the case arose under the FTCA when on July 1, 1995, petitioners' [SUZANNE C. COSTO] decedents, Nollie P. Costo and Christopher J. Graham, were killed while participating in a rafting trip that was sponsored by the Navy's Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Department. The district court dismissed on lack of subject matter jurisdiction reasons. The 9th Circuit affirmed. However, Judge Alarcon dissented, on the ground that the Feres doctrine "violates the equal protection rights of military service men and women" and "violates our constitutional separation of powers."

In all, since November 1999, when I formed V’ERPA I have been arguing the very same dissents against the FD and its allowance of gross-negligent and criminal acts and omissions of federal employees in the DOD/military—to destroy the lives of our own people."

Jerry Ensminger   September 27th, 2009 1:03 pm ET

You need to get your facts straight, yes, the contamination of the Tarawa Terrace (TT) housing area drinking water system was caused by the ABC drycleaners. The only reason the wells at TT were susceptible to that contamination was because they were on the virtual property line down gradient of multiple potential off base contamination sources in violation of the Navy/USMC's own regulations!

Now John, the worst contaminated drinking water system aboard Camp Lejeune was the Hadnot Point (aka, Mainside) area system. This contamination was caused by the military and it was caused by multiple spill/dump sites near supply wells for that system.

Get your facts straight John before you jump on the www and embarrass yourself. Of course I did note that you never did list your last name. Jerry Ensminger

Jerry Ensminger   September 27th, 2009 1:36 pm ET

Water supply well # HP-651 for the Hadnot Point water distribution system tested 18,900ppb TCE, 400ppb PCE, 8,070ppb 1,2 DCE, and 120ppb vinyl chloride on 4 February 1985, the day it was finally removed from service! A previous sample taken from this same well on 16 January 1985 tested at 655ppb of vinyl chloride! Jerry Ensminger

Kay Hawklee   September 27th, 2009 1:52 pm ET

The first question that needs to be answered is why can’t ATSDR, Agency for Toxic Substances Disease Registry, "not prove the link" between the soldiers breast cancer and their drinking the water at Camp Lejeune. The answer is that the ATSDR methodology is set so that they very rarely prove a link. The only proven link that they’ve admitted to recently is asbestos exposure. (Do they know they’d lose if they took on the Asbestos lawyers?)

We've encountered that situation in Canon City, Colorado, where the Cotter Uranium Mill tailings ponds spilled into the Lincoln Park neighborhood in 1965. There was a cancer cluster; however, the ATSDR deemed the situation "statistically insignificant" (while comparing that neighborhood to metro Denver—no resemblance!) They don’t conduct any epidemiological studies. They sit in their offices in Denver instead of coming into the neighborhood where the damage is apparent and questioning the victims. They track the situation only by "reported cancers." What if someone with cancer moves? That cancer gets reported in the State where they move to, not as a casualty of this spill. And in our situation the people who were here scattered to the wind, with little chance of being able to find them.

In the Camp Lejeune situation, these guys are easier to track because of the military thread; therefore making them the perfect scientific epidemiological study… if ATSDR will take it on?

I hope these brave men keep after the governmental agency responsible –ATSDR– to admit there is a link (everyone knows it is there, except for the ATSDR.) I’m glad your article is bringing news of an agency that is so inept it won’t even protect our brave soldiers!

Regina Davis   September 27th, 2009 1:59 pm ET

My question would be this:Who served on these bases without breathing the air? Who didnt drink any water or shower on base?They know the solvents were used and discarded on these bases.They also know it was in the air and water. Why wont the Marine Corp pay to have those of us who say we have been affected tested and have their Drs or ours acknowledge that "it is more likely than not" that we were indeed infected and affected by TCE&PCE contaminants?We served Honorably,now they should serve us Honorably!" I served from 1984-1988 and was stationed on Camp Lejeune,NC and El Toro,Ca (both bases have sick Marines fighting for justice). I'm sure theres more bases,since the solvents were used throughout the Marine Corps.I have Mutiple Sclerosis which is lesions in my brain that affect the Central Nervous System. I also worked for 2 other US Govt Agencies and had to retire under disability at age 38. I have 2 sons,my oldest son was diagnosed BiPolar in his teens and my youngest has a Brain Tumor (in a place where 60-70 yr olds usu get them) it is so calcified (hard) when it was discovered at age 15,it could not be removed during Brain Surgery.We are suffering and dying while the The Marine Corp is "DRAGGING THEIR FEET." We are supposed to live in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave but our own Military is trying to drag us through Red Tape. Something is dangerously wrong with our Govt when we dont take care of our OWN! My Neurologist and Primary doctor have both said they dont have patients that served on these bases to make a "more likely than not" professional opinion.
Thank you so very much for bringing this story to the National Spot light. We are fighting so hard for ourselves and others,with the National Media coverage on this issue, maybe we will get assistance.

Mike Partain   September 27th, 2009 1:59 pm ET


Let me set your facts straight on the contamination.

As Jerry said, the PCE and TCE contamination at Tarawa Terrace emanated from the off base dry cleaners. Past media reports on this issue focused on ABC because that is where the USMC wanted everyone to remain focused because it took the heat off of them.

Now, here is what you do not know.

1. The Marine Corps was suppose to operated their potable water system under the direction of the Navy’s BUMED 6240.3b and c, which were the Navy’s regulations for potable water systems for the Naval establishment. The regulations date back to 1963. If followed, they would have prevented most of the human exposures at Camp Lejeune.

2. In 1979, there was a 20,000- 30,000 fuel spill at the Hadnot Point fuel farm which went unreported to the state until the late 1980’s. When they finally got around to clean up the problem in 1988, they found a 15 foot thick layer of pure fuel product underground. This layer of free phasing product was the result of decades of leaks, spills and neglect at the fuel farm. Furthermore, Hadnot Point supply well HP 602 was within 1,200 feet and down gradient of this well. Well HP tested positive for benzene contamination in July 1984 (380 ppb).

3. Site 82, also known as the VOC disposal area was located within 500 feet of well HP 651. On February 5th 1985 this well sampled 400 ppb PCE, 18,900 ppb TCE, 7,580 ppb DCE and 168 pbb of vinyl chloride. In January of 1985, this lone well was responsible for producing a reading in the finished tap water at the Berkley Manor elementary school of 1,184 ppb TCE.

4. The Marine vehicle maintenance facilities on Hadnot Point were also responsible for producing TCE contamination in Hadnot Point’s water.

5. As early as 1974, the USMC declared organic solvents as hazardous materials and restricted their disposal to a designated disposal site located near the rifle range. This information can be found in base order 5100.13B.

Points 2, 3 & 4 were the result of the Marine Corps’ actions and not the dry cleaner. I would suggest you visit our website and review the time line of events located there. The time line is referenced with the USMC’s own documents which you can click with your mouse and read them for yourself.

J Portnoy   September 27th, 2009 3:01 pm ET

I read your are the first to indicate you had family (who got cancer) living on the base in the early 50's–1952 I think you said. I am trying to find people from that time as several people tell me there were NO problems before 1957 yet my three family members who lived on the base 1951 thru 1954 all ended up with rare cancers (unexplainable) mentioned dad and my sister died quickly after discovery. Mom is still dealing with breast cancer..(seems an awful lot of females from CLJ got BC...more than the normal for one place?)

my email is Responses/information from anyone or families from that earlier point (50s) are greatly appreciated.
J Portnoy

Roberta MacDonald   September 27th, 2009 3:13 pm ET

I am currently looking for any women who were stationed either on base or off base, who became pregnant and relinquished their child for adoption or who were stationed there and may have had their rights terminated at a later date. Also any men who were stationed there and may have gotten a woman pregnant whow subsequently relinquished the child.

Adoptees are a segment of people who will never know they were contaminated by this water due to the sealed records laws. If you gave birth and relinquished or had your rights terminated at a later date, please contact me at the NC Coalition for Adoption Reform ( All emails will be kept in strict confidence. Thank You.

Jerry Ensminger   September 27th, 2009 3:18 pm ET

The 1957 date is for the Tarawa Terrace housing area only, the water model for Hadnot Point is being worked on now, that report is expected to be out in a year or so. Once that report is issued, we will have a start date for the contamination for the Hadnot Point/Holcomb Blvd. service areas.

Prior to 1972 the Midway Park, Berkley Manor, and Paradise Point base housing areas were served their water from the Hadnot Point system. Jerry Ensminger

Ann Alber   September 27th, 2009 3:18 pm ET

Not just men have been affected. I was born in 1947 at Camp Lejeune as well. I was born with birth defects. Last year I battled invasive aggressive breast cancer that mastisized in my lymph nodes. My father died of colon cancer. There were female nurses and hospital staff at the base, also female spouses and children (many born there) of the personnel stationed there. Its’ not just the men.

Jim Davis, Veterans-For-Change   September 27th, 2009 3:29 pm ET

Marc Mustain:
Actually there is evidence, and it’s constantly being gathered from the scientific community. Right along with approximately 50 other chemicals used on most military bases!

The biggest problem is Main Stream Media either doesn’t care or doesn’t do a complete job and only focuses on a small, very small portion of the problem(s), such as is this case they focused only on MCAS Camp LeJeune, what about MCAS El Toro now closed but so badly contaminated it’s affected residential areas 8+ miles away and the base can be “cleaned up” for roughly $500 million dollars.

Your idea of bottling the water would be awesome and sell it to those in the military in very high positions wait a while then when they become sick see who screams foul first.

If and I sincerely mean IF all veterans were to step up and not rely on the service organizations such as American Legion or VFW and join advocacy groups where their voices can and will be heard, the VA nor the DoD will ever step up and be held accountable.

The forever unwritten and unspoken motto of the VA is “Deny, deny, until they die” only to avoid paying out billions of dollars in benefits and medical care and services. We’ve seen this for decades!

You note Agent Orange and it taking years. Yes more than 40 years and it’s still no where near being fully recognized in fact HR-2254 will open the door for thousands more vets to be able to file claims and begin to receive benefits.

Same happened with Korea, now Gulf War, Persian War, Afghanistan, and now Iraq. Will we be looking at 40+ years down the road with these, you betcha we will!

The DoD and the VA will do what ever in their power to stop paying anyone for anything by any means necessary including skewed medical and scientific reports to their benefit, not that of the veteran and/or his/her family.

You’re also right it’s not just the military dumping illegally into the ground of many chemicals, but will they enforce any laws or regulations to stop it, likely not as these are powerful and very wealthy companies, many even contracted with the DoD so they will forever be protected unless people speak out, call their members of Congress and demand change. Call them at 866-272-6622 and light up that switchboard!

Peggy Shupe:
I strongly recommend you and your husband file a VA claim ASAP. You will be denied, but keep fighting, we’re hoping our bill will be signed and put on the floor for a vote with all the attention, and especially if we get more and more people to sign the petition forcing them to take action.

My condolences on the loss of your child, something a parent should never ever face!

Hilda Rose:
Again I urge you and your husband to do the same and file a claim and fight like hell. You can win!
Also send me an E-Mail and I will send you the petition to sign. Veterans-For-Change does hear all of you and we are taking action to correct this wrong as quickly as we can!


What many people want to seem to do is blame a dry cleaning company off base for the entire problem, false… Yes the dry cleaners using PCE as a cleaning solvent were partly responsible, especially disposing of the chemicals by dumping into the ground, then we have fuel waste, and TCE which is a degreaser used in most motor pools and on the flight line for cleaning mechanical parts. These are just two of over 50 chemicals used dating back to the early 60’s.

As for illnesses caused, and by what, here is a list:
aplastic anemia (benzene)
bladder cancer (PCE)
brain cancer (VC)
breast cancer (PCE)
cervical cancer (TCE, PCE)
endometriosis (solvents)
esophageal cancer (PCE)
generalized skin disorders (TCE)
Hodgkin's disease (TCE)
infertility (PCE, TCE, solvents)
kidney cancers (TCE)
kidney diseases (TCE, PCE)
leukemias (TCE, benzene, PCE)
liver cancer and liver disease (TCE, VC)
lung cancer (PCE, VC)
Lupus (TCE)
motor neuron disease/ALS (solvents)
multiple myeloma (TCE, benzene)
multiple sclerosis (solvents)
NHL (TCE, PCE, benzene)
pancreatic cancer (PCE)
Parkinson's disease (TCE)
scleroderma (TCE, PCE)
soft tissue sarcoma (VC)
spontaneous abortion (PCE, benzene)

If people really want to see change, see the Government forced to own up and accept responsibility and be held accountable, the request a copy of the petition:

If you’re a veteran and need a VSO in your area, E-Mail me and I’ll send you a list.

If you need direction or assistance with a claim, again E-Mail me we have plenty of advocates willing to dive in and do what we can to assist.

If you’d like to be a part of change within the VA system, can volunteer 30-60 minutes per month, join an advocacy group such as:

If you’re receiving poor medical care or treatment at a VA Hospital, have malpractice, misdiagnosed, medications incorrectly prescribed, please call Subcommittee Republican Staff Director, Arthur Wu, at (202) 225-3527.

But most importantly call your Congressman and Senators at 866-272-6622, and contact your local media and ask them why they never cover veterans issues especially ones such as this and if they are will make sure to tell them to their homework, look at the EPA Superfund list and don’t just focus on one base, verify all!

Allen Compton   September 27th, 2009 4:29 pm ET

All I know is that soon after we moved from Tarawa Terrance, my wife, who was very young at that time, was diagnosed with Hodgkins Disease. She was with child at the time and he had a very large mole that was cancerous at birth that had to be removed. She is still in remission after 3 times. Seems to come every 9 years. Also my Son who was about 6 then, became very hyper after moving to TT......

Greg Winters   September 27th, 2009 6:45 pm ET

Frank Clark,

I saw your post about the nuclear tests in Nevada in 1962. Check out this link, a DOJ-administered program that compensates nuclear on-site participants if they contract a 'compensable' illness. In your case, male breast cancer does qualify.

The actual circumstances and situation will dictate if you are eligible for the RECA (Radiation Exposure Compensation Act) program; in limited circumstances military personnel are eligible for compensation through the program.

I'd be glad to assist if you need any help. My grandfather was a victim of the NTS testing, and especially at Amchitka. I know the subject well after successfully winning an EEOICPA claim on his behalf last year.

Greg Winters;

Greg Winters   September 27th, 2009 6:57 pm ET

Frank Clark,

Just a follow-up. You ARE eligible even as a servicemember under the RECA statute. The tricky part is the lump sum payment and the VA annuity amount you may/may not receive or have received.

See this link for a summary of the program:

I pulled out a section that pertains most to your circumstance:

Section 1.3:

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers a program for military personnel who participated in the government's nuclear weapons testing program. Although less than 5% of all RECA claimants were military servicemen at test site locations, the close coordination with the VA's Radiation Exposed Veterans Compensation Act allows both agencies to share detailed duty-related and medical information that would otherwise prove difficult to obtain. The statute prohibits claimants from receiving compensation from both agencies; therefore, an offset is imposed which allows claimants the option of receiving the lump sum RECA award (offset by the amount previously received from the VA) or they may elect to continue receiving the lifetime annuity from the VA. In this way, the coordinated efforts of both agencies ensure that, by sharing claimant eligibility information, redundancies are eliminated and the adjudication system is at peak effectiveness.

Hope this helps. Let me know if I can assist in any way.

