Senator Burr Takes Stand Against United States Marine Corps

Jim Fontella is a former Marine and breast cancer survivor stationed at Camp Legeune in the 1960's.

Senator Richard Burr’s office, in connection with a bipartisan group of Senators and Congressmen, have openly questioned a recent move by the United States Marine Corps’. The recent move was to keep secret information about the water infrastructure at Camp Lejeune, despite the data being available to the public for years.

Suspicious of the real intent, Senator Burr stated that the new classification could prevent the scientific community from future tests of the toxins known to have been in the water supply at Camp Lejeune for decades. Scientific studies have linked the cancer causing toxins to rare cancers in tens of thousands of Marines from 1957 to 1987.

It has surfaced that the EPA and the Navy were aware of the harmful water conditions as early as 1981, but they failed to take steps to abate the problem. In 2011, the EPA finally acknowledged what many soldiers and scientists suspected, that the chemicals were causing soldiers and their families to become deathly ill.

In an effort to try to help these military members and veterans, Senator Burr introduced the Caring for Camp Lejeune Veterans Act (S. 277). Unfortunately, the Act has been caught up in a battle for funding. The Department of Veterans Affairs has refused to pay for the illnesses and pushed the responsibility onto the DOD.

In response, it was proposed that the DOD would cut funding for military commissaries. The proposal was unsuccessful to this point. So long as a funding source remains illusive, the Act will be stuck in limbo, and so to will the injured servicemembers, veterans and family members.

With the new unexplained request to cause Camp Lejeune’s water infrastructure to become newly secret, many lawmakers have cried foul alongside Senator Burr. In a letter joining the cause are the signatures of 5 other supporters: Representative Brad Miller (D-NC), Representative John Dingell (D-MI), Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL), Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Senator Kay Hagan (R-NC).

At the present, it is not believed that the requested redactions will impact the overall value of information contained in the report. After all, the information sought pertains to the impact of toxins on American soldiers. However, the lawmakers fear the request is an extension of overly ambitious secrecy efforts by the DOD through the Marine Corps’. If the move for more secrecy is successful, Senator Burr and the bipartisan group joining him fear the government will establish the ability to classify whatever it chooses.

Here, the water infrastructure information has been available to the public for years. Now that Congress is focused on identifying the liable parties and forming remedies, that same information is now deemed a “national secrecy concern” by the Marine Corps’.

If the Marines are successful, it may not be long before future reports on issues like Gulf War Illness and similar may be deemed classified under the guise of “national security” in an effort government or businesses to escape liability.

Our nation owes a debt to those servicemembers it put in harms way through careless construction, dumping and coverups at Camp Lejeune. Let’s hope the DOD, currently through the Marine Corps’, does not attempt to use these issues to expand its already aggressive preference toward classifying everything as a “national security concern.”

Last week, I personally traveled to DC to meet with Senator Burr’s office to discuss veterans’ issues, including the Camp Lejeune victims. His General Counsel Amanda Meredith assured me that the Senator is deeply committed to ensuring these veterans get the aid they need.

Please click here to email your Senator or Congressperson to support the fight for Camp Lejeune victims. Enough is enough.

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  2. I did 15+ years in the Marine Corps all active duty. Got out in 1991. I joined the Army Reserves and got hurt while on orders at school Mar 2007. Injury to right knee and spinal lumbar. The VA finally operated on my knee Feb 2011 and have only received spinal injections for my back that has nothing nothing to help me.

    Presently unemployed due to the injury and have lost almost everything I owned. Cannot draw unemployment because I’m injured. Was turned down by social security. The VA stated I cannot be reimbursed for the over 50 trips I’ve made to the VA for treatment because I was hurt in the miltary and the military is supposed to reimburse me.

    Filed disablility with the VA in Jan 2011 and they keep saying it’s pending.

    Still in the reserves and filed for INCAP Nov 2011 and they keep saying it’s pending. I’ve read and stated the regulations but there is not accountability for them to follow these regs.

