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Holding the Government Accountable

US Finally Agrees to Pay Billions in Benefits to Camp Lejeune Victims

Yesterday the Obama Administration finally addressed one of the worst toxic contaminations in the country and, perhaps, one of the US military’s most shameful acts of deception and betrayal.

A notice in the Federal Register revealed that the United States agreed to provide over $2 billion in disability benefits to veterans who were stationed at Camp Lejeune, a North Carolina Marine Corps Base Camp, between 1957 and 1987.

During this period almost one million Marines, civilian employees, and their families drank, bathed in, and cooked with contaminated water. Many who ingested the water died or lost family members, and the contamination has been linked to children born with extreme birth defects, leukemia and other rare cancers, and other ailments. To make matters worse, it was later revealed that the Marine Corps knew about the contaminated water and blocked many attempts to uncover the truth.

Those who were affected by the contamination have spent decades fighting to get their medical care covered by the US government. The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) has worked on this issue with retired Marine Master Sgt. Jerry Ensminger who lost his daughter, Janey, at age nine from leukemia after they’d been stationed at Camp Lejeune in 1979.

POGO is pleased to see the United States finally do the right thing by providing the healthcare benefits these veterans and their families are owed.