Greg Winters

Vancouver, WA   September 27th, 2009 6:59 pm ET

Thank you so much for airing the segment of poisoned patriots. I loved Abby, is she also an attorney?

My family moved to Camp Lejeuen in 1964, as children we had not started school yet. We left Camp Lejeune in 1967. My father retired in 1970 and we moved to southern Oregon where we grew up. My sister was the first to be diagnosed with stomach cancer at 26 years of age, her doctor told us they do not see this type of cancer in healthy young women, only 65 year old men who drank and smoked their whole lives. She lived four months after diagnosed and left and a husband, 20 month old son and a nine month old son. My father passed in 1999 after surgery to remove polyps, he died the next day, he also had colon cancer. My brother was diagnosed with brain tumors in 1993 and again in 1996 with another brain tumor. He passed in 2000. I was diagnosed in 2002 with breast cancer, I have done three different types of chemo, radiation and had both breast removed. I am happy to say I am cancer free today, but do not wish this on anyone. I believe the drinking water available on the base is the cause of my family tragedy. How else could 4 out of 5 family member have cancer?

Jerry Ensminger   September 27th, 2009 7:08 pm ET

Ann Alber,
No one is saying that this only happened to men, we realize that there were a lot of women exposed on Camp Lejeune. If we are experiencing this many cases of breast cancer (which is extremely rare) in the men, it must be rampant in the female population. Please go to and join our web-site and list your info on our illness registry, also go to and register with the USMC so you will be included in up coming studies. Jerry Ensminger

J Portnoy   September 27th, 2009 7:56 pm ET

Jerry and Abie as well
I just spoke with my mother, 88 years of age and a breast cancer survivor (so far-3 years in)..and she says contrary to what has been shared that she lived at Tarawa Terrance from '51-54...I was told that it was unlikely they could have been living there at that time...

I just want the facts to be correct....and that all family members who lived there-Tarawa Terrance- have had rare cancers and two are deceased.

Jerry Ensminger   September 27th, 2009 8:21 pm ET

Tarawa Terrace (TT) was originally built by Spangler construction company and it was operated as a contracted type of housing, the contractor built the housing and collected the rent, the military owned the property and provided the utilities. It was my understanding that TT was constructed in 1952 and this contractual agreement ended in the later half of the 1950's with the government buying out the contractor. I do know that TT-26, the most highly contaminated well in the TT water system was constructed in 1952.

By the way, it is my understanding that the TT houses originally contained large amounts of asbestos.......they are completely tearing down all of the old housing and replacing it with new townhouses, this process is almost complete, I did notice asbestos warning signs on the houses that were being demolished. CNN, did you happen to get any of those signs on your "B" roll footage? Jerry Ensminger

Jerry Ensminger   September 27th, 2009 9:06 pm ET

J. Portnoy,
When I wrote 1957 for Tarawa Terrace housing area (TT), I was quoting the date which was established by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry's (ATSDR) water model for the TT drinking water contamination. Jerry Ensminger

Robert O'Dowd   September 27th, 2009 9:24 pm ET

The VA only requires a 50% probability that organic solvents at Lejeune were responsible for male breast cancer or any other disease for that matter. The Marine Corps, as demonstrated in the recent National Research Council report, was looking for definitive causality or 100% probability that organic solvents were the cause of diseases at Lejeune. The VA doesn’t need that level of “proof” to award a disability claim. Obviously, this would be a subjective probability, but that should be acceptable to the VA, if that’s the opinion of medical experts. If the NRC or another group of medical experts agree there’s a 50% probability that Lejeune veterans with current disabilities were caused by Lejeune's water, then that should be enough for the VA to approve disability claims. Today a medical nexus opinion that states the veteran's medical condition was "at least as likely as not" caused by military service meets the test. This is equivalent to a 50% probability that military service caused or aggravated the disability. In the case of a tie (50%), the VA must approve the disability claim. Logically, there's no reason why a group of medical experts like the NRC or another group of experts cannot make the same statement for Lejeune veterans. If the Marine Corps wanted to help its veterans as MG Jensen said on CNN, then they should have no problem with supporting this position. It won’t cost the Corps any money to support its veterans. It will cost them a great deal in lost prestige to continue not to support Marine veterans of Camp Lejeune.

Christy Devick   September 27th, 2009 9:41 pm ET

I have watched my best friends husband go from a vital man to an old man in a matter a time. He is not yet 50 but is living as a man in his 70's. It breaks my heart as I have know him for over 30 years. From the time we were in our teens. There is not much I can do for them except be there for them when they need me. Which is more than his family has done. When Phil was at his sickest he managed to come to my home for my daughters funeral. That is what family and friends are for. Please do something to help them. It has cost them their dearly and no family should have to go through this. They are in my thoughts and prayers daily.

Curt   September 27th, 2009 9:59 pm ET


You made some interesting comments in your posting of September 27th, 2009 11:35 am ET but I would like to address one of your comments directly. You wrote:

“I would also have to disagree with the poster regarding service connection criteria for disabilities which arose from chemical contamination while in the military. All disabilities can be service connected by direct incurrence if a veteran can show through evidence that he was exposed to a certain chemical and current medical evidence/opinion relates the current disability to that exposure. “38 CFR Sec. 3.303 Principles relating to service connection.””

While the paragraph is essentially correct and its purpose reasonable and needed, its application and outcome can be heavily influenced by outside forces and decision makers to the detriment of the veteran.

If the outcome of studies done are altered or intentionally biased to hide or not find facts then is the study really serving its purpose? When material facts are known to be in error and are not corrected but the study results are released and relied upon as fact, is that really a service to the veteran or is it really meant to meet someone else’s agenda? When known toxic chemicals are present and relevant to a study, such as benzene, and those chemicals were known about but not addressed in the study then the entire study and all of the findings become suspect. When important supporting documentation for a study’s findings are lost or misplaced so that the findings cannot be validated later wouldn’t that make you wonder about the accuracy of the study results? When key documents are requested that are meant to get to the truth but they are not produced or made available then doesn’t that influence the evidence needed and required to prove a veterans case?

The VA is making life altering decisions based on the studies involved and the information they are provided. The veterans have served and done their part, now it is time for the Marine Corps or whoever is delaying this process to do their part.

Granted, we probably won’t ever be able to answer the entire question of cause-effect of the toxic water to the many illnesses found and all of the people involved. But, we do know that the water at Camp Lejeune was toxic, it was at high levels, it was known to be toxic and that it did impact certain areas and the people there which included servicemen, dependents, and workers. We also know that exposure to the toxic chemicals in this water will or very likely will lead to certain illnesses and medical problems based on the available research. If the VA and government really do believe that the veterans claim and the appropriate decision should be based on the premise that “the disability was incurred or aggravated by service that caused or contributed substantially or materially to the medical problem(s)” or again that “the illness was “at least as likely as not” service related” then the decisions in this situation should error on the side of the veterans and presumptive disability a viable solution.

A lot of money is involved here and there are a lot of powerful people and agencies that just want this whole Camp Lejeune toxic water problem to go away. I have tried to keep informed and current on this subject for quite a while now and the more I search for answers and the truth the more I find that the Marine Corps, the agencies responsible for doing the relevant research and many of the powerful and influential people that can make the right decisions really don’t want the truth to come out.

I am not asking for a handout or for money I don’t deserve, I am asking that the Marine Corps and the other agencies and people involved accept responsibility for their actions and do the right thing for the people (including military, dependents and base workers) affected by the toxic water. If the truth is that the toxic chemicals that we drank and bathed in really don’t compromise our systems and don’t cause or contribute to our illnesses and deaths then I can also live with that.

In closing, I want to thank, TFTPTF, THE STAND, Veterans-For-Change, CNN and in particular, Jerry Ensminger, Mike Partain, Andrea, Jim Davis and Abbie Boudreau for fighting the fight and “keeping them honest.” I also want to thank all the others that post information to keep us informed and keep us close to the real people that are impacted by this. Heck, this thank you even includes the folks presenting opposing views as long as they too are looking for the truth and are being fair and honest. The veterans deserve the best and they should get it. They shouldn’t have to beg to be heard and fight for the recognition and benefits they earned.

Trevor D. Hitchin   September 27th, 2009 10:01 pm ET

as a reply to:

craig September 24th, 2009 6:04 pm ET

"I know where there is hope for these men (ny son may be one of them). What I do know is that there is a man in Hawaii who has PROVED that people who have cancer of any type can be cured. This is a non-invasive and IF they will follow the program can be cured within 2-4 months.

I would like to make contact with one of those marines to discuss this with him. Can you help?"

Along the same lines of thinking and I hope I am not wearing out my welcome, I am just fascinated by this "Event", yeah this one... this story:

Please see my earlier post about the book "The Hidden Messages in Water" and if anyone is serious about taking healing into their own hands – and if your health gets better, you did it, please please please read my earlier posting about 80% H20, and the need to drink spring water not municipal (anywhere in the US).

Google Rich Anderson and if you can, call the company and see if you can get your hands on more literature from Arise and Shine... seriously, the heavy metals and toxins are in all of us (if we breathe air from China, and we do, we have heavy metals in our tissues – mercury, lead, iron,). I won't go into it all here but basically, even if you are broke, drink 1.5 gallons of spring water per day, use bentonite (clay – absorbs 10x its weight in toxins) and work on a clean-yourself-out program. Again Rich Anderson knows what you need to know, find his work and see if this resonates with you. It will take a year or longer but is possible to see "signifcant" improvements after 5-7 days. You may be amazed at what his "coaching" can do for your cancer and other life threatening ailments. He cannot legally claim to cure cancer, nobody in the US can, but he can tell YOU how YOU can cure cancer. Get it????

Cut and paste the following and no, I have no ties to this company except that I still have his first edition manual from 20 yrs ago (thin and falling apart) where he basically breaks it down how the FDA and AMA and well, the Rockefeller Empire controls what happens to you in the "System" when you get life threatening illnesses in America. As one suffering from one casued by the same "System" I feel uniquely qualified to comment on paths to wellness that may help should the "System" fail you. By the looks of this blog, many have suffered long enough. Keep the pressure on the USMC, EPA and SSI and while that paperwork is being processed and claims are being examined and re-examined, think about what is written here. You have to connect and google the following
Dr. Emoto / Rich Anderson / Dr. Bernard Jensen / Auto-intoxication / hydration...... vis-a-vis depression clay/psyillium/springwater/cleansing/pancreatin/floragrow(probyotics)/chomper/death begins in the colon

Again, if you go down this path and it works for you, and your cancer and tumors leave your body, as Rich says, you will have to take the credit yourself. Try this before more radiation please...... I wrote a paper on this in MBA grad school as a capstone course in strategy 12 yrs ago, they thought I was nuts... find out for yourselves. And honestly, they are finding red potato skin peelings and lanna leaves and egg whites promote hair "regrowth" for male pattern baldness – the answers are sometimes closer than we think.

last one for at least a week St. Abbie...I promise.

PS – Anytime you put forth claims with Social Security or USMC, put it in writing, take a cell phone (voice notes) to the "examination meeting" or other recording device and make sure all your input is received and processed as it should be. as you wish it to be conveyed, in YOUR words. Because I did this I was awarded, had I not, I would have been railroaded. Sadly, there is no motivation for others to take financial responsibility unless they HAVE to by law. If I can help anyone through the SSI/SSDI maze by sharing my lessons learned (social security disability) please send a note to Knowledge is worthless until it is shared with others.... goodnight and God bless those suffering tonight.

Ruben   September 27th, 2009 10:23 pm ET

The city of Orlando is the nations number one tourist attraction. However, lesser known is that Orlando’s history of violent racism is probably number one in the nation too. The violent racism extends from physical terrorism, murders, and a 1920 massacre that destroyed an entire black community. However, today that appears to be just the tip of the iceberg. After the 1920 massacre, Orlando started its planning and zoning commission and immediately zoned a 1.1 square mile area of the city for high-density toxic chemical industries and high-density black residency. Further, the toxic industries were prohibited from operating anywhere else in the city of Orlando.

Thereafter, the city used the Housing Act to condemn black housing outside the 1.1 square mile area and subsequently relocated all blacks from throughout Orlando into the 1.1 square mile area. Thereafter, the city required deed restrictions on all properties outside the 1.1 square mile area to prevent blacks from buying property or moving outside the 1.1 square mile area. Thereafter, blacks were prohibited from living anywhere else within the city of Orlando too. Later, severe overcrowding and the civil rights movement opened new areas west for black occupancy.

Fast forward to the year 2009. Today, toxic waste and toxic clean up sites are being discovered throughout the 1.1 square mile area. Toxic waste and clean up sites have been found under apartments, schools, theaters, and stores, Laundromats essential throughout the 1.1 square mile area. The question is, how do apartments, schools, and theaters generate toxic waste? If they do not generate toxic waste that means that the toxic waste was put there before the buildings were constructed. That also means that over decades every black person that ever lived in the 1.1 square mile area has been exposed to toxic chemicals like those found at the Camp Lejeune Marine Base that caused cancer and apparently many other deadly problems for Marines.

However, you will not read critical, detailed coverage of the toxic chemicals in the black neighborhood in the major newspaper and news media in the city of Orlando. The largest newspaper has been reported as actually responsible for some of the toxic chemicals dumping in the area. Consequently, the most critical reporting can only be found in small local newspapers and on local news websites.

These reporters criticize city officials, the major newspaper, the local civil rights leaders, and local black politicians who appear to be intimidated by recurring criminal prosecutions of black elected officials. Some news articles even suggest that city officials are corrupt politicians who illegally run the city through secret back room meetings. One reporter stated that new black professionals, politicians, and businessmen are discouraged from settling and operating in Orlando.

On September 17th, city officials in an opening ceremony for a new housing development admitted they removed 38 million pounds of toxic soil from the early housing project. The project had housed up to 212 families over six decades, and multiple generations. Some prior residents were passing out flyers at the ceremony to bring attention to the health impact the toxic chemicals had on the residents that lived there for six decades. However, both city officials and the media ignored the prior residents and excluded them from questions, comments, and news coverage. Subsequently the news report portrayed city officials as heroes that had removed a crime infested housing project that was responsible for all the murders in the area. The report felt like pure communist propaganda.

Today, it appears that city officials are trying to secretly clean up many of the toxic waste sites under the community redevelopment plan. Suspiciously, the sites on the redevelopment plan are also on the state environmental toxic waste clean up list. Also, some residents in the district have reported cancers and birth defects from apartment buildings that are not on any list.

The fact is literally thousands of families have been exposed to toxic chemicals in Orlando. Families are reporting all kinds of cancers, birth defects, developmental problems, respiratory problems and much, much more. However, these families have been left to fend for themselves by city officials and an apparent media black out that refuses to address their health issues.

Today there appears to be ample evidence that suggests that after the 1920 massacre and establishment of the planning and zoning commission, buildings constructed for black residency and use were constructed on deadly toxic chemical contaminated soil. The question is whether the toxic chemicals were put there with the intent to kill the black population. Where in fact, a city and government of racial supremacist with a consistent longstanding history of violent and deadly racism against blacks and suppression of the black vote hated that black population. You be the judge.