    Have contacted two(2) congressmen with no help. Texas and Idaho. Sent letters to ABC, NBC, CBS and the President – no responses. Hell – I even sent a message to the The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

    My daughter in Idaho has let me move in with her because I was living out of my truck. We can bailout other countries and banks but we cannot help those that have fought for this country!

    Isn’t there someone that can help?

  3. If a hundred soldiers were walking in combat and stepped on a mine and each one lost a leg or an arm, I think the VA would award 100% of them some compensation. In my case, I was an armor and amoung other loud noises, had to fire 106 mm canons. These are earth shaking sounds that turn air into such density that it is like being 50 feet under water. Many military soldiers have ringing of the ears, but from being around extreme explosions as I have, I have acquired what is know as head noises. I have extreme ringing and clacking and banging in my head. I have not lost a limb, But I know that my injuries from being in the military are far more worse than a missing limb. I would trade any one of those injured veterans for their injury. I can not sleep, I can not function most of the time, It has effected me mentally, physically, emotionally. And I am on meds to sleep, depression, Pain from migraines, etc and the list goes on and on, I have lost my children, family, friends. The reason I write this is …. The VA when it comes to injuries to soldiers when you cannot see the actual injury…… get awarded compensation very very few times. This amazes me… I call it the 100 % versus the 1 %. I filed and was turned down like almost all others with my issues. I can not afford to go on with this life of mine. Financially I am a bust. When I hear how these politicians and presidents say they want to take care of veterans, WELL I am still waiting for that. Chris Johnson

  4. Wow!
    The government can bail out the banks with trillions of tax payer dollars. And ear mark trillions more gone to dubious shovel ready jobs and research projects to study migration routes of water foul among other things; and yet they cannot find a dime for Veterans suffering from their mistakes and lack of Due Diligence to protect Veterans and for that matter the general public from poisons in the drinking water that they admitted to knowing about.

    What have we become?

    Camp Lejeune Survivor 1985-1986
    USMC Hadnot point

  5. I filed for DIC benefits as my husband died 10/31/09 from Liver Cancer, Diabetes Met, Sarcoidosis . My husband never drank a day in his life and was
    stationed in Vietnam and Camp LeJeune. I am going on 3 years. First it was denied and I appealed the decision. I have sent 160 pages of documentation, 4 physician and specialists letters and his medical records and am still waiting.
    I think it is terrible the way our Vets and families are treated. My husband was hit with the double edged sword as he also injested the contaminated water for a year and well as bathed etc.Friday nite on MSNBC at 10:00 there is a documentary on the contaminated water at Camp LeJeune. Anyone have any suggestions as to who I can contact to help this along. I spoke with our State Reps, the local VA office with no help at either. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks,

  6. Our family interprets this simple USC to say that our daughter, who is enrolled in the VA Spina Bifida Program as a Levell III (totally disabled) a/o child, is entitled to the care and services listed. The VA will not provide habilitative, rehabilitative, counseling, guidance, case management or aid with daily living. They give us no reason for refusing these services, and they simply ignore our questions, even when routed through Congressional offices. Any tips or help to offer?

  7. As a Army Veteran I am outraged at the disrespect toward my brothers in arms. I sand with you and demand that this country show the same respect to a Marine and his or her family and was required of them.

    I understand to level that our law makers will go too to hide their wrongs. It is a numbers game being played with our servicemen. Wait until they die off, just like Agent Orange, Blue Water, Ft. McClellan, and Camp Lejeune. They don’t understand that sometimes it is not about money it is as simple as (but complicated to the law makers) the truth.

    I was stationed at Ft. McClellan, AL and suffer the effects long after my service. I understand their pain. I pray for you all, and hope you get the answers you deserve.


    CPL Marshall
    US Army 1982-1992
    Multi-abled Vet. 80%
    Being all I can be Army strong.

  8. that is a criminal offence agains’t the military in general. should be pushed to the fullest.

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