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Camp Lejeune Horror Story


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I joined the United States Marine Corps Reserve in July of 1986, and received an honorable discharge in July of 1994. For approximately 45 days in early October of 1986 until late November of 1986, I was stationed at Camp Lejeune, NC with the Warehouse Unit (3051) for training (ACDUTRA).

Several years after my separation from service in approximately 1993, I really began to experience the effects of consuming the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. My mood changed drastically and I began to have major panic attacks. At one point in 1995 I was even taken by ambulance to the hospital for shortness of breath and the fear that I was having a massive heart attack. During this same year, I was formally diagnosed with suffering from Bipolar Disorder and Manic Depression. The strange thing about it is that I have never suffered from any psychological issues prior to my service at Camp Lejeune and do not have a family history of any psychiatric disorders. Over the next nineteen years, I took medication and occasional psychotherapy for my psychiatric condition. In spite of this my condition never really improved to the point that I felt normal.

Since approximately 1992, I have had literally dozens of jobs. This is true, because my psychiatric condition makes it nearly impossible to hold down a job for any considerable amount of time. I have real trouble concentrating and focusing on things for long periods of time. Due to my educational background, I have been afforded some really good and high paying jobs like the Social Security Administration and school teaching. However, because of my lack of ability to focus, I am unable to sustain meaningful employment for more than a few months at a time. The stress of the workload and my inability to handle authority make it very difficult to remain on any job for very long; as a result, I ultimately quit. I reason that I can do better working alone and for myself and that I’ll earn a lot more working for myself, but that never seems to manifest either. I would say that most of my family members and close friends believe that there is seriously something wrong with me. I have been out of work for a year and a half and drive for Uber from time to time to earn money for gas and auto insurance.

I prefer to spend most of my time alone and have pretty much cut off all contact with friends. I no longer have good health insurance like I did when I was married. Since it is difficult for me to maintain employment, I don’t have regular insurance coverage. As a result, I have not the taken much needed psychiatric medication for approximately four years. Consequently, my alcohol consumption has increased greatly and I weigh more than I ever have in my life.

In my heart of hearts, I truly believe that my condition is the direct result of my exposure to the contaminated water that I consumed while at Camp Lejeune, NC. According to the EPA, the levels of PCE, TCE and other chemicals at Camp Lejeune were at least 1000 times higher than normal. Apparently the Marine Corps was aware of this situation and did nothing to correct it. Hundreds of thousands of Marines and their families have been victimized by this situation.

In 2012, President Obama signed into law the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-154), which guarantees those veterans who served at Camp Lejeune from 1953 to 1987 for a minimum of 30 days and suffer from any of fifteen identified conditions, free treatment through the VA. I content that I suffer from Neurobehavioral Effects, which is one of the identified conditions. Depression falls within the realm of Neurobehavioral Effects.


Perhaps there is a “light at the end of this long tunnel,” because, a Veterans Law Judge, in his appeal letter stated that my service record confirms that I was stationed at Camp Lejeune for training, which falls within the range of subjects identified as potentially exposed to VOCs during my service and that my VA treatment record shows that I have a history of depression and that I have received treatment from the VA for such. Aside from this I also show a history of being treated for years by outside psychiatrist. As a result, I will be afforded the elusive P&C examination as part of my case; I am finally going to receive the due process that I deserve.

            I keep getting denied! What would you do?

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I suggest you read this article,the most recent one I could find, and also google for Camp LeJuene Contaminated Water Marines and I am sure much will pop up. Also you could contact this law firm to keep undatted on their lawsuit.

"By Cristina Corbin

 Published April 27, 2016 


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In Part:

“The quest for answers for thousands of veterans sickened -- in some cases terminally -- by contaminated water at Camp Lejuene has been stymied by a federal agency that refuses to hand over key documents, attorneys from Yale Law School charged Wednesday.

The Veterans Legal Services Clinic at Yale Law School filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit in federal court Wednesday against the Department of Veterans Affairs for allegedly withholding information on a group of "experts" denying claims for scores of veterans exposed to cancer-causing chemicals at the North Carolina base.