Jerry Ensminger   September 27th, 2009 10:51 pm ET

You really need to find another forum to "air out" your issues, I realize that the poor (black, white, brown, red, and yellow) have all been victimized by environmental contamination more than any other class of people in the history of our nation. This situation at Camp Lejeune affected the defenders of our nation who came from all races and all walks of life, I take great offense in your trying to turn this into a racial debate! Take your venom somewhere else............Jerry Ensminger

Patrick Wayman   September 28th, 2009 4:04 am ET

I was stationed at CLNC(Camp Lejuene) from 1977 to 1980, lived in Tarawa Terrace and worked at Hadnot Point. I have been on a roller-coaster downhill with my health ever since, without a clue that this Lejuene issue even existed until October of 2008 when I got the letter of notification. I don't believe that I would have been informed at all if it were not for Jerry, Mike, Tom T(who tried to post here but couldn't get his posts through) and all the other afflicted Marines and Civilians pounding this issue as hard as they have. Almost 30 years after the fact, so notification has not nearly been at the level that I would expect from a known problem of this magnitude, at least not here in my own backyard where we have the resources to address it.

I am not a scientist, nor an expert at any level on this subject, but just from my vantage since last October, connecting the dots with my own problems, and reading about those of others, it is clear common sense to me that there is a connection. There are far too many of us sick with only CLNC being the major common denominator for it not to be. But when it comes to science and the level of proof that is expected, I don't believe that anyone could absolutely prove anything about anything anywhere. It is far too easy to disclaim a connection, then to prove one to that level. I would call that the common denominator to human existence.

If all the male breast cancer can't convince my beloved MC that there is an association to CLNC, then surely all the rest of us with other major problems, and ongoing diagnosis, haven't got a prayer either.

I want to express my sincere thanks to you Abbie for doing this story, CNN for helping to bring it to a forum equal to its relevance and need, and everyone involved including a special thanks to Jerry for his special dedication. I can only hope that maybe this will get the deserved attention that it deserves so badly.

Hope my post wasn't to late for the forum.

Chris Gardner   September 28th, 2009 7:08 am ET

I was stationed at Camp Lejeune for 4 years, from early 1976 through the end of 1979 and I bathed and showered in the water there everyday. I have had dozens of skin cancer surgeries, including several on my face and over a hundred more all over my body removed by liquid nitrogen. I have 5 brothers and sisters and none of them have ever had any skin cancers (nor any other tyoe of cancer) and none of them have ever been to Camp Lejeune. I go to the doctor again tomorrow to get stitches removed from my last surgery 3 weeks ago and I have more cancer spots that they will schedule for surgery tomorrow. I sent my medical records to the JAG several months ago and as I have surgeries almost every month I need to update my medical records to the JAG. I have not even been given a claim number or other reference to send my updated records. I will send my updated records next week and will just reference my name and say that I have filed my claim months ago and these are to be added to my medical records. You would think that they would at least provide us each with a claim number even if they never reimburse us so we can reference that to update our records to give them as much information as possible.

Ruben   September 28th, 2009 7:14 am ET

Jerry, I have read just about every comment on this site and have found numerous people talking about numerous incidents of chemical poisoning at various locations that are no relation to Camp Lejeune or the military. For your information the housing I referred to was initially constructed for black military in World War II. They were the first to live there and the first to be poisoned and first to be exposed and die. It just so happens that I am one of those military people that was poisoned in Orlando and so were some of my relatives that also joined the military. Therefore, I am a "Poisoned Patriot" too. They became Navy, Marines, and Air Force. Many of us lost our careers due to toxic poisoning too. Therefore, we are "Poisoned Patriots" too. Also, many of the chemicals found in Orlando are the same as found at Camp Lejeune. So, the stories are related in many ways. However, the people in my story just happened to be black.. There are over 180 post on this site. Many of them talk about unrelated subjects. However, it appears that as soon as you mention the word "Black" someone gets offended not because the issue is unrelated but because of their own feelings toward blacks. They simply feel that blacks have no place in the conversation at all. Also, who put you in charge of deciding what goes on this site? Of course no one has to when it come to blacks because people like you believe that you can attack blacks without such authority. However, you are the one who changed the subject to race, not me. I simply told a story just like many others did. I suggest you check yourself and get use to blacks telling their stories and pointing out racism as alive and well in this country. You just proved that yourself. I guess you are probably from the Florida or somewhere else in the south that has a reputation for racism and are offended more because my story reveals racism in connection with toxic poisoning. You guys get offended easily when you hear the truth from a proud, educated black people.

Jim Fontella   September 28th, 2009 7:36 am ET

I't very important that the men who logged into the blog who are new with male brest cancer survivors contact www, with your information to be confirmed and counted. There could possibly be 35 of us now and still many more out there....Thanks JImmy

Jerry Ensminger   September 28th, 2009 7:38 am ET

I take great offense to the implications/accusations you made in your last comment and I refuse to debate this issue any further. I have no doubt that your issue has merit, we all saw a prime example of it with hurricane Katrina. You need to create your own platform for this legitimate issue instead of attempting to "hijack" others.............good luck............Jerry Ensminger

nancy kremsreiter   September 28th, 2009 8:48 am ET

All Military Personal and their families that suffer from Service-Related-Health Issues need to contact their Congress and Senate reps. They can pass an "Act of Congress" to get VA help for all the treatment. If our reps can not do that for all Military Personal maybe we should turn our efforts to "recall elections".

Please do not display my name   September 28th, 2009 9:01 am ET

I was a WM stationed at LeJeune my first trimester of pregnancy. The father was also stationed there. The baby was born at the Jacksonville hopsital on 3March1969 and was given up for adoption. Because it was an out of state, private adoption I have been unable to locate my son. I think it is imperative that I get this and other important medical information to him as soon as possible.

I do know that the family that adopted him had realtives on base that helped facilitate the adoption. If anyone reading this has any information that could help me locate my son please contact me at or Roberta McDonald at http:/ Thank you

Carmella   September 28th, 2009 9:48 am ET

This is America's Cherynobyl People!!!! AMERICA'S CHERYNOBYL!!!

Carmella   September 28th, 2009 9:59 am ET

God people, we are DYING while the government just stalls and fashions new loopholes to crawl through!!

All you MARINES out there, active or retired, start doing what you were taught to do.....................RALLY THIS COUNTRY AROUND THIS ISSUE AND FIGHT LIKE HELL!!!

Don't just shine a light on this............LIGHT A BON FIRE THAT CAN BE SEEN FROM SPACE ON THIS ISSUE!!!

All of you, all of us, we need to scream at the top of our lungs at the commandant, at the government, at our news media, at our philanthropists, our celebrities, and anyone else that can hear, that watches tv, that lives in this country that we fought for and are still fighting for!! SAVE OUR LIVES! SAVE OUR FAMILIES!

A sticker on your car bumber won't do it folks!!! I'm counting on the marines and their families to send up a BATTLE CRY THAT CAN BE HEARD FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA!!!

MAKE THIS RIGHT. The caps are intended to incite, not offend. I am still greiving the devasting, horrifying death of my mom. I can't stand it. She was the third loved one I sat death bed with. I'll never forget, I'll never stop fighting. I can't. Every ache, every pain, every spot on my skin reminds me of this, I do not live like everyone else, I can't. That grim reaper is always with me.


William Larry Gardner   September 28th, 2009 10:55 am ET

Was stationed at Camp LeJuene, N.C. from 1979 to 1981. I had a stroke at the age of 39, my wife breast cancer at age 47, and our son with Crohn's Disease, Becker's Neveus, and Scoliosis. Praying for all Marines and families involved, and Praying for Justice.

Terry Fristoe Dyer   September 28th, 2009 12:18 pm ET

Please check out our and join the fight for truth and justice!

Stephanie   September 28th, 2009 12:32 pm ET

My Dad is a former Marine that was stationed at Camp Lejuene from 1961 thru1967. During this time, my parents lived there, they had 4 babies, which my mother carried full term and died with in3 days of birth. I am the 5th child and by the grace of God, I lived along with my brother who was born 2 1/2 years later. My mother has recently passed away due to a rare form of cancer, Soft Tissue Cancer which began in her breast. We could not understand how she would contract such a rare form of cancer without living a life style that would maybe we would understood why. However, 3 months after she died, is when my Dad saw an article about the drinking water at Camp Lejuene.

After research the internet and talking to a couple of men with breast cancer, I discovered that one of the chemicals that was dumped into the water supply is directly linked to Soft Tissue Sarcomas. How can the military disregard so many people that have been diagonsis with cancers and have the same common link to Camp Lejuene? Also, upon further investigation, we were suppose to be notified and none of my family had been.

How can any of the poelple on the panel who is handling the investigation look themselves in the mirror every day and say that we know there is a lot of people that are very sick or have died but we can not say it is because of the chemicals that we all have been exposed to?

Our Marine's serve our country without any hesitation and knowing they are putting their lives on the line each day they serve our country. How is it our own country hesitates to admit the gross negligence that has been done to the drinking water at Camp Lejuene? It is amazing how the love of money is more important than a Marine's life and their family members.

Who is fooling who?

Robert O'Dowd   September 28th, 2009 1:29 pm ET

Dr. Phil Leveque wrote this news story in the Salem-News (Salem, OR) regarding male Camp Lejeune Marine veterans with breast cancer:

Sep-26-2009 14:05
Marines with Breast Cancer: the Terrible Toxic Legacy of Camp Lejeune and Trichloroethylene

Dr, Phil Leveque

"With the known toxic effects of TCE and this cluster of male breast cancer and the miscarriages, the evidence makes the connection impossible to ignore.

(MOLALLA, Ore.) – Trichloroethylene (TCE) is a very commonly used solvent for grease, etc. It is also well-known as an extreme toxin to humans and all other animals being toxic to all nerve systems, but also being toxic to the RNA/DNA system which provides the building blocks for everything manufactured in the body.

This includes all proteins, all hormones and in this case, all of the Sex Hormones.

The Sex Hormones probably all start out with cholesterol which everybody has heard about. From there, the adrenal gland makes cortisol and several other related hormones.

The ovaries make estrogen and another bunch of related structures. The testes make testosterone via several of the intermediate compounds of both the adrenals and the ovaries.

In other words, the intermediaries for all three systems are a very confusing bunch to endocrinologists, biochemists, and pharmacologists. For example, stallion urine contains the highest concentration of estrogen, the female hormone. One hundred times more than pregnant mare urine. Estrogens are required for breast development and cancer.

Strangely enough, the testes also produce estrogen, but normally not enough to alter normal male characteristics.
The ovaries also produce androgens which is the generic term for testosterone-like substances.

Because of the highly complex metabolic/synthetic progressions to form the intermediates, and the ultimate hormones, it only requires a slight modification/alteration in the metabolic sequence to produce some estrogens rather than testosterone with a substance as active as trichloroethylene.

With respect to the levels of toxicity at Camp Lejeune, it is also confusing why more Marines did not end up the same affliction as those 22 stricken with breast cancer. Another mysterious factor is that male breast cancer usually doesn't appear until about 60-years of age.

These Marines and others who lived at the base and contracted breast cancer, appear much younger and all were exposed to TCE at the Lejeune site known to be contaminated with TCE.

It is probable that the amount of exposure in duration of time and also the amount of drinking water, had to do with it. One other fact remains; many miscarriages and abnormal babies were born during the same time span.

With the known toxic effects of TCE and this cluster of male breast cancer and the miscarriages, the evidence makes the connection impossible to ignore."
Dr. Phillip Leveque has degrees in chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacology, toxicology and minors in physiology and biochemistry.

Mike Partain   September 28th, 2009 3:01 pm ET

We are still trying to verify the new cases of male breast cancer from Camp Lejeune who stepped forward because of this report. If you have not done so, please contact me through our website

There are also individuals on our site who are tracking other rare cancers like I have done with the male breast cancer cluster. Please see the networking board on our forum and link up with these people. For example, we are tracking over 40 cases of non Hodgkin's lymphoma from Lejeune. It is imperative that we network together.

Mike Partain
The Few, The Proud, The Forgotten

William J. P. Smith, Jr.   September 28th, 2009 3:41 pm ET

The Marine General Poster Boy on your show was a laugh. I salute Mike for starting this, and Campbell Brown for reporting it. The General says a lot about Marine Corps public relations on this important issue. Zero on the spin, but this is what we've been getting all along.

So much for Semper Fi.

William J. P. Smith, Jr.
Former U.S. Marine and a Male Cancer Victor,
Graduate of Camp Lejeune, 1959.

edward b smith   September 28th, 2009 5:21 pm ET

The military is full of sites with TCE contamination. I and many others in the Air Force used TCE to clean Falcon Air Intercept Missiles at Elmendorf AFB Alaska. We would wipe down missiles daily with TCE soaked rags to the point our uniforms were soaked with it. This would yeild massive skin contact and inhalational exposures. These were multiples of the Camp Lejeune exposures. Thanks for exposeing the plight of the marines but please include all military exposed to TCE. They do more testing on lipstick Elmendorf is a EPA superfund site for TCE. I have bladder cancer as a result of my service there. Instead of doing another 50 million dollar study they need to just take care of the troops. If it turns out that the link from TCE to cancer is never found our only mistake will be helping those who have served with honor.

Jeff Gallagher   September 28th, 2009 6:28 pm ET

I believe that the Veterans Administration needs to stop playing games when it comes to our veterans. During the latter part of WWII and the Korean War, veterans were subjected to radiation and chemical poisoning, often by our own government. During Vietnam, it was Agent Orange and a host of other chemicals. All of the Afghanistan and Iraqi conflicts have subjected our veterans to numerous chemical contaminants.

The people of the United States need to stand up and tell the President to direct the VA administrators to stop hiding behind lies and mistruths and treat all of our vets for any and all maladies they incurred during their time in and after their service. What price is worth going to war for your country when your country will then cast you aside?

Jeff Gallagher
Sgt. E-4 '72-'76 USAF
Honorably Discharged
President, Chapter 555
American Legion Riders

(Mrs.) Harris Murray   September 28th, 2009 6:39 pm ET

My husband served at FORT BRAGG (army), which is about 75 miles from Camp LeJeune. He contracted breast cancer at age 37 (no family history). Stage 2, 37 radiation treatments. A 26-year survivor.

He served at FORT BRAGG during 1969. This investigation needs to be expanded to include FORT BRAGG to see if there is a "cohort" of male breast cancer there as well. He witnessed soldiers dumping solvents and chemicals on the ground at the motor pool.

Please expand this research beyond Camp LeJeune. I believe there is an even bigger story to uncover.

Thank you,
The wife of a courageous breast cancer survivor!

