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BLADEN COUNTY, NC– After years of waiting, veterans exposed to contaminated drinking water while assigned to Camp Lejeune may soon get government disability benefits.

Jerry Ensminger, a Marine Corps veteran, lost one of his four daughters, Janey, to leukemia after she was exposed to the toxic waters of Camp Lejeune.

Since then, he has fought for the Marine Corps and U.S. Government to acknowledge and address the problem.

“August of this year will be 20 years that I’ve been fighting for the truth and justice,” he said.

The veteran described feeling betrayed by the country he had pledged to serve.

“When we stepped up to the plate to serve our country, we all knew that we could be killed or maimed, but I’m going to tell you right now that I never gave them permission to harm my family,” he said.

On Thursday, the Obama Administration agreed to provide over $2 billion dollars in disability benefits to as many as 900,000 veterans who were also exposed to the contamination.

Ensminger says that, while the resolution comes as a small victory, there is still a long way to go.

“It’s frustrating,” he said. “There are a lot of people that this is going to help, but it took so long.”

The veteran says that the only he will only achieve a sense of closure if the Marine Corps apologizes.

“I want to see someone take action against the people who are responsible for this,” he said.

Ensminger says he is not sure if that will ever happen though.

“I will go to my grave fighting about this, I know that. I won’t see a resolution to this in my lifetime,” he said.

He adds Sentors Thom Tillis, Richard Burr, Kay Hagan all played a big role in getting this issue attention and fixed.


Comment on this Story

  • Bjørn Harald Jordan

    Hi guys. I’m from Norway, pensioned math/physics-teacher and have been interested in the “Gulf syndrom” since 1995. You probably know that DU-ammo has been used in two Irak-wars, in Bosnia/Serbia war and now in 2016 in Syria.
    Millions of people, in Irak, (mainly children), american soldiers and inhabitants has have been influenced, shortly the symtoms are fatigue and cancer, and genes are influenced, -thousands of irakee children are suffering from genetic damages. In the decription of Camp Lejune in wikipedia Jerry is kind of qouted:
    “In 2007, Jerry Ensminger, a retired Marine master sergeant, found a document dated 1981 that described a radioactive dump site near a rifle range at the camp. According to the report, the waste was laced with strontium-90, an isotope known to cause cancer and leukemia.[4]”
    So my question is: “How did the Strontium-90 end up near the rifle range?”
    I want to speak to Jerry Ensminger. Is there anybody that could get me his e-mail adress and phone number? Thank you for your attention and all the best from Norway.

  • guest45

    the right thing to do is identify who is responsible for contaminating the water supply and let them be responsible to the people who’s lives they have harmed.

  • Vog46

    They need to not only admit to it but just go ahead and pay all medical expenses involved for these honorable veterans and the families that had to drink this tainted water!!!

    Unaffiliated and darned proud of it

    • guest45

      exactly who is the THEY????? are we talking about the one’s who are responsible for contaminating the water supply or are we talking about the American Taxpayers that have already paid to have a service done properly but were swindled by inadequate work. doling off the public is unacceptable as double dippers know, identifying and punishing all those that are involved in this contamination should be our first priority. someone took advantage our Vets here at home and that is unacceptable.

      • Vog46

        You’r a piece of work guest.
        The US Military contaminated the land the then hid it from or brave Marines and their families. US Taxpayers SHOULD Foot the bill for all if it because your very existence is owed to the brave men and women of the armed forces.
        don’t like it ? Move to Russiad

        A VET and darned proud of it

  • Samantha’s Treasure Chest

    This is a start… but what about ALL the health problems related to this water poisoning… my kidney’s failed …they just quit, for no reason other than this… no family history… I was and am 100% healthy otherwise… no diabetes, no high blood pressure, heart is good… NEVER drank, NEVER took drugs or smoked…. The chemical makers of all of these poisons say it can cause kidney failure… why have the US Marine Corp excluded thousands of us from this? Male Breast Cancer? PROVEN to be the largest cluster of male breast cancer ever…. and breast cancer is not on the list… as usual , the government is half ass doing the right thing….

    • edwarddunn

      How right you are! I have been unable to work regularly for over 20 years. SSA finally determined I was disabled. The VA found me to be unemployable, but not service connected. No body can explain how, or why I have 6 bone spurs in my back, both knees destroyed, debillitating arthritis in both shoulders, ankles and hips, and Fibromyalgia. Of course the 3 1/2 years I lived in TT and worked on main side couldn’t have been the cause. Want to know what the VA does for me? Due to my wife working, because she has no choice, I have to pay a copay for everything I get at the local VA.

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