The suit, which represents two veterans groups, seeks to compel the VA to respond to a December 2015 FOIA request about the SME program -- an anonymous group of "subject matter experts" who render medical opinions on the veterans exposed to toxic water at Camp Lejuene  between 1953 and 1987.”  

Further in this article it states:

“The SME program tasks an anonymous group of clinicians with issuing medical opinions on the disability compensation claims of Camp Lejeune veterans. Since the VA created the SME program, the grant rate for these claims plummeted from approximately 25% to 8%, according to VA statistics.

From the limited information publically available, veterans groups and medical professionals have identified concerns about the clinicians’ credentials, methods, and expertise. For example, SME program clinicians have repeatedly relied on scientific reports that VA officials admit are outdated. In at least one case, the VA relied on a report by an SME program clinician who cut and pasted a Wikipedia entry to provide a medical opinion on a rare type of cancer**. “


This is the same bull crap VA has done to thousands of veterans who get C &P exams from doctors ( or PAs or nurses)who dont have a clue on the specific disability the C & P is for.And like this article shows, one doctor went to Wikipedia to render his opinion on a Camp LeJuene claim.

The grant rate of LeJuene claims ,as the article shows has "plummeted" because of this "anonymous" group of clinicians that the Lawsuit attempts to reveal information on, as to their qualifications.

VA recently was under the gun because 24,000 or more TBI veterans claims had to be reviewed because many were denied because of unqualified doctors.

It sounds to me like the Camp LeJuene fiasco is the same thing.

We had lawyers from the Yale Veterans law clinic on one or two of our radio shows years ago and maybe Jerrel Cook could get some of them on to talk about this latest FOIA  lawsuit.


"I keep getting denied! What would you do? " I would hang in there and also google for other info on Camp LeJeuene veterans still waiting for a proper resolve of their claim. I would definitely try to stay up on this FOIA situation as well.

Also get a copy of the C & P exam , if it is done at a VAMC ....but I am wondering if all C & Ps for Camp LeJeune contaminated water vets  are being done by the socalled SMEs.....and the law firm would know if those exams can be release3d to the claimant right away 9 or maybe not)

I think we had one Camp LeJuene award here....will try to find it.


I managed to erase the doubles....and need to add

“VA Secretary Bob McDonald announced in mid-December that eight medical conditions afflicting vets who served at Lejeune from Aug. 1, 1953, through Dec. 31, 1987, are to be presumed the result of exposure to carcinogens and other harmful chemicals that fouled base water systems.

The proposed “presumptive” diseases are: kidney cancer, liver cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, leukemia, multiple myeloma, scleroderma, Parkinson’s disease and aplastic anemia/myelodysplastic syndromes.

Making ailments presumptive moves compensation awards nearer to automatic. Diagnosed veterans still must file claims but they only need to show they served at Camp Lejeune during the 34-year span for a necessary length of time. A minimum of 30 days is likely although officials won’t confirm that until a proposed regulation is published, which is expected by mid-2016.

Without presumption, claims are adjudicated more slowly, with each claimant having to show a nexus between their disease and their service.”



Although the prior list ( the nolo link below)contained other disabilities, only the above ones are presumptive and it will take a strong independent medical opinion to show that your disability has no other etiology but for the exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.












Edited by Berta
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Thank you Berta for the great information. No, my condition is not one of the eight 'presumptives' identified, but it is one of the 15 identified in the law passed by President Obama in 2012 for VA treatment. However, because technically I am not a veteran ( honorably discharged reservist), I have even hit a brick wall being seen and treated at the VA at all. Thanks and I will keep fighting.

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  • 2 weeks later...

In my quest to prove service connection for my brother's schizophrenia, I am wondering if there is anyone out there that has filed a claim for schizophrenia caused by exposure to Camp Lejeune drinking water.   I've read the committee's report and they seem to say there is reasonable doubt, and they will side with the Veteran.   My brother was at Camp Lejenue for 4 months --- March 27, 1969 - July 27, 1969.  His schizophrenia manifested about 7 years later.   I'm not sure how to interpret their "Adult Exposure Algorithm" chart.   Can anyone help me ?

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