Monsanto Settled, Fort McClellan Closed and Veterans gets Screwed
In an article written by Barnini Chakraborty titled “Sick veterans who served at shuttered, toxic Army base turn to Congress, VA for help” for Foxnews.com you can find out things that many people do not want you to know or seem to care about at all. Monsanto settled with the city and the civilian population on this subject but for some unknown reason all military personnel was left out. No one knows and no one has the balls to step up and tell us why, maybe because we were seen as government property and therefore less than human. Maybe we were still under some contractual agreement that we could not sue the government so that protected Monsanto and those local lawmakers from having to think much about us or maybe it was that those who were in charge was paid handsomely to omit the military. Either way, you need to read this article and if you have any love for your military, you need to begin calling your member of congress and demanding that they find their passion for those who fight and died to keep them safe as well.
There is so much in the article and I shall try to highlight just a little then I wish to share with you how it feels for someone who served there as well to read and find out that the government, I was willing to fight and die for was not willing to do the same for me. The article reports “Sue Frasier spent the first six months of her military career at Alabama's Fort McClellan. But that short stint -- 44 years ago at an Army base the EPA later would find so toxic it would shut it down -- was all it took for her to start getting sick, she says. Frasier is among thousands of veterans who were stationed at the former Army base who believe they were exposed to dangerous polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs. They repeatedly have turned to the Department of Veterans Affairs for help, seeking aid for medical treatment and a formal study of their ailments -- but say their pleas have been largely ignored or buried in red tape for decades.
Two pieces of legislation have been introduced to deal with the veterans' medical claims. A proposed Senate bill would establish a national center for research on the diagnosis and treatment of health conditions of the descendants of veterans exposed to toxic substances during service in the Armed Forces. The bill has not advanced. Over on the House side, a bill more specific to Frasier and similar veterans' claims, and backed by Rep. Paul Tonko, D-N.Y., would require the VA to create a registry of everyone who served at Fort McClellan from 1935 to 1999. It then would require the department to reach out to those veterans and offer health exams and information about the effects of toxic exposure. It also would open up disability payments to the veterans. The House bill, though, has been stuck in congressional gridlock for five years and hasn't made its way out of the House Veterans Affairs Committee.
Beginning in the 1930s, Fort McClellan was home to the Military Police as well as those who signed up for the Army’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Corps. It was also the primary training campus for the Women’s Army Corps.
When pressed in the past, the VA has said it’s looked into the Fort McClellan claims and has not found a conclusive link between the health issues vets reported and toxic exposure in the area. But in 1999, the base was deemed so toxic the Environmental Protection Agency labeled it a hazardous site and forced it to shut down, though it, too, did not conclude where the toxins came from. Many veterans who have lived or worked near the military campus believe their ailments were caused by PCBs. In 2003, more than 20,000 Anniston residents sued the Monsanto Co. and Solutia Inc. over PCB contamination. The companies reached a $700 million settlement in the class-action suit with residents, but the military members stationed on the base were not part of it.”
As a U.S. Marine who took my Military Police Training there, in the early 1980’s, let me say how shocked I was when I got the list of toxic military basses from the EPA website and found not only Fort McClellan on it but every American installation that I served on. I was especially surprised when I got a letter from the Marine Corps telling me that a health survey was going on for those civilians and military members who were housed on Camp LeJeune, North Carolina. I got the notification in 2008. Seven years later and we are still no closer to rectifying this issue than we were when I was first notified. This is the same that I expect will happen with this survey, if one is ever done. I cannot help but think that those who know will prolong this until all those who may have been even slightly affected die off and then they will wait a few more years after that so that the off springs of those who were murdered by their own country, citizens, and lawmakers will forget. To give you an idea of just how uncaring all this seems, I just got a letter dated August 25, 2014 from the Assistant Deputy Commandant of the Marine Corps with a fact sheet from Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) who is supposed to be doing the study in the Conclusion section, these people have the audacity to print “Because only 14% of the Camp LeJeune group had died by the end of the study, the number of cause-specific deaths were small, resulting in wide confidence intervals.” Seriously, they actually said that since not enough people died yet, they can’t be too confident in the numbers, well same on us for not dying so that ATSDR could get a better count. And they wonder why veterans are pissed.