Clark County helping Camp Lejeune veterans get compensation

Local Veteran Services offer help in getting money for people who served at North Carolina base.

United States veterans who live in Clark and Champaign counties and served at Camp Lejeune may be entitled to compensation, and area veteran service officials are asking those over the age of 53 to contact them.

The Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act funds relief for veterans who served at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina between the years 1953 and 1987 and suffer from a specific set of illnesses. Veteran Affairs says during this time frame, there were chemicals in the drinking water that could have caused cancer and other health issues.

“Scientific and medical evidence has shown an association between exposure to these contaminants during military service and development of certain diseases later on,” the VA says on their website.

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The diseases include adult leukemia, aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes, bladder cancer, kidney cancer, liver cancer, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and Parkinson’s disease, according to the VA.

Family members who lived on the base or at MCAS New River during the time period and suffered health issues could also receive compensation, the VA said. For the claim, a family member must provide a document showing their relationship to the veteran, a document showing that they lived at Camp Lejeune or MCAS New River for at least 30 days and medical records that show they have one of 15 conditions.

The conditions include bladder cancer, breast cancer, esophageal cancer, female infertility, hepatic steatosis, kidney cancer, leukemia, Lung cancer, miscarriage, multiple myeloma, myelodysplastic syndromes, neurobehavioral effects, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, renal toxicity, scleroderma.

The VA said that two on-base water wells were shut down in 1985 after chemicals including Trichloroethylene (TCE), Perchloroethylene (PCE), Benzene, Vinyl chloride and other compounds were found.

The Clark County Veteran Service Commission has received more calls recently from veterans who served at Camp Lejeune, said David Mitchell, a veteran services officer with the local commission.

“We can get them the benefits they are looking for,” Mitchell said.

The Clark County Veterans Service Commission is hosting a meet-and-greet on Saturday, Nov. 5, at the Clark County Heritage Center between noon and 4 p.m. Veterans can learn about all the benefits and services the commission offers. Veterans who want to learn more about Camp Lejeune compensation can attend the event or call the commission at 937-521-2030.

The Greene County Veteran Service Office has worked with veterans who served at Camp Lejeune and suffered from cancer, Parkinson’s disease and other health issues, said Executive Director Tim Espich.

“Imagine serving your country and doing everything involved with that and then having to deal with serious health issues,” Espich said.

He said the new Camp Lejeune Justice Act allows veterans to file a class action lawsuit against the federal government, but that may be impacted by any service-connected disability payments the veteran already received. He said it’s important for a veteran to look at all their options before making a decision.

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How to get help

Clark County Veteran Services: 937-521-2030

Champaign County Veteran Services: 937-653-4554

Greene County Veteran Services: 937-562-6020

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