Terry Fristoe Dyer   September 28th, 2009 7:31 pm ET

I am trying to put together a group that lived at Lejeune and suffers or has suffered from bladder cancer. You can contact me through our web-site and writing me at

Jerry Ensminger   September 28th, 2009 9:35 pm ET

I thank you and Scott Bronstein for your interest and commitment to this horrific tragedy. CNN, you have some really dedicated correspondents in these two and it is my hope that you allow them to continue to uncover other cases of injustice, after all, you (the free press) are the watchdogs of our democracy.......Jerry Ensminger

Robert Bohny   September 28th, 2009 10:28 pm ET

I was a Marine stationed in the French Creek section of Camp Lejeune from 1977 through 1979. During the years of 1983 through 1993 I had sever colo-rectal problems that resulted in 16 surgeries during those ten years. I also suffered with behavior problems starting in 1979 that lasted for many years after. I didn't find out there was a problem with the water at Lejeune until last summer when the Marine corps sent me a notification letter. I can't begin to tell you how it made me feel and how I have not been able to think abou anything else since. I began educating myself and the deeper I read and spoke...the more I found that was truely disturbing. Apparently...water contamination issues are not unique to Lejeune. The Government is aware of this and are affraid of the ramifications it would cause. When I think of myself and what I have gone all makes sense. I believe I was affected by the water at Lejeune as I also spent a great deal of time out at the TT2 base housing with friends. I also understand that the area I lived, showered, drank the water and breathed the water in showers through vapors, was highly afftected with toxins. I called my Congressman and Senator and they just swept me off to the side with no help. I was willing to die for our country during my time of service if necessary but I am not willing to be murdered by my Government years after my obligation ended with them. This is a very sad event and I am gravely disappointed that denial is existing.

nancy   September 29th, 2009 4:05 am ET



We should not break apart into 'what kind of cancer or which war' it is all Service Connected and all should be treated by the VA. We are all home and on our computers!!

Albert Torcaso   September 29th, 2009 4:36 am ET

I would say to our government and the corp these men served our country now help them out and give them the care they need. It does not matter if the findings are not complete these are America's heroes and darn it we need to do the right thing here, America.

I have a public access show in America and I will tell my audience about this matter in November.

Albert Torcaso

william deskins   September 29th, 2009 6:11 am ET

(Mrs.) Harris Murray

We have about 140 military sites that are contiminated I was at Fort Ord California 1961-1964 from what I hear Ord is the 2nd most contaminated site I have dumped tce pce Gasoline oil etc into the pit at the air field at the base the fire department would burn it every month would take the excess gas from the aircraft when we did repairs and pour it into the pit I have been soaking wet from tce when cleaning the parts guess what we have now at ord a state park on the rifle range and subdivisions where the wells were 1 large plume of tce in the water heading for Marina Calif just off base

Bill Deskins

william deskins   September 29th, 2009 6:16 am ET

To the guy who said the VA treats all veterans that is true but anything that happened to you while in the service everything is covered also if you were a combat Veteran Dental is not covered for non combat or service connected Veterans $$$$$$$ if you make to much then you have to have a co pay

Bill Deskins

Russell Meyer   September 29th, 2009 7:19 am ET

I was stationed at MCB Camp Lejeune from mid 1987 to late 1989 and have recently filed a claim with the VA which was just denied. I have had Hodgkin's Lymphoma cancer with no family history of this illness. Although I thought nothing of it at the time I can say that being a grunt and knowing all of the cleaning solvents we put down the drain probably added to the issue. I would like to see proof that the water met safe standards even after the time frame that is of the major focus, I doubt that they could provide an unfabricated report to show this. The VA is all about doing the least possible. Two years before I was diagnosed with Stage II B I went to the VA for some pain issues and they noted abnormal lymph nodes and even wrote a comment in my records stating that they would be concerned about cancer but never once said anything about that or the other issues they saw but just said no take some vicoden and come back if you have more problems. I have been active in supporting some of the bills and petitioning for signatures and have wrote my state representatives on these issues to no avail.

Andrea   September 29th, 2009 9:28 am ET

A giant thanks to Abbie and the rest of the CNN staff who covered this important issues.

A HUGE thanks to Jerry Ensminger, Mike Partain and all of the brave male breast cancer survivors from The Few, The Proud, The Forgotten who were courageous enough to share their stories with America.

Our group, The Few, The Proud, The Forgotten, has already uncovered one cluster- male breast cancer- and are implementing a database to view the statistics of other illnesses. At this point, Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma and Thyroid Disease are looking like large numbers.

If you would like additional information on the water contamination at Camp Lejeune or to get in contact with any of the guys who were featured in the CNN special, please visit our website, The Few, The Proud, The Forgotten at

Allen Menard   September 29th, 2009 9:48 am ET

My name is Allen Menard and i was stationed at Camp Lejeune from 1981 to 1984 and i developed Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma,I am also on the Cap committee at the ATSDR,What i would like to do is to get in touch with everyone who was stationed at Camp Lejeune from 1957 to 1987 who has Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma,Please E-Mail Me if you were Stationed at Lejeune.Email is Thank you Allen Menard

Terry Fristoe Dyer   September 29th, 2009 10:50 am ET

CNN did a great job on this report.! The members of THE STAND at are trying to get a database on bladder cancer as well as other illinesses that these chemicals have caused. We have a victims registry of over 2 thousand members and their sicknesses. Please register with us as soon as possible. We use this info to get help from Capitol Hill as well as Law firms. Please visit

Jean Kriebel   September 29th, 2009 1:48 pm ET

My husband was stationed at Camp Lejeune in 1953. With NO family history of cancer and was the youngest of 7. He died 6 years ago from breast cancer.. It just did not add up until now why and how he could
have had breast cancer.

R. Aganon   September 29th, 2009 6:14 pm ET

We were stationed at Camp Lejeune from 1983 to 1987. We lived in Tarawa Terrace enlisted housing. The four years we were there, we all complained about the taste and smell of the water. You could barely tolerate it to brush your teeth. The worst part is that I got pregnant while there. While I was pregnant, I had horrible chest pains. I was in the emergency room regularly. One day they finally admitted me. Long story short, my kidneys shut down. They terminated my pregnancy because I would die otherwise. My baby was too small to live. It died. They delivered it by hysterotomy. The doctors said I had severe pre-eclampsia. I've told doctors at civilian hospitals this story, and they say they've never heard of pre-eclampsia at 20 weeks gestation. When I tried to file a claim for my baby, and wrote for my records, the ones for that hospitalization were missing. I know I lost my baby because of the water. I read that those chemicals would cause damage to the kidneys.

Elaine Larsen   September 29th, 2009 6:41 pm ET

My husband was stationed at Camp Lejuene in the late 50's and early 60's. We lived in the Tarawa Terrace Housing. While there I had a misscarriage and conceived two daughters. One was born there and the other we left a month before her birth. One of the girls died from ovarian cancer two years ago and the other one is fightging for her life from mastastic breast cancer. Both girls were tested for the BRACCA gene mutation and did not have it. We have no breast cancer or ovarian cancer in our family. We were never notified of the condition of the water by the Marines. If we had known we would have had the girls checked on a regular basis and might have been able to save their lives.

Thank you CNN for bringing this to the attention of the public

Gary Bonham   September 29th, 2009 6:43 pm ET


Caroline Wilson   September 29th, 2009 6:49 pm ET

I was 18 when I was stationed at Camp Lejeune. I was diagnosed with HER 2neu (non-hormonal) breast cancer approximately 20 years later. I have no history of breast cancer in my family. I breast fed both my children, was physically active and in good shape my entire life, eating well, never drinking or smoking and taking great care of myself. I want to say thank you to Abbie and CNN for bringing this story to the America. It hurts so much to know the USMC is not taking care of us and is in fact, denying the facts. Thank you again CNN.

Julia   September 29th, 2009 7:50 pm ET

A great thank you to CNN. So much pain and illness. I was a Marine wife at Lejeune 1974 to 1976. My husband was stationed there 1972-1976. After 3 weeks married, I developed a bladder infection and continued till 1 month after I was out. I had every kind of surgery(unnecessary) to fix it. After 1 mon. I was out it was gone. 7 months after I was there I devoloped at 22 yr. "a malignant melanoma". It was cut out but was growing rapidily. From the time( I went there ) I had nervous disorders-shakes, other cancers and skin problems, thyroid type disorders, glacumona, cornea dystrophy, tumors, hysterctomy, colon cancer, ect. There was no trace of any of this in my family. I never smoked, mostly vegetarian, organic type even with soaps ect. My first child was born 4 yrs later (because I couldn't concieve) with a blocked nasal passage-birth defect. All three of my children had asthmsa, and stomach problems and sickly. They had many mole surgerys because they were border line. My ex-husband had a blood disorder. I didn't live on base either. I was there almost everyday. I lived practically at the ceramic shop, px, and at friends houses on base. I was at the hospital and was admitted for varous bladder and skin problems. I was an ice tea drinker and hot tea made with Camp Lejeune water. I have orderd my records from St. Louis back in Feb 2009, and I have yet to see them. I have MOST of my copys, they don't know that because my Dr. told me it was important to copy them. I had a hysterectomy in 2000 and one tube was 1/2 the size of the other. I had female trouble since I was there and after 3 yrs when I couldn't concieve I had a biopsy and one ovary didn't work.
The reason I am saying all this is because some say there is no connection at all. I had my pre-marital exam before being married there. I lived off base, but was there all the time. I still have my ceramic card and all the stuff I made for my familys. At one point it was even documentated that I was very sick and didn't know why. I never stayed off base accept 2 months before we left service and I only had 1 bladder infection 1 mo. before getting out. THERE IS A CONNECTION, It was the water. I have had breat lumps and problems and I have visions porblems plus my nervous system still is a problem, I shake upon waking and hot flashes after 9 yrs later. My heart goes out to everyone. I found out when I opened the newspaper Feb. 20, 2009. A former Marine had a front page article.. When I got my hometown records I told the lady -she asked why and out of 6 inches of medical records I DIDN'T PAY A DIME. HER FAMILY WAS ALSO AFFECTED. This has affected so many people, and I have passed the mutant genes to my children. They have unexplained rashes and health problems since born, they are in there 20's. Knowing the problem is only half the battle. We need help, I haven't had insurance most of my adult life and paid for every surgery or operation cash. We need for perople to speak out. TFTPTF and others give alot of there time. I actually have alot more medical but only highlited the problems.
Go With God

Jimmy   September 29th, 2009 9:10 pm ET

thanks for showing the plight of many marines and their familes as a result of the water contamination at Camp Lejeune-while I served there in the 1970's, I suffered prostate infections and problems which magically went away after being honorably discharged and leaving Camp LeJeune, only to return years later-I suffered kidney cancer which resulted in my right kidney having to be removed over two years ago-I still feel very tired and work every day, have pain in my back,pain in my penis and also in the area the kidbey was removed-I will never be the same and can only hope the Marine Corps will do whats right for all of us-we served under the pretense of Semper Fidelis and "we take care of our own"

Deborah Fletcher Rodrigues   September 30th, 2009 1:18 am ET

I was born at Camp Lejune in June of 1964.
My father developed a rare, devastating disease in the 1970's. Took doctors years to diagnose him with an auto-immune disease called,"PolyArteritisNodosa"–meaning "Many Arteries and Nerves".Essentially this disease ate away and destroyed his arteries and nerves. My father was at Camp Lejune approx.1963-1966. He was an all-american athlete in baseball,football, and basketball.
Makes me wonder??? He died at the age of 57, in 1997, after battling this for over 20 years.
I,myself, have recovered from cervical cancer (surgically removed).
***I don't believe my cancer had anything to do with tainted water in Jacksonville,N.C.
***But I certainly question my fathers' illness.
At the time he was diagnosed, there were 5 other people in the U.S.A. with this "condition"......No-one else lived beyond 5 years.

Jim Davis, Veterans-For-Change   September 30th, 2009 2:59 am ET

Actually you’re partially correct, there are 144 military bases both opened and now closed that are on the EPA Superfund List, however, there are more than 1,000 military bases that are contaminated just not bad enough they hit the superfund list.

I do agree in many ways.
There is a little know policy that simply states the military should discharge you in the same condition in which you were enlisted. Simply put, they should treat any and all veterans free of charge and without all the red tape, tons of required documents to file claims, etc.

William Smith:
The Marine General who was on the show, was a joke. If that’s the kind of Marine they’re turning out now, now wonder dad who was a career Marine chose to retire after 26.5 years!

Edward Smith:
The fact is the military knew as far back as 1958 that TCE and many other chemicals were harmful and were contaminating well water on many of the bases, yet they chose to do absolutely nothing.

Now they absolutely refuse to fund any research for fear it will come out they are responsible and should be held accountable and oh hell yes be liable for billions of dollars in claims benefits and medical care for life.

Jeff Gallagher:
You’re right during WWII and Korean War radiation and chemicals, during Viet Nam Chemicals again, and Afghan and Iraq, many chemicals as well as depleted uranium.

If this is how our VA system and government treats veterans now, what will the military be like in 20 years when this all comes out finally in main stream media?

Well I think I can answer that fairly easily, the draft will be reinstated because those who would enlist won’t knowing full well they will be treated like veterans of yesteryear!

Mrs. Murray:
Had the CNN reporters done their homework they’d have found how many bases were on the EPA Superfund list as being contaminated by these chemicals and others as well.

Had they truly wanted to make a sensational report, they’d have researched and found nationwide many others are ill and dying daily, some have even lost children and spouses to water contamination, but they failed poorly on that end!

Yes I do agree that 20+ men with a rare male breast cancer is important but why not dig deeper and find out there are many other illnesses, and over 20 children have died so far. Are children not important any more? What about the spouses who basically served right alongside their husbands and wives, do they not count either?

I’m grateful they got out what they did, but this could have been a far better story with far reaching impact had they done a better job!

Thank you for your kind words of appreciation!
Always know Veterans-For-Change will always fight for the rights, benefits, medical care and services for all veterans, spouses and their children. You laid your lives on the line for us, for our country and we most sincerely owe you far more than a debt of gratitude, we owe you our lives and we owe you the respect and dignity you’ve earned and above all to be cared for as was promised!

Jean Kriebel:
If you haven’t as of yet, get a VSO and file a claim for DIC, chances are you will be turned down but keep appealing and fighting with all you have, you are entitled to DIC (Disability Indemnity Compensation).

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
There is a bill written dealing specifically with TCE/PCE contamination. The bill was produced and co-written by Robert O’Dowd, Veterans-For-Change, and a few others called the TCE/PCE Reduction Act of 2009.

We desperately need petition signers so we can get a member of Congress to not only sign the bill, but present it to the floor and vote to passage.

If anyone is interested in seeing this bill be signed, passed and made law so those affected can receive benefits and medical care, please E-Mail:

Also, please don’t forget we have more than 800+ bills for veterans pending or in committee you can help support these bills by going to:

And send out the pre-written E-Mails on each of the bills and repeat this every two weeks. Stay in their faces and help change the Veterans Affairs!

On a last note, if you have 30-60 minutes per month to help in the fight for veterans for better benefits, medical care and treatments, better facilities, equipment, and better more highly trained and licensed medical professional staff, join an advocacy group and help us win!

Go to:

There is power in numbers and our voices can and will be heard if we all speak together and say the exact same thing to all 535 members of Congress!

Please support all veterans issues, step up to the plate and help in the fight! WE CAN WIN!

