Oct 01, 2013 - 4:58 pm
I have been busy drafting my comment to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Proposed Rule: AO78 - Proposed Rule - Hospital Care and Medical Services for Camp Lejeune Veterans and felt compelled to share and inquire. One of my primary objections is they are trying to impose a September 11, 2015, deadline for anyone affected to register or be barred. I feel fairly confident it is the next Agent Orange, except when it comes to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune not only are Marines and Sailors affected, so are their family members and civilian employees who worked on base. If anyone spent more than 30 days at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina between 1957 and 1987, and have any of the 15 illnesses/conditions listed, they may be affected. Obviously, just as was the case with Agent Orange, the list of illnesses/conditions may very well be expanded. Kidney cancer is one of the 15 illnesses. My husband was under the care of the VA for 4 years before they discovered his 12cm tumor and by then it had already metastasized to both lungs and bones. He was stationed at Camp Lejeune in 1966. They have known about the contaminated water since at least 1997. My point is they are not knocking themselves out notifying anyone, yet they are jumping to get a date in place to exclude those potentially affected. (I can't help but wonder had my husband been notified, would his cancer have been discovered before it was already Stage IV.) They have already put in an August 6, 2012 deadline for retroactive medical care, so they are really narrowing that window. The 15 illnesses are presumptive for treatment only; not for veteran disability ratings.
My husband was also in Vietnam in 1966/1967 and exposed to Agent Orange. It is clear that many have come to believe that Agent Orange exposure is also linked to kidney cancer. I have looked around and using usernames came up with approximately 46 on this site alone that believed they or a family member had kidney cancer because of Agent Orange exposure. I am just wondering if those diagnosed with kidney cancer that were exposed to Agent Orange could chime in if they were also living at Camp Lejeune for 30 days between 1957 and 1987...
I am also interested in knowing if any of those diagnosed with kidney cancer but not exposed to Agent Orange lived at Camp Lejeune for 30 days between 1957 and 1987.
The million dollar question is this...if you did live at Camp Lejeune for 30 days between 1957 and 1987, were you contacted in any way and advised you had been exposed to contaminated water?