Water is an essential resource for human survival. However, for many American veterans, the water they consumed during their military service has left them with long-term health consequences.
For decades, veterans and their families have been exposed to toxic water at various military installations across the United States, resulting in devastating health problems.
A recent report published in MilitaryTimes revealed that in 2022, an internal study conducted by the Defense Department discovered that drinking water at 24 U.S. military installations poses a significant health risk to approximately 175,000 service members annually. The water at these installations contains dangerous levels of chemicals that are linked to cancer and other illnesses.
This article delves into the history of water contamination in the military and the impact it has had on American veterans.
Water Contamination in the Military
Water contamination in the military has a long and complicated history. One of the most well-known examples of water contamination is at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. From 1953 to 1987, the water at Camp Lejeune was contaminated with industrial chemicals such as trichloroethylene (TCE) and perchloroethylene (PCE). These chemicals were used in various industrial processes, including degreasing.
The contamination has been linked to a range of health problems, including various cancers, birth defects, and neurological disorders. However, it wasn’t until the late 1990s that the Department of Defense (DoD) acknowledged the problem and began providing medical care to affected veterans and their families.
In addition to the DoD’s acknowledgment of the water contamination at Camp Lejeune and other military installations, the issue has also resulted in legal action. Many veterans and their families have filed lawsuits against the government and private companies responsible for the water contamination.
Some law firms have focused on individual cases, representing veterans and their families in lawsuits against the government or private companies responsible for the contamination. Other law firms like TorHoerman Law have taken a broader approach to the Camp Lejeune contaminated water lawsuit, representing large groups of affected veterans in class-action lawsuits.
Ultimately, taking legal action against the military for water contamination is a complex and challenging process. It is important to understand that when you sue the military, you are effectively suing the government. So, take one step at a time, carefully evaluate your options and choose a firm you feel confident will provide the representation and support you need throughout the legal process.
The Impact on American Veterans
The impact of water contamination on American veterans has been significant. Many veterans who were exposed to toxic water have developed serious health problems, including cancer, neurological disorders, and autoimmune diseases. In some cases, the health problems have been fatal.
In July of 2022, Action News Jax reported on a heartbreaking story of a woman in Jacksonville who filed a lawsuit after her husband’s death from leukemia. The woman believes that her husband’s exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune during his military service contributed to his illness.
Furthermore, veterans who were exposed to toxic water at military installations have faced significant challenges in accessing medical care and receiving compensation for their injuries. Many veterans have had to fight long and difficult battles with the DoD to receive the medical care and compensation they need and deserve.
The Toll on Families
The toll of toxic water on American veterans has affected not only the veterans themselves but also their families. Family members who were exposed to toxic water at military installations have also developed health problems, including cancer, birth defects, and neurological disorders.
Moreover, family members have had to watch their loved ones suffer from the effects of water contamination, often without adequate medical care or compensation.
According to a post on the Lawsuit Information Center, in 2012, the Janey Ensminger Act was passed, allowing the U.S. government to provide financial assistance for medical expenses to family members harmed by the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. This law is named after the daughter of a Marine who died of leukemia, which he believed was caused by his exposure to contaminated water at the base.
The Way Forward
The DoD has taken some steps to address the problem of water contamination in the military. For example, the DoD has established the Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) program, which brings together military officials, community leaders, and environmental experts to address environmental contamination at military installations.
However, there is still much more that needs to be done to address the toll of toxic water on American veterans. The DoD must provide more medical care and compensation to affected veterans and their families. Moreover, the DoD must take stronger measures to prevent future water contamination at military installations.
In conclusion, the toll of toxic water on American veterans and their families is a devastating and ongoing problem. While the DoD has taken some steps to address the issue, there is still much work to be done to ensure that affected veterans, and their families receive the medical care and compensation they need and deserve.
It is imperative that the DoD takes stronger measures to prevent future water contamination at military installations and that individuals affected by toxic water continue to seek legal recourse and support to hold responsible parties accountable.