Joyce Bentle   September 30th, 2009 5:58 am ET

I don't know how to start to say this but I do want all of you to know that my husband died from Prostate Cancer that had metastsised to his bones and brain and liver before we even knew it. He served in the Marine Corps from 1971-1991. We lived in base housing and worked on base. By the time we found out he had prostate cancer, he was told he had 6 months to live. He made 18 months. I have been denied twice already by the VA for benefits, I nearly lost my home, in and out of foreclosure for the past two years, he passed away in March 2007, from brain hemoraghe. Which was caused by the Prostate Cancer. He worked with Bulk Fuel. My two daughters have had difficulties in getting pregnant with my youngest that I was pregnant with while living in base housing, just had a son that was born with major heart defect and the very worst DUCHENNE'S MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY. His life expectancy is 15 years old. He is only 3 years old and has to go to physical theraphy everyday. I have to work and I can not help get him to his appointments we recently got social services to help us. I only have commissary and tricare that I have to pay for. I only have one income. I am 55 years old, I married my husband when I was 18 years old, I have never been without him, and now he is gone. He told me before he passed away he knew his cancer had to come from his occupational choice, he was the first to invade KUWAIT, ALL those fumes from the oil fields.. I have to go to the VBA today. Please if you get this today, PRAY, that I will be awarded his benefits the DIC..
thank you all for your notes in this site. I will pray for you all.
Joyce Bentle

N Russell   September 30th, 2009 7:31 am ET

Thanks for airing this program.
Below is a copy of a letter I sent several years ago to the CDC and their response. Ive since had a "1/2 pound hamburger" sized tumor removed from my back, skin cancer, and a on going fatigue factor. As a former "tuff guy" Jar head, being sick pisses me off. Specially because they knew and let it happen.

I recommend folks check out TFTPTF.COM

Sent: 7/9/2007 12:15:14 AM
Subject: Polluted water Camp Lejuene NC.

To whom it may concern.
I was recently sent a article about the contamination of the water at Camp
Lejuene NC. Which has me seriously concerned as I was stationed on Camp Johnson
(adjacent to Tarawa Terrace) in 1981 and again in 1985 where I resided in
Base housing in Tarawa Terrace and was stationed on Johnson. The reason for my concern is (1) I recently had a base ball sized malignant tumor and kidney removed, and am suffering from
extreme fatigue. and (2) my late wife died of cancer. This might sound rather
normal for an "older" couple but I'm only 43. is there a list I can add my
name too, or more info that I can get? I am currently receiving care from the
local Veterans hospital and will be informing my primary care physician about
this article.
please respond via e-mail if possible.
Thank you for your inquiry to CDC/ATSDR. We are sorry to hear of your illness. In response to your request for information about the contaminants in the drinking water at Camp Lejeune and the potential health effects (risks), we are pleased to provide you with the following information and referrals.

In 1982, the Marine Corps discovered volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in several drinking water wells that fed into two of the eight water systems on-base. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has concluded that former Marines and their families residing in the Tarawa Terrace housing area at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, during the period November 1957 through February 1987, received drinking water contaminated with tetrachloroethylene (PCE). PCE, a dry cleaning solvent, leaked into the Tarawa Terrace drinking water system from an off-base dry-cleaning establishment. Future analyses will provide information and data about the contamination of the Hadnot Point drinking water system at Camp Lejeune.

Currently, no definitive scientific evidence links the presence of PCE in drinking water at the levels found at Camp Lejeune with any known condition or disease. The birth defects and childhood cancers that ATSDR is considering in this study include the following:
 Neural tube defects (spina bifida, anencephaly)
 Oral cleft ( cleft lip, cleft palate)
 Childhood leukemia
 Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

Also, ATSDR cannot confirm whether an individual's illness is caused by specific contaminants. Many factors – such as genetic make-up, age, sex, lifestyle, frequency of exposure, time of exposure, quantity of exposure, and others – combine to determine whether a person will become ill from exposure to a toxic substance.

We encourage you to contact your family physician regarding any health concerns you may have regarding your or your family's health.

Former Camp Lejeune Marines and their families can find out the levels of PCE and PCE by-products in the drinking water serving their homes in Tarawa Terrace by visiting the ATSDR website and entering the dates they lived in Tarawa Terrace housing from 1951 to 1987. The Estimated Finished Water Concentrations are available at:

You may want to share these results with your doctor along with the following information:

–The executive summary of the Tarawa Terrace analyses, available at:

–ATSDR's fact sheet on PCE, available at:

The final study report and results will be available in 2008. ATSDR will give a presentation on the study's findings, most likely at Camp Lejeune. The presentation will also be made available to the public through a web broadcast. The most current information on the ATSDR study is provided on the ATSDR Camp Lejeune website at:

We hope you find this information helpful and wish you well in coping with this illness.

Thank you for contacting us about being a resident of Camp Lejeune. Please do not hesitate to call 1-800-CDC-INFO, e-mail or visit if you have any additional questions.

CDC-INFO is a service of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). This service is provided by Vangent, Inc. under contract to CDC and ATSDR.

William Kofron   September 30th, 2009 8:22 am ET

Having been stationed at Camp Lejuene in the 60's and 70's I contracted AML Leukemia, no history of cancer in my family anywhere almost killed me at 38 years old, 100% disabled, 4 children and a wife to support and the VA and Corps is hanging me out to dry with no support. Seems we are the forgotten and if they can drag it out long enough we will go away.

Marion   September 30th, 2009 8:41 am ET

My step dad, Gunny Bobby L Hoover, served the Marine Corps faithfully for 30 years. During his career, we were stationed in Camp Lejeune in the mid '60s and again in the early '70s. Our family has endured his breast cancer, my mothers mental illness and heart disease, my sisters mental illness and firbomialgia and my brother now in his early 50's is suffering from advanced bone density disease. I had cervical cancer and thryoid cancer. Our children and grandchild have a host of illness too numerous to mention in this small space. It is a shame that a decorated Marine and his family has to pay for generations to come for the sins of the Corps.

Jerry Ensminger   September 30th, 2009 10:36 am ET

Major General Jensen,
The senior environmental advisor on your staff, Mr. Scott A. Brewer, was involved in the attempted cover up of this contamination issue back in the 1990's while he worked at the Camp Lejeune Environmental Management Division. I have the internal emails where he took the honest answers which a Public Affairs Officer (PAO, Major Scott Jack) had written in preparation for a media interview and changed them into a lie. This PAO had staffed these questions and his answers to Mr. Brewer to review for accuracy, little did he know that he had the correct info to begin with, Mr. Brewer switched it so as to fit the untruthful scenario which the Navy and USMC had concocted regarding this issue.

Currently, Mr. Brewer is the key advisor to the Commanding General of all Marine Corps facilities east of the Mississippi river (Maj.Gen. Jensen) regarding environmental issues. I don't know about the rest of you, but knowing how this man manipulated the truth regarding the drinking water contamination at Camp Lejeune, I shudder when I think of him in the position of responsibility he now holds. This man is dangerous! Jerry Ensminger

Jerry Ensminger   September 30th, 2009 10:42 am ET

By the way, I personally hold all of the internal government emails which support what I wrote in my previous comment. Mr. Brewer should not be trusted in a position which could impact the safety of public health or the environment........Jerry Ensminger

Andrea Byron- TFTPTF   September 30th, 2009 12:05 pm ET

Our group, The Few, The Proud, The Forgotten, has already uncovered one cluster- male breast cancer- and are implementing a database to view the statistics of other illnesses. At this point, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and Thyroid Disease are looking like large numbers.

If you would like additional information on the water contamination at Camp Lejeune or to get in contact with any of the guys who were featured in the CNN special, please visit our website, The Few, The Proud, The Forgotten at

Dee Hale   September 30th, 2009 12:31 pm ET

My son, Joe, passed away on Feb. 28, 2009, at the age of 41. He died from a single gunshot through the neck, a self inflicted wound. My Joe was a happy-go-lucky kid until he entered the Marine Crop at the age of 19 in 1987, he served 9 months of his 4.5 years in the Corp at Tarawa Terrace at Camp LeJeune.

Joe went through years battling his depression and paranoia, suffered with prostate disorders from the age of 23 til his death, along with skin cysts that would pop up anytime, anywhere on his body – none of these disroders run in our family, neither of his two brothers have had any mental or physical health issues – the only difference between Joe & my other two sons is that Joe proudly served his country from 1987 thru 1992...

Thank you CNN for your report, may it bring a resolution to the issue before it is too late for another mother to be writing a story like mine...

On a related issue, VA Hospitals have no business runnning psych units, they are not qulaified and their "cookie-cutter" approach to mental health does not work – my son told them the last time he was admitted that "if he had a gun he would end it all" and that he needed help. He also repeatedly told them that the durgs he was given only wanted to make him die more....he was released for the last time on Feb. 9th and dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Feb. 28th, with two attempts to end his life in between those two dates....Thanks Marine Corp for poisoning my son and to VA Hospital for killing him...

Ms Mitchell   September 30th, 2009 12:38 pm ET

Dear CNN:

Please continue to run this story because it IS a story that needs to be told as well as something that needs answers & justice. How can the USMC whose motto is "Semper Fi", i.e. "always faithful", turn its back on its own men & women? USMC personnel pledge to give their very lives for their county and the USMC, the costliest committment an individual can make, & now they have been betrayed from within by their own leaders and their government! USCM soldiers are not allowed to leave buddies behind in war so how can the USMC & USA government abandon them in their plight?

Of course the U.S. government/USMC MUST investigate this, "not sweep it under the rug", and compesate the victims and their families with medical attention, income if they are unable to work & what ever else they require in such a situation; they MUSt hold accountable the individuals, not matter rank or retirement, responsible for the decisions that they made when they chose not to test the water sooner as they had enough info to do so, and didn't make efforts to stop the contamination. This situation so disasstrustly affected so many innocent individuals!

Do they even know the chromosone damage this exposure might create for future generations? Please keep this media coverage alive so that culpable individuals will be exposed and justice served. Certainly Innocent victims should have the medical and financial support to deal with the effects that the contaminated water has created in their lives and also the lives of other family members.

Ms Mitchell, daughter of USMC Col J.F. Mitchell

Anonymous Marine   September 30th, 2009 6:52 pm ET

Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point is a few miles away from Lejeune. They have had a significantly large number of cancer cases recently with most of it being testicular. The cancer rate was roughly 400% the national average in 2007. I am a subject in the study that Cherry Point officials are conducting. I would like to see CNN dig into this story as well since the Marine Corps has not published any information at all. Semper Fi!

Terry Fristoe Dyer   October 1st, 2009 7:26 am ET

Please check out We have over 2000 members on our victims registry with a list of their illinesses. We have been compiling this list for Capitol Hill and a few Law firms. Please register and if we can help you,direct you, or just listen, please write to us ai info or on the discussion board. God Bless the survivors of Camp LeJeune!

Andrea Byron- TFTPTF   October 1st, 2009 8:11 am ET

Thanks to all of the brave men from The Few, The Proud, The Forgotten who courageously shared their story with America.

Our group, The Few, The Proud, The Forgotten, has already uncovered one cluster- male breast cancer- and are implementing a database to view the statistics of other illnesses. At this point, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and Thyroid Disease are looking like large numbers.

If you would like additional information on the water contamination at Camp Lejeune or to get in contact with any of the guys who were featured in the CNN special, please visit our website, The Few, The Proud, The Forgotten at

Candy Little ( Water Survivor)   October 1st, 2009 2:12 pm ET

I am a member of whose database shows numerous health effects such as kidney disease, skin disorders, heart disease, diabetes, different types of cancers, liver disease, miscarriages, lung diseases, allergies, thyroid disease, parathyroid disease, neurological effects, muscle deterioration, cysts, tumors, learning disabilities, anemia, reproductive disorders, birth defects, anxiety disorder, depression and other health effects not listed.

There are living relatives that have reported the deaths of their loved ones with these same health issues, including male breast cancer.

The reports come from the victims themselves. Members of our group are in contact with their own representatives to make them aware of the aftermath concerning the water contamination at Camp Lejeune and its health effects
If you are as outraged as we are, please visit our website. We need participation from those who were affected or had family members who were affected.

We would to thank CNN for airing this story, since this is just the tip of the iceberg. Our hearts go out ot those brave gentlemen who came forward to make the world aware of this tragedy.

Candy Little

Jim Davis, Veterans-For-Change   October 1st, 2009 3:59 pm ET

Anonymous Marine, and all:
I strongly suggest you call your members of Congress and complain and demand they take action! You can call them toll free at 866-272-6622, just ask the operator to connect you to your Senator or Congressman.

Dee Hale:
You couldn’t be more right about how the VA Hospitals treat PTSD veteran’s! But it’s all veterans who are treated poorly. Misdiagnosed, over-dosed on drugs, prescribed improper medications.

You too are so right. Many chemicals the military uses alter genetics and can be and are passed on down generation to generation, and where is the military and the VA then? No where!

Joyce Bentle:
Fight like hell with the VA, if denied, please appeal, and continue to do so. If you need assistance, please contact me, I can’t promise anything, but we’ll do what we can!

VETERANS-FOR-CHANGE has been fighting the VA system for a little more than three years, and finally began to see real results beginning in September 2008, now we see more than 800 veterans bills in 2009.

We’ve also sponsored a bill called the TCE/PCE Reduction Act of 2009 which we still need petition signers badly so we can make sure those who are affected by the water contamination at more than 130 military bases nationwide receive the benefits and medical care so desperately needed.

If you’d be interested in signing the petition, request a copy at: Please we would like to present to Congress no less than 40,000 signatures!

If you’re interested in being a part of an advocacy group who fights every day for veterans, please join us, we’re comprised of veterans, spouses, widows and their children all seeking the same thing, change!

Deborah   October 1st, 2009 10:18 pm ET

My family live at Camp LeJeune from 1981-1983. When moved to a trailor park in April of 81, shortly after the birth of my twins were born. I was concerned about the appearance of the water because it had a greasey flim on the surface. My youngest son was born a year later in 82. Both he and my daughter had reflux problems. For years we have dealt with unexplained allergies and illnesses. All of 3 of my children have problems with the stomach and/or magarines. My daughter has had three miscarriages and her white blood count is unusually high among other things. No one has been able to explain any of her problems.
I thought that we would be contacted on a more personal level by the Marine Corps other than turning in our nameand address. No one asked about our health or anything and all we recieve was a report saying that there was not enough evidence linking the water to any illness. My question is, "Who did they talk to or interview?"

Jerry Ensminger   October 2nd, 2009 6:52 am ET

There will be a hearing before the Senate Veterans' Affairs committee regarding toxic exposures to members of the Armed Services and their famiy members on 8 October 2009. This hearing will begin at 9:30 am and it will be held in room SD-562 at the Dirksen Senate office building on Capital Hill in Washington, DC. Several of the individuals highlighted in this CNN story will be present at this hearing along with others who have suffered from the contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune. If you are truly concerned about what you saw in this CNN report and you are able to make it to Washington, DC, please come to this important hearing and show your support for our veterans and their families. You can find out more information on this hearing and other important information related to the horrific contamination at Camp Lejeune by visiting .
Jerry Ensminger

Jeff Duck   October 2nd, 2009 7:59 am ET

I was at LeJeune from late '79 to early '81 and like most, had no idea what was happening. Our barracks had very little water temperature control so the shower room, that typically had about 5 to 10 shower heads running at once, was always filled with heavy steam because the water temperature was scolding hot. I now wonder how many contaminants were inhaled now.

Since then, I've had a wide variety of neurological problems develop, both physical and mental. I'm fortunate to have some outstanding doctors at the VA and they are systematically testing to identify the range of depth of my problems although without admission by the Corps, this won't create a relationship between the exposure and my problems.

While the breast cancer story is interesting (and meaning no disrespect to those who contracted it) I feel that CNN really white-washed the story. As you read here, clearly there are many people with other types of cancer and others with neurological issues. Although my problems leave me in the minority, I feel that we with neurological issues are completely left in the cold. There is little more than a mention of us.

