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Past contaminated water at Lejeune suspected in death and illness

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ATLANTA (AP) -- Thousands of Marines and their families went to serve their country at North Carolina's Camp Lejeune.

Instead, many wound up fighting the government over the water that poured from kitchen faucets and bathroom showers at Camp Lejeune.

The environmental tragedy realized a generation ago is drawing new scrutiny from members of Congress outraged over the government's treatment of sick veterans at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and elsewhere.

U-S health officials in Atlanta hope to finish a long-awaited study by year's end to examine whether the water tainted with solvents affected the health of children.

Officials say it will influence the Pentagon's response to at least 850 pending legal claims by people who lived at the Marine base. The former residents together seek nearly $4 billion.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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