Thursday, May 24, 2012

Health Care Now for Military Families Poisoned at Camp Lejeune

My name is Jerry Ensminger, and I served my country faithfully for 24 years in the United States Marine Corps. During that time, I trained thousands of recruits to become honored Marines. And, like too many who lived at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, my family suffered great tragedy due to contaminated water at the base.

That’s why I’m asking for your help, to call on the U.S. government to help the families still suffering from the effects of toxic water at Camp Lejeune. Those of us who drank the water have suffered from cancers, leukemias, miscarriages and birth defects from the cancer-causing chemicals in the water. Last month, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki said providing healthcare to Camp Lejeuene veterans is "premature," and there are two bills in Congress that would provide health care ffor the families and veterans who desperately need it. But these measures are being held up by politics.

Our nation's leaders must act now to provide health care for the veterans and their families who were stationed at Camp Lejeune.

In 1983, my daughter Janey was diagnosed with childhood leukemia. Janey -- the only one of my children either conceived, born, or raised on the base -- was just six years old. For two and a half years, I watched Janey fight for her life. I watched her fight, suffer, and die. She passed away 27 years ago, when she was just 9 years old.

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