Jerry Ensminger   October 2nd, 2009 9:07 am ET

Below are the key questions which must be answered by our government relating to the Camp Lejeune situation;

1.) Was the drinking water at the base contaminated?

2.) Is the contamination documented?

3.) Did the Navy/USMC have it's own regulations pertaining to these chemicals and drinking water systems at the time of the contamination?

4.) Was Camp Lejeune placed on the National Priority List (NPL) for serious contamination?

5.) Is Camp Lejeune still on the NPL?

6.) Were all of the investigative bodies cited by Major General Jensen during his interview with CNN provided the military's regulations pertaining to chemicals and drinking water systems during their investigations?

7.) Is the Department of the Navy/United States Marine Corps willfully cooperating with the CDC/ATSDR in their study initiatives related to this tragic incident at Camp Lejeune? Have they (DoN/USMC) funded the CDC/ATSDR initiatives at Camp Lejeune for fiscal year 2010? (This funding was due on 1 October 2009.)

When the above questions are answered honestly, it will draw a very grim picture concerning the honesty and integrity of the leadership of our Department of the Navy and United States Marine Corps! Jerry Ensminger

Jessica Ensminger   October 2nd, 2009 9:20 pm ET

I was out of the country when these segments aired, however, I DVR'd them and I have just watched Mike Partain, all the other men with breast cancer and my dad, and tears streamed down my face! Major General Carl B. Jensen you stated that the United States Marine Corps has "INVESTED" $15 million dollars in this study and you think that that's enough??? My question to you is, what price do you put on your child or siblings life??

Robert L Trafter   October 3rd, 2009 6:57 pm ET

I am a Marine that also has breast cancer I am only 55 years old most male breast cancer comes on in there late 60 to early 70 do to the lost of muscle tone in the chest. I was at Camp lejeune in 1972 for MOS training then back at Camp lejeune for my release point in 1975. I started having chest pain in and around my right nipple the frist part of 1995. I had also received a blunt force trauma to my right chest while in the service. I have now been fighting breast cancer sent 1999. This last time I was under the care of the VA system and they did nothing for me. My cancer doctor at the VA had told me she would not be able to treat me with the care I needed. She told me to go check and see if I had any other way for treatment. I checked my paper work and had medicare payment taken from my disability check so I went to KU breast cancer center. My doctor is one of the best in the world on female breast cancer thank god. She is also one of the head doctor working for the KU breast cancer center here in Kansas City KS. I am now in the middle of my VA case. I just got back from Washington DC where again I found out things about our VA system I did not want to know. I have had to do all my own research sent the start of my cancer. I am now on a medication called hersception and Tamoxifen both are cancer stopper. The cancer had grown so large under the care of the VA it could not be completely removed with my last surgery. I would like to talk to some of these other Marines about what they have been told.

Jim Fontella   October 4th, 2009 6:57 pm ET


I am a former Marine with breast cancer....not sure wether I can help with a claim but I'm being treated at the VA and have been involved with this struggle for a short while. You can contact me at

Cliff Armstrong   October 7th, 2009 1:34 pm ET

Abbie and the whole CNN staff.

Thank you for your coverage of the Camp Lejeune water contamination. I am a former Marine and I was stationed at camp Lejeune from Jan 1982 until Aug 1985 except for deployments. I have to say that you have touched the tip of the iceberg so to speak and this subject needs to be brought up more than every now and again so that anyone who is out there who has not heard about this will be informed. please keep following up on this topic until the Marine Corps and the D.O.D. decides to get off their butts and help the people whe served them proudly over the years.

I did not find out until I was notified in July of 2009 which answered alot of questions as to my health issues over the last 15 years. I wish they had not waited 24 years after I got out to let me know, nice effort by the U.S.M.C. I have an auto-immune disease A.S.(ankylosing Spondylitis) for which there is no cure,"only pain management" I have it in my back, neck, hips, knees and shoulders. I do not have the genetic marker nor do I have the family history for this, thanks to a compromised immune system I have this disease anyway. I am also being tested for Crone's disease, I suffer from short term memory loss, cluster migraines, and constant lung ailments- pleurosy, infections, and pneumonia. I have begun the process of testing and consulting with numerous doctors on this matter to try to connect the dots in order to file a claim with the V.A. but it looks like it will be an up hill battle all the way. The chemicals involved have been linked to a number of cancers, immune disorders, and nerve damage and all efforts by the government seem to indicate a willingness to just ignore the truth and wait until everyone dies off.

As sad as this is at least we know the level of integrity we are up against. when I first became a young N.C.O. we were told that your integrity was your most important leadership trait and always lead by example. This attitude seems to be missing among the officers serving today who behave more like they are running for public office instead of leading their Marines. it is my opinion that there are some Generals who should hang up their stars and just go home and hide their faces in shame because thay don't have the spine to stand up for what is right.

Keep up the good work CNN, I know I am not the only one who appreciates it.

Andrea Byron TFTPTF   October 7th, 2009 8:04 pm ET

Abbie, Thanks again for doing such a wonderful job on this all-important issue!

Beth Hardy   October 8th, 2009 11:10 am ET

I would like to know more about this topic and how can we get involved?????
My father was stationed there and he also has had breast cancer and is now a Survivor. He was diagnosed in 2003.

How can we get more information on this case????

Candy Little ( Water Survivor)   October 8th, 2009 11:37 am ET

We at would like to thank you for investigating this issue, however more reporting needs to be done on a larger scale.
We hope CNN will keep this story up-front in the news. The chemicals can cause a multitude of health affects that have not even been addressed yet. Once again thanks for a great job.

Nick Geiger   October 8th, 2009 12:59 pm ET

I was stationed in North Carolina in 1976 & 1977. I was Honorably discharged in October 1979. I started to develop serious health problems in the early 1990's. I have as many as 200 tumors all over my body as well as a blood disorder. I have had 12 DVT's (blood clots), 2 pulmonary embolisms (clots going to my lungs) and 1 TIA (clot going to my brain) also known as a mini-stroke. I have had a tumor removed from my right breast that was seeping a nasty discharge that was biopsied and came back negative at that time. I have been unable to work and on disability for the past 12 years, but have recieved no help from the Veterans Administration or the Marine Corps. My claims have been denied repeatedly despite the overwhelming evidence I have submitted. What angers me most are the lies the Marine Corps have told publicly. They have stated that these chemicals can't be linked to our health problems, yet I have documents on Marine Corps letterhead that state just the opposite. I have e-mailed CNN, Abbie Boudreau and Cambell Brown, in hopes of exposing this situation and getting veterans the help and benefits that they not only need, but are entitled to. Much more information is available at

Delbert Bowles   October 8th, 2009 1:50 pm ET

Dear Sirs:
I received scar tissue in my lungs when I was at boot-camp from double pneumonia. Later in my life I contracted a malignant tumor on the scar tissue left from the pneumonia. I lost a large portion of my lungs and I'm still sick from the Chemical and radiation poisoning from the cure. to this day I still do not receive full VA benefits.
I live in a cold climate and the ice can be dangerous. I slipped and fell, receiving a subdural hematoma. If could receive money that was supposed to help me put in a handicap ramp was not so hard to get, I and the tax payers would have been spared a three day visit to a head trauma center. This costing enough to remodel my entire house.
I still need help and I just give up because the benefits are not available without fighting for them and the sick do not have the resources to fight the red tape to receive the benefits we have earned.
this is not a comment it is a plea for help.

Andrea Byron TFTPTF   October 8th, 2009 3:52 pm ET

We appreciate you taking the time to work with the members of The Few, The Proud, The Forgotten who have worked so hard to get this issue into the public's living rooms. You have done a fantastic job! Again, I have to state that all of the guys who participated in the interviews (all members of TFTPTF) were extremely courageous and inspiring to all of us.

Thanks again!

Patrick Wayman   October 8th, 2009 5:49 pm ET

I am in the same boat as Cliff A. stated above. I wasn't notified till October of 2008, served aboard CLNC 77-80, and my diagnosis is on going, while I sit here unable to work the last 2.75 years, with broken bones in my thoracic back at 52(way too young for this), osteopenia / osteoporosis which helped to botch the first back surgery(now stuck this way), neuropathy, lung disease, immune disorders, idiopathic muscular cramps, and the list goes on and on. I have those same problems that Cliff mentioned above, presently asking the VA now for a complete cancer scan. The diagnosis isn't nearly complete, and my snowball is rolling downhill without much to get in its way.

I came to CLNC(Lejeune), after duty station at 29 Palms, honor-man from boot-camp, with the strength and integrity to do whatever was asked of me without hesitation, no matter the task, Semper Fi.

After watching Major General Jenkins very short avail in this interview, with all do respect due your rank Sir, you appeared to me as under educated on the subject, or ordered not to address the subject properly, and didn't directly address a single major question that has been presented over and over to the Chain of Command of the USMC and DoN( see Jerry Ensmingers comments above), or the Journalists, reminding me of the usual puppet politician that we are all to familiar with in our electoral process, and your a soldier Sir. I am left with serious doubts as to the integrity of the Command Structure that my brother Marines are dedicated to, and possibly going to give their lives for.

Being a soldier, or civilian government worker for this Country has few perks, but a major one of these has always been that our health and the health of our family will be taken care of, and allowed to completely focus on the mission at hand. When you look at the majority of of those who have served in the past, you see that the social economically less fortunate have been the majority, and this has always been a major contributing factor to why we serve, second only to our love of Country and freedom of Democracy, in my opinion anyway, and if you eluded to exclude that from the equation, you would not have near the participation that we have now.

I find this situation appalling for all afflicted including myself, and a direct assault on my personal beliefs that we are the leaders of Democracy, an example for others to follow, when we can't even take care of our own backyard, yet we can go allover the planet spending billions and billions more to take care of others.

General Jensen Sir, you did confirm one thing I might add to this story, that the USMC and DoN spent billions in STUDY of a possible connection, and nothing to facilitate the needs of our broken and sick brothers and sisters of Democracy involved in this particular debacle, and even after all that money spent in Study, you still cannot make a connection to the obvious.

I blame the rabbit for robbing the hen-house, because the fox is standing in my way.

This type of contamination related problem is a travesty to the health and welfare of everyone, and we will have no choice but to face it head on, just like our footprint in other areas of survival on this planet, and treating it like this, is nothing more than saying smoking had no link to cancer, to save the moment from a great expense now, will only add to the full price later, except for those of us that were not even acknowledged along the way, we just die and go away.

Again I say thank you to Abbie and fellow Journalists at CNN, please do let this get swept under the carpet.


Patrick Wayman   October 8th, 2009 6:07 pm ET

Correction to my post here;
Last Sentence:
Please DON"T let this get swept under the carpet.

Terry Fristoe Dyer   October 8th, 2009 6:38 pm ET has been fighting this issue for more than 10 years. Please visit our web-site and become a member and help us fight this injustice. God Bless.

Patrick Wayman   October 8th, 2009 7:00 pm ET

Correct to my last post,
paragraph 6, line 2;
General Jensen Sir, you did confirm one thing I might add to this story, that the USMC and DoN spent (billions) in STUDY of a possible connection,
Please replace "billions" with "millions"

Sorry, nervous system is so out-of-whack today, I am having difficulty conveying thoughts to keyboard.

Andrea Byron TFTPTF   October 8th, 2009 8:55 pm ET

Patrick & Delbert, Please feel free to contact our website, The Few, The Proud, The Forgotten (TFTPTF). The guys who were in these interviews are all lead members of our organization. We've been doing this for a long time now and have had a lot of success in making things happen. There is also something called a Community Assistance Panel, or CAP. All 6 community members positioned on CAP are members of TFTPTF so we do remain active not only in the media, but also with the ATSDR and other government agencies to try to get some resolve for those exposed at Lejeune.

Jerry Ensminger   October 8th, 2009 10:59 pm ET

Thanks for a GREAT job CNN and a special thanks to Scott Bronstein and Abbie Boudreau, I look forward to working with you both on future initiatives related to this issue........Jerry Ensminger

Cliff Armstrong   October 9th, 2009 7:28 am ET

Patrick W.

Please go onto the websites mentioned above and, they are a great source of information and you will learn more than you ever thought possible. Join the discussion boards and get to know everyone, they are good people and we are all in this thing together plus the only way to get the answers we are looking for is for all of us to join forces and make our voices heard.

special thanks to Abbie for putting this issue out there in the spotlight and also for having this site so that more people can come forward after they have found out what has happened to them over the years


Michelle Curtice   October 9th, 2009 8:26 am ET

My ex-husband was stationed at Camp Lejeune in 1981. At the time that I joined him there in April of 1981 we had a 2 month old daughter. I became pregnant in 1982 and gave birth to a son who was born legally blind. In 1983 my husband was discharged. I gave birth to another daughter in 1984. My oldest daughter has had 2 miscarriages, one resulting in the removal of one of her fallopian tubes. She also gave birth to a son with a cleft lip. My youngest daughter had a complete hysterectomy at the age of 24 after giving birth to 2 children. She has endometriosis very bad. None of these things run in our families. Here is something very important, we did NOT live on base but just outside in a town called Hubert. How far did this contaminations spread?

Candy Little (Water Survivor)   October 9th, 2009 9:46 pm ET








Shannon Felty   October 9th, 2009 9:55 pm ET

I do hope the various victims with numerous and endless health issues from Camp Lejeune get the support and help they need. Unfortunately, I am not so sure it will happen.

There have been numerous "studies" and "reports" on the long-term effects of drinking water contaminants such as TCE/PCE. Every study released to the public so far is a runaround that, at best, states there is not enough information to substantiate our claims of non-cancer diseases caused by TCE/PCE ingestion.

I am not a survivor of the Camp Lejeune case. I am a survivor (so far) of a 21-year-long contamination of TCE in drinking water in an area of Phoenix, AZ called Maryvale. We, too, were swept under the rug and are still searching for answers. There is a designated Superfund here, but most victims have never been offered help for the chronic health problems we still experience over 20 years later. ADHS and the CDC have wasted millions of dollars on studies, coming up with a final conclusion that they can neither conclude nor deny that our issues are related to the contamination. They have gone so far as to suggest it could be a "statistical glitch" and that it could be happenstance that we all lived in that area and share the same hanfdul of health issues.

God Bless, and good luck.

Robert Newman   October 10th, 2009 12:06 pm ET

I lived in Tarawa Terrace housing area with my father (GySgt, USMC, Ret.). My older sister was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007. I am currently undergoing tests to determine if the lumps in my right breast is cancer too. I want to be sure that we are included. I have had several health problems that have increased over the past few years. This is terrifying.

Jamie   October 10th, 2009 1:59 pm ET

I just wanted to say thanks to all of the people aT THE FEW THE PROUD THE FORGOTTEN for telling their stories and getting this issue out into the public eye. Without them, we would all be lost. Thanks to Mike, Jerry, Jeff, Mary and Andrea and all of the guys who took off their shirts. You all make things happen and have done us all proud.
Candy, I'm sio sorry to hear about all of your losses/hardships.

S. Campbell   October 10th, 2009 9:07 pm ET

I wish CNN would do more on the story from Camp Lejeune.
The cancer being experienced by people who spent time there does not limit itself to breast cancer and I wish they would show that. Someone needs to give this issue the forum it deserves and ask some tough questions of the military and the government
Also no one has asked the question of the marine corps of why it took almost 40 years to stop the contamination? They knew they were contaminating and kept up with it. They knew when my husband was stationed there in the 80s didn't say anything then.
But now thirty some years later they send us a letter through the IRS to inform us they MAY have poisoned him, but the letter isn't to inform him they would like to check him out medically. They only want him to register on their list.
What a bunch of bull!

Has CNN or any other independent source confirmed there is no scientific link between disease as the military says and these chemicals?
Do we know they really looked for it? How much did they look into it?
Why are there legal limits imposed for these chemicals if they haven't been proven to be quite dangerous?
Does no one care about these people? It is time we stand and say they must!
We have the Superfund for the environment when we poison it.
What do we have for people when we poison them?
Has anyone asked the military that?

S. Campbell

Susan   October 11th, 2009 9:26 am ET

I would like to see everyone, and I mean EVERYONE whose health was affected by this or whose health may have been affected by this, but you're not sure, contact the National Academy of Sciences :
It looks like this group is responsible for some of the studies that may be ongoing, and be being done without the knowledge of some of the victims of this water poisoning. I would like to see them be inundated.
If they aren't studying it, it seems to me that they should be. The more often they are contacted, the more likely you all are to have an important group of scientists on your side and you have to have that.
You deserve that.
I was in college when the veterans came back from Vietnam and was the only non veteran to graduate from my program in 1978. I remember the agent orange thing happening. One guy, who's job it was to clean out the wing tanks was terribly ill. There were the same lies and coverups. It took scientific studies conducted outside the military to finally get help for those veterans. The brave generals were busy lying and hiding then, too.
This is the same deal exactly, but with new generals.

Tom   October 11th, 2009 6:45 pm ET

Nuclear Animal testing was done down Parachute Rd, 2.5 miles from main gate, the animals where tested and put in barrels, the site was cleaned up in the 1980's. I visited the site for years and never though the rumors where not true. The MP's have a dog training center in front of the Old Pesticide section. I guess the MP's where guarding the Nuclear Material buried on the site. I was told the Material is buried below the Pesticide building incased in Concrete.

Someone needs to investigate this

Kathleen Jensen   October 11th, 2009 7:18 pm ET

I lived in Camp Lejeune from 1968 – 1972 attending high school when my father was stationed there. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1984 and it eventually took her life. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004. We have no prior family history of breast cancer.

My thoughts go out to all who were exposed to the contaminated water and are suffering from cancer and/or other related diseases, or who have lost loved ones as a result.

Kathleen Jensen

Susan   October 11th, 2009 8:30 pm ET

And before you think that the IOM doesn't do these studies, let me add another link:

It shows over 38,000 links from the Institute of Medicine to "veterans"

jroyb   October 13th, 2009 8:35 pm ET

First time I have contacted a blog but I hope someone can help. My brother is one of those statistics but not one of the 20. He was at Camp Lejeune in the early 70s and has had breast cancer. Does anyone know who to contact on this? Thanks you.

Terry Fristoe Dyer   October 14th, 2009 9:17 am ET

jroyb....please check out and look further up these post you will see a man named Mike Partain. He is someone you should talk to. If you write me on I can give you his tel#.......Terry

Joyce Grigonis   October 14th, 2009 3:12 pm ET

Why just men?

And can they prove that the current water supply is clean, free of carcinogenic toxins?

My husband was stationed at Camp Lejeune for over 7 years...and I have been battling breast breast cancer now for 3+ have lost both breasts and also had to have a hysterectomy to help fight the cancer. Had the BRCA test and it's not genetic...results stated 'Environmentally Caused Cancer'. Have had 20 surgeries in 3 we all are holding our breath hoping it's finally gone. (Husband Bill, Daughter Jamie and myself)

Again...why just report about the men?
There are women Marines and family on Camp Lejeune.
Why the sexism?

Why not include EVERYONE who drank Camp Lejeune water?
No matter how and when...we all used facilities like the O Club and Playgrounds, Restaurants, etc, etc.

Maybe I should post a photo, salute like the man above, but I have no breast at all, NOTHING to show....Still a warrior.

Mike Partain   October 14th, 2009 11:41 pm ET


It is not just about men. Breast Cancer does not discriminate and is the plague of our time. This story was not for one group or to say one illness is more significant than is about all of us. Think about what you are saying! If the absurdity of male breast cancer brings attention to what happened to all of us at Camp Lejeune, then it is for the benefit of everyone. If you listen carefully to my public comments when they are not edited out by the media, I always point out that MBC is not the only health issue we are seeing from Camp Lejeune.

We are now up to 51 men with male breast cancer from Camp Lejeune. I met the widow of the 51st man at the CAP meeting today in Atlanta. She waited patiently in the audience for a break to introduce herself to me. She wanted for her husband to be counted and not forgotten. She also stated that if knowing he was one of the MBC men could help others, then it was worth it for her to attend the meeting. I was very touched by her devotion to her late husband and others she has never met.

The significance of this cluster is that we can not be explained away like so many other cancers or illnesses. For me, it is proof that the NRC report was wrong and that we were affected by our exposures at Camp Lejeune. MBC is also proof that our actions are affecting the environment and ourselves.

Mike Partain

Jim Fontella   October 15th, 2009 12:06 am ET

Joyce Grigonis,

My name is JIm Fontella I am the former Marine that is saluting in the picture that you see. I am an 11 year survivor and spent several years in community service driving women to treatment centers to get chemo or radiation. I know what you are going through and I understand your frustration about the media keying on male breast cancer. What we have going for us is numbers, the Marine Corp can explain away breast cancer in women as a common disease. Approximately 200,000 women will get breast cancer every year. But the Marine Corp cannot explain away 51 male Marines getting breast cancer when the number can be as low as 5 per the population. We are creating media to link not only cancers but many other diseases caused from the contaminated drinking water. The outragious number of male breast cancer victems raises alot of questions that the Marine Corp and the Department of the Navy as well as science canot explain. Ther have been over thirty woman who have logged in this blog with breast cancer, We're on your side, your not being ignored, we're going to bring this issue to America through the national press, men women and children will benifet from our efforts. But you'll be seeing alot more press on the male breast cancer issue and when all is done all of us will be equals....all the poison patriots will benifet.....That was a great blog you wrote I'm going to present it to my senator. Joyce were on you side........Respectfully Jim Fontella

Terry Fristoe Dyer   October 15th, 2009 10:41 am ET

Joyce...After being a part of this whole mess for over10 years and fighting on the Hill as well, I understand your fustration. But "they" need the numbers like Jim and Mike stated. This story that Mike did has really helped to bring this out like it has never been brought out before. Now is the time you really need to start fighting. This is the time you need to go to your local papers and TV stations and tell your story. We have to keep this in the public eye. Capitol Hill has to be held accountable to hold the Marine Corps accountable. I am fighting bladder cancer right now and have been told that because I am only in my early 50s and never a smoker then it has to have been caused by chemical poisioning. That is what both my doctors believe and said! I lived at LeJeune for 15 years! I would love to know how many others are fighting this. I have learned of 5 just since this report on CNN about male breast cancer.See where I am going with all this? There seems to be many clusters out there and thank God Mike has worked so hard to bring this one to the forefront. It will only help us. If you need to talk you can reach me through my web-site and write me at and leave your # and I will call you. Take care and know this entire story is coming to light!

rick levesque   October 15th, 2009 11:42 am ET

i was in the marines at camp lejune from 1976 to 1979 i was in artillery was out in the field alot 10th marines.1977 went to area 5 pool for aquatic training for a month in the pool every day drank lots of water then i went back to my old unit about 3 mounths later i recived orders to area 5 pool hq company main side i was in the water every day for at least3 months then i went to monford point pool for awhile for about the amount of time 1978 went tofort brag 30 days

so was it the water or in the field that caused me to get diabetes in 1995 or was i exposed to a herbiside/agent orange that gave me

Patrick Wayman   October 15th, 2009 3:59 pm ET

This type of contamination is a shining example of lousy stewardship and bad learned behavior all over the planet, and needs the attention of everyone, if we are going to learn how to survive on this planet properly in the future.
As we get better at unlearning this bad behavior, we will see that these situations occur less frequently. It is, and must be our goal for the future.

Camp Lejeune authorities had measures and rules in place that the upper echelon chose to ignore, and when it could not be ignored, they tried to hide, and when it could not be avoided, they went into organized denial. This is another example of bad learned behavior, and it has left its mark on us for the duration in many different ways, and multiples of deadly serious health issues.

The breast cancer victims, male and female, are just one of the major prime examples that show the connection to the CLNC water contamination. The reports generated by the different research groups were influenced by deception and hidden information, and not allowed to fully develop a picture of evidence that would swing this debate in favor of the victims. Another example of bad learned behavior that is prevalent in our society today, and almost always leads to a larger problem before the entry can be addressed.

The Feres Doctrine effectively bars Service Members from pursuing a civil approach to litigation, so the problem falls to the leadership of the Services to address, and again the rule of thumb bad learned behavior comes into play.

This is my understanding just from the little time I have been aware of it.

It reminds me of sibling squabbles trying to get mom to sway over which one of us is guilty for not lifting the lid up on the toilet. The rule is standard if women are living in the same house. Behavior modification is the only real solution here. And I believe that similar rules would apply here as well.

We all love our heroes, but don't want our perceptions of the picture stained with the sick and dying, yet they are there. I believe that we are the necessary proof already, and the evidence already satisfies the rules for a claim.
If this were strictly a civil matter, I believe it would have already been solved, and the portrait adjusted for the better.

But then unlearning all this learned behavior is really the issue, and mom is nowhere to be found to make the decision.

Just look at all the bottled water we drink these days, that in itself tells part of the story.

I hope that if you happen upon this blog, whatever your reason, you will leave your thoughts here as well. This is not going to improve until we all learn how badly it can go, and Camp Lejeune is an example of that.

David Marshall   October 21st, 2009 1:51 pm ET

To date the Veterans Court Chief Judge’s "Constitution, statutes and regulations" violations have not been corrected![1] Now gone for both active U.S. Service Personnel and U.S. Veterans are the check and balances within and between our three (3) branches of government, i.e., the Legislative (U.S. House and Senate), the Executive (e.g., Departments of Defense [DOD] and Veterans Affairs [DVA]) and the Judicial Branch. Please make your members in the U.S. House and Senate accountable.

The 1950 U.S. Supreme Court’s FERES DOCTRINE holds the DOD harmless for no matter the cause, injuries to active duty personnel. In 1988 the U.S. Congress’s Veteran's Judicial Review Act created the U.S. Court of Veterans Appeals (COVA). This is a U.S. Congressional no teeth inferior LEGISLATIVE Court. It can not hold the DOD & DVA responsible for the underlying facts of a case. Its Chief Judge describes veterans captured within an out of control, DVA health care process. Lost is a before military service right to a facts of the case reviewing and precedence setting, superior Judicial Branch Court. All veterans are captured within the "freely ignored" "Constitution, statutes and regulations" Executive Branch.

In 2009, fifteen (15) years after the COVA Chief Judge's statements, the Secretary of the DVA and his laymen "initial adjudicators" still are not held responsible for their "freely ignored" and medically brainless "Schedule of Ratings for Disabilities" decisions. In 1994 the Chief Judge of Congress’s 1988 established inferior Veterans Court stated that the, "Constitution, statutes and regulations" are "policy freely ignored" by both the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) and "The Veterans Health Administration" (VHA), i.e., the "STATE OF COURT" transcript PARAGRAPH 9 with Congress’s law of the land, no allowed Court review U.S. CODE, TITLE 38, SECTIONS (§) 511 and § 7252. Decisions of the Secretary; finality. REFERENCES [1], [2] & [3].

A couple of examples of the "initial adjudicators" to date "freely ignored" are this veterans 1957 DVA Physician’s resultant USAF Physician's, "MPerR PERMANENT" "SURGEON HQ ARRC JUN 25 ‘58 MEDICALLY DISQUALIFIED FOR MILITARY SERVICE" (1952 to 1956)! Then the layman adjudicator’s brainless 6/27/96 Supplemental Statement Of Case (SSOC) no "...competent medical evidence...". After an ongoing 18 years in the DVA administrative process the veteran receives a 100% disability. To date there is still no recognition of their 1957 DVA physician’s resultant 1958 USAF physician "disqualified"!

REFERENCES (Emphasis added throughout) with comments:


------–PARAGRAPH 9 of 16 in "STATE OF COURT" TRANSCRIPT records DVA laymen ignoring medical opinion without veteran recourse.---------–

"I believe my message is clear. There is, I suggest, no system with judicial review which has within it a component part free to function in its own way, in its own time and with one message to those it disappoints - take an appeal. That is, I am afraid, what we have today in many of the Department's Agencies of Original Jurisdiction - that is AOJs - around the country. Neither the Court, through the Board, the Board, nor the General Counsel has direct and meaningful control over the Agencies of Original Jurisdiction. Indeed, it is also clear that the VHA - the Veterans Health Administration - ignores specific directives to provide medical opinions as directed. And this is resulting in unconscionable delays. Let us examine judicial review. Remember, the Court and the Board do not make policy, the Secretary and Congress do. The Court simply identifies error made below by a failure to adhere, in individual cases, to the Constitution, statutes, and regulations which themselves reflect policy - policy freely ignored by many initial adjudicators whose attitude is, "I haven't been told by my boss to change. If you don't like it - appeal it." The complete 16 paragraph "STATE OF COURT" transcript is available on request. Previously at, and now missing from the Chief Judges and state_of_court sites: & The legal-dictionary source "">Federal Courts notes in part: "The court may not review the schedule of ratings for disabilities or the policies underlying the schedule."

The top medically ignorant "boss" is Congress’s confirmed "Secretary" of the DVA.

AND THE CONGRESS’S "policy freely ignored" UNITED STATES CODE law of the land, take away from Veterans:

§ 511. Decisions of the Secretary; finality

"(a) The Secretary shall decide all questions of law and fact necessary to a decision by the Secretary under a law that affects the provision of benefits by the Secretary to veterans or the dependents or survivors of veterans. Subject to subsection (b), THE DECISION OF THE SECRETARY AS TO ANY SUCH QUESTION SHALL BE FINAL AND CONCLUSIVE AND MAY NOT BE REVIEWED BY ANY OTHER OFFICIAL OR BY ANY COURT, whether by an action in the nature of mandamus or otherwise."

THEREFORE, NO COURT REVIEW OF THE MEDICALLY UNTRAINED DVA laymen and "Secretary" "schedule of ratings for disabilities" decisions as proven by:

[3] UNITED STATES CODE, TITLE 38 PART V > CHAPTER 72 > tcuts id=lw_1256062585_23>SUBCHAPTER I >

§ 7252. Jurisdiction; finality of decisions

"(b) Review in the Court shall be on the record of proceedings before the Secretary and the Board. The extent of the review shall be limited to the scope provided in section 7261 of this title. THE COURT MAY NOT REVIEW THE SCHEDULE OF RATINGS FOR DISABILITIES adopted under section 1155 of this title or any action of the Secretary in adopting or revising that schedule."

Barbara Rice   October 30th, 2009 3:49 pm ET

How many of these Marines were stationed at the Marine Corps Finance Center – later called the Defense Finance and Accounting Service at the Bannister Federal Complex, Kansas City, MO? I have documented over 120 civilian employees who have cancer, cancer related illnesses and have died or currently undergoing treatments. I am not able to compile a list of Marines – but makes a person wonder how many were contaminated from the known toxins at the Bannister Federal Complex. Toxins such as beryllium, PCBs and petroleum products that were dumped there. There are numerous published articles in the KC Star and other pubs that state "The plant (Dept of Energy who shares the complex) is polluted with cancer-causing materials such as beryllium and PCBs and could cost hundreds of millions of dollars to clean up the site'. KC Star Article dated July 8, 2009. Or KC Business Journal of July 9, 2009 states "people are sick and dying from exposure to beryllium and other substances at the plant (DoE/Allied Signal/Bendix Corp);. The parking lots were paved over the toxins .....I have watched individuals in hazmat suits unload barrels of ? Why in hazmat suits? Someone should investigate the Bannister Federal Complex and link to Marines who are sick and dying.

Barbara Rice   October 30th, 2009 3:52 pm ET

Please just take a moment of validate what I've blogged here. Another friend of mine died yesterday (a vet) from cancer..he worked in the Bannister Federal Complex....shared complex with Dept. of Energy, Allied Signal and Bendix Corp.... how many need to die to give attention to this issues?

Charlotte N Crisler   November 12th, 2009 5:08 pm ET

I am concerned about the water situation at Camp Lejeune also. I lived there in the 1980s, and I have a son born with spina bifida. I want to know if there is any connection or if a class action law suit has been filed regarding this issue?

Woman Marine   November 16th, 2009 12:55 am ET

I was stationed at Lejeune from 1979 to 1983. I lived at French Creek and on Mainside in the barracks located near the base credit union. Not sure if it's still in the same place. I've had business at Courthouse Bay, the rifle range and Camp other words, I bathed in and drank the water. Looking at the Google Earth map, located on http://www.aftercamplejeune,com, I was astonished to find that my barracks on Mainside was within the contamination site!
I dont have cancer, but over the years, I've suddenly developed Primary Sjogren's Syndrome, fatigue, fibromyalgia, hearing loss in my left ear to Meinere's, rashes and fertility issues. No one in my family has any of these diseases, and after receiving the letter from the Marine Corps regarding the water study, it all made sense. It's unbelieveable to me that the Marine Corps would keep something so devastating under wraps for all that long time and let us all die off while they turn a blind eye.

Leon Sellers   November 16th, 2009 3:44 pm ET

I see the Marines theory now. I almost died from an un-explained right lung blood clot two weeks ago. I refuse to give them one less to help and compensate. Live on!!!!

Terry Fristoe Dyer   November 16th, 2009 4:07 pm ET

Please check out and let us know if we can help.

Woman Marine   November 17th, 2009 9:50 am ET

I stand corrected, the Google Earth map can be found on NOT

Don't want to give out bad information.

Patriot   November 18th, 2009 11:36 pm ET

Please let the soldiers and their families their are in our prayers and " if there is no body there is no crime"

Thank you for putting your life on the line for us!

A. Smith, Oregon   December 19th, 2009 9:55 pm ET

How many soldiers were electrocuted by the faulty wiring in the showers and bathrooms in Iraq? The public will likely never know, nor will the Army and Marine Corp. tell them.

All of the Atomic Soldiers that were ordered to march to ground zero on Atomic Tests, they died waiting for the Govt' to pay for their cancer treatments and horrific diseases and pain from their exposure.

All of the Marines that were constantly doused with Agent Orange in Viet Nam, many have died, those still alive are waiting for the Govt' to pay for their medical treatments.

The list goes on and on. Senator John McCain is certainly not a acting friend of Veterans or he would have steered his Republican lawmakers to do what is ethically and morally right.

Perhaps with more Democratic lawmakers, Veterans will finally receive the recognition and the compensation they justly deserve after all those years under the callous Republican administrations.

Andrea   December 29th, 2009 11:35 am ET

To get in contact with those mentioned in this article and/or to find out more about the Camp Lejeune water contamination, please visit the website of The Few, The Proud, The Forgotten at

nancy   December 30th, 2009 10:56 am ET

Many VA offices discourage Veterans from filing claims because 'they will not receive benefits anyway'. These claims need to be filed – volume is what the VA offices understand – if you feel you are affected by the Water at Camp Lejeune, Cancer from Agent Orange (esophagus and GI track cancers are on rejected list because there are not enough Veterans with these cancers that have filed for claims), or any other health problems FILE. Do not be discouraged – rejection is the first step. If these cancers and other health problems ever become covered you will receive back money from THE DAY YOU FILED!

Call your senators and congress people – call the Senator from Hawaii – he heads one of the comittees that covers lots of Veterans problems – even if you are not from Hawaii.

Terry Dyer   December 30th, 2009 8:57 pm ET

Nancy....Great post! You are right. Also be sure that if you are a vet, you include a nexus letter with your claim. To learn about this...check out my web-site and look in the links page and it will show you a copy of one. If I can help any one out there write me at Terry

jeffrey Durst   February 9th, 2010 12:52 pm ET

I wanted to comment on the toyota problem about the gas pedel sticking, I do know a lot about carboraters, fuel injection,and trottle bodys. my belief is this has something to do with the cruise control units. every time I use mine (in any brand of car) i feel a loss of control as if the car has taken over im sure im not the only one who feels this way. this spacer or shim toyota is installing is not going to solve the problem and i believe toyota knows that too. Jeff Durst san Diego Ca.

M. Asselin   February 18th, 2010 2:24 pm ET

I was stationed at Camp Lejeune in 1969 for ITR and drank (CONTAMINATED TOXIC WATER) there. Then I was sent to camp Pendleton for Staging prior to my deployment to Viet Nam. Before I left for Viet Nam I fell sick. whet to the Clinic at McClallen AFB CA. Diagsnosed with severe chest pain etology unknown.Was sent to Viet Nam and had Two Cardiac Arrest within the first Month after my arrival..Ended up with the Cardiac arrest ,Loss of one kidney, Organic Brain Syndrome (Short Term Memory Loss), Colapsed Lung.,(Asperation Pneumonitis). And Now Diabeties Mullitus 2, High Bloob Pressure,Very High Glucose count

sgt tony paige   February 22nd, 2010 8:40 am ET

i myself like many other former marines have great concerns reguarding my health issues, however non more greater than the fact that i too feel abandoned by the department of the us navy/us marine corp by their lack of concern for myself and my family member once i learned of this serious problem. i,ve live with, stomach pains, dizzy spells,muscles aches,vertigo,and high lood pressure since 1980. i too was station in and around the camp lejeune area during that water contamination period. my wife at the time miscarriage with my second child, and my other child had some health problems. this information was given as i file my claim against that. on behalf of my family. i was told that my daughter and wife had to separately represent themselves, which i find obsured. my daughter was and infant at that time. shes 30 years old now. ow much info you expect her to give you. more to this.

Irene Compton   February 23rd, 2010 5:47 pm ET

I lived In TT 2. I am a cancer survivor four times.
If you or anybody you know lives in Tallahassee, Florida, please contact me.

Thank you and G-d Bless you all!!!

Mike Partain   February 24th, 2010 1:41 pm ET


I live in Tallahassee and there are quite a few families here from Lejeune. Please contact me through our website, the Few The Proud The Forgotten. I am in the contacts section.

PS we lived in TT2 Haggaru Rd 1967-68. I was born there and have male breast cancer.

Terry Fristoe Dyer   February 24th, 2010 4:23 pm ET

Irene. I am going through a battle with cancer right now. I lived in TT2 for 15 years from 58 to 73. I lived at 3424 Hagaru Drive. I have the web-site THE STAND at We have many people from Flordia and we would love to help you in any way. God Bless and welcome to a very large family.You can write me at and leave your tel# and we will call you back.

MSGT FOSTER, RETIRED   February 25th, 2010 9:59 am ET

The same TCE is found in the drinking water at Andersen AFB Guam. I worked in the 43rd Supply Squadron Fuels Division sept 1968 through June 1978. I prepared, mixed and sprayed Agent Orange on Andersen AFB Guam and off base AF faciilities and fuel pipelines. I used TCE on base in the Fuel Pump houses at Andy I and Andy II fuel tank farms that border the base housing areas. I use to wash the floors with TCE trichloroethlene "TRIC".

lyle   April 23rd, 2010 12:44 pm ET

I was also in the Marines Corps from 1982-1991 and stationed at Camp Lejeune NC. I have went to sick call twice while in the Marine Corps for having problems with my lymph nods, In 2000 I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and I am currently on disability for the cancer. Thank God for Duke Hospital. I have a copy of my medical records and can prove it. I just filled a VA claim and was denied. Now the Battle really starts, making big brother do the right thing. If any suggestions:

Anthony   June 14th, 2010 10:56 am ET

I am a marine and was stationed at camp LeJeune on and off from 1983 to 1987. I have not been told I have cancer but I have a lot of other health problems that all started while I was in the Marines or since then. I have problems with my blood not clotting when I get cut, my liver is enlarged and I have Chrones disease. I have always thought that something happened to me while in the marines and thought I may have been exposed to something in the jungles of Panama or in Okinawa. I am currently 46 years old but feel like I am in my 70's. I was medically discharged in 1987 because of a scuba diving accident that happened in 1984 in Panama. It took 3 years for the Marine Corps to accept that I was physically unable to do what I needed to do as a marine. I never thought that more health problems would plague me just from drinking water on base. I used to think the water taste funny but just figured I was not used to it and that I would adjust to its taste. I finally recieved a letter from the marine corps in 2009 that I was exposed to carcinogens in the water on base. I have no way of proving this and the VA doesn't want to even listen to me when I try to disscuss this with them.

John Topper   June 28th, 2010 9:05 am ET

I took basic at Bragg late 69-early 70. I remember being marched out to the ranges. We were marched on left side of the roadway sometimes beside and sometimes into the ditch depending on the DI. . Suddenly, we stopped being marched on the side of the road and were marched along the tree line. The rumor was that the side of the range roads had been sprayed with either PCB's or some other toxic material by someone who was driving around and spraying it on the side of the range roads instead of having the material properly disposed of. I have always wondered about this matter. I have prostate cancer.

Bradley Keefer   July 2nd, 2010 11:57 am ET

I was stationed at Camp Lejeune from 1973 to 1976 on Hospital Point. I have have been diagnosed with Chronic Fatique syndrome, depression, anxiety disorder and GEARD (Gastroesphageal acid reflux disease). I have not been checked for cancer except by blood tests which have so far been normal. Anybody been stationed with these symptoms let me know.

copy dvd   July 7th, 2010 2:02 pm ET

I join told all above. Let's discuss this question.

Bradley Keefer   July 7th, 2010 2:10 pm ET

It would be nice if John the services officer could help other vets with nervous disorder. I have depression and general anxiety disorder along with acid reflux. I feel confused a lot of the time. Can someone help me get help from the VA?

video to iPhone converter   July 10th, 2010 6:31 am ET

You are mistaken. I suggest it to discuss. Write to me in PM, we will talk.

Melanie   August 14th, 2010 5:42 pm ET

I have just found out about this water contamination and wanted to share my story also. My father was a Marine and at the time of my sister and my birth in 1972, we were stationed at Quantico Marine Corp base along with my brother who was delivered in the marine corp hospital in 1970. My dad served in the marines and fought in Vietnam.. He came back twice from Vietnam and served as a recon. He was exposed to to agent orange, got an honorable discharge, then served as a sergeant and worked in the business office in Stow, Ohio.. He had his first major heart attack at age 30, had a triple bypass. He then had a kidney transplant at age 35, but the ultimate fate was his heart attack (he had several), at the age of 41 that killed him. When the autopsy came back, he had arteries of a 75 year old man. My brother was diagnosed with very severe paranoid schizophrenia, which may be linked to agent orange or the contaminated water. Either way, just way too many coincidences. My sister and I have been dx with depression and hers a little more severe, but nonetheless, if you have a mental illness, its not anything to laugh about. Just too many people out there that have the same effects of agent orange or the contaminated water, but we were exposed to both... makes you wonder??
oh yea, we receieved 1200.00 from the government when our dad died supposedly for a settlement of agent orange.. Im pretty sure that paid for a months medication for my brother.

Steven   September 21st, 2010 5:28 pm ET

I currently have a claim in for illnesses from trichloroethylene, and also jet Fuel, Gasoline, and Diesel. I have ahistory of illness form active duty while using these checmicals daily and saoked in these fueal and checmicals. I have appeals through the VA currently. I have been extremely sick fighting for my life with pancreas disease. I also have many other problems inclsuding nerve system disease.

I am 54 years old and have not been able to work for 20 years. I spent 6 months in the VA hospital a couple years ago fighting for my life.

Kurt   May 10th, 2011 4:08 pm ET

I spent 9 years in the Marines and just had my right kidney removed due to kidney cander. I am age 46 and spent 2 years in Camp Pendleton at are 43 or camp las pulgas from 1984-1986. There was high levels of benzene and cadmuim foun in the water supply for drinking and in the wash racks water supply where we washed our vehichles and artillary guns. I just read the reports of the contamination at area 43. To this point I had no idea that this is where I got exposed to chemicals that cause kidney cancer. Age 46 is way to young for kidney caancer they say I had it for years before it was caught.

Sharon Colson   July 11th, 2011 9:02 pm ET

Interested in persons stationed in Phillippines in late 60's exposed to TCE or any other chemicals. Please emailed me at

Hilda   September 21st, 2011 4:18 pm ET

Pancreatic Cancer not on the list

Senator Graham, were do you and Congressman Wilson, stand on the issue of drinking contaminated water for 30 years or more at the Marine Base, and family housing at Camp LeJeune, N. C.
Are you both going to support the veterans, their families and the government workers and their families in getting support from Congress, in both the House and the Senate for their illnesses now and in the past.
You see my husband is a Marine Veteran from South Carolina from 1970 – 1974, we owe his life to the men and women that serve all the veterans at the Dorn V. A. Medical Hospital here in Columbia, S.C. and the University of South Carolina Medical College.
We were told he had a tumor in the head of the pancreas in 2002, in 2004 he was operated on at the V A Hospital, if they hadn't operated on him when they did he would be just another dead Marine, they preformed what they called a whipple,
Now it's 2011 and he just had his C & P exam in reference to Camp LeJeune, he was told by the DAV, to make sure to get a copy of the doctors notes after each exam, when he got home after the last exam and started reading the documents he got from records he was turned down for his compensation and pension on this report, the documents from the exam hadn't even been sent to the V. A. Regional Claim Center in Louisville, KY for evaluation, according to his letter that was the V. A. Office handling the Camp LeJeune cases.
After surfing the Internet we found several other sites in the United States that the same contaminates did cause pancreatic cancers. I believe the CDC checked a site in Mass. that had several hundred cases of pancreatic cancers and several thousand other cancers that are not listed on the Camp LeJeune pamlets that the Navy sent out. I believe the V.A. knew about this in 2004, but didn't say a word, we had to find out on the Internet in 2010.
There's more to this story like 52 medical appointments and exams and test before he went to the V. A. all these were non v a doctors and medical facilities, were you had a co pay of $30.00 to $100.00 for each test and you had travel expenses for out of town exams. You asked me to write something so I did.

Leave Your Comment


Comments are moderated by CNN, in accordance with the CNN Comment Policy, and may not appear on this blog until they have been reviewed and deemed appropriate for posting. Also, due to the volume of comments we receive, not all comments will be posted.

Powered by VIP