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Camp Lejeune contaminated water options for veterans and families

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Posted at 5:13 PM, Aug 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-19 22:06:22-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Lloyd Gosey and Bob Perry were Marines who trained at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

With rivers and beaches nearby, the Marine Corps base camp is perfect for amphibious assault training.

It’s also Ground Zero for water that the VA has acknowledged was contaminated by solvents from an off-based dry cleaning company, and industrial materials that seep into the water system there.

Gosey and Perry are among the hundreds of thousands of US Marines who may have been exposed to that poisonous water between 1953 and 1987 while stationed at Camp Lejeune.

Both men feel that they have a claim.

“A lot of my doctors that I ran across over the years, they would tell me that my white blood cells were off, and I was borderline leukemia,” Gosey said.

The recently passed PACT Act includes a provision called the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. It allows for a two-year window for veterans who were harmed to sue for compensation.

“I’ve got a weak heart. Coronary heart disease. I’ve had a couple of A-fibs," Perry said. "I’ve been down this road. I know where it’s headed."

A number of recent television advertisements encourage veterans such as Gosey and Perry to sue for claims.

Local attorney Joe Flores specializes in lawsuits of this type. He said several factors are considered for Camp LeJeune victims.

“The Armed Forces have set aside some monies to be paid, but again, that would be based upon the person's injuries, the time of their exposure, their family's exposure, and what they went through,” he said.

There’s another option for veterans who are harmed other than legal action.

Veterans who now suffer from any of these eight diseases may be eligible for VA disability benefits:

  • Adult leukemia
  • aplastic anemia or other myelodysplastic syndromes
  • bladder cancer
  • kidney cancer
  • liver cancer
  • multiple myeloma
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Parkinson’s disease.

Veterans and family members who suffer from any of these 15 conditions may qualify for healthcare benefits:

  • Bladder cancer
  • breast cancer
  • esophageal cancer
  • female infertility
  • hepatic stetosis
  • kidney cancer
  • leukemia
  • lung cancer
  • miscarriage
  • multiple myeloma
  • myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Neurobehavioral effects
  • non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • renal toxicity
  • scleroderma.

Santos Molina is a claims/benefits adviser with Texas Veterans Commission who said most Camp Lejeune claims filed with the VA come back with positive results.

“If you bring the documentation to support the diagnosis, to support the fact that you were at Camp Lejeune and the current medical condition of the treatment regimen that has been done, we can file a claim within a day,” he said.

To book an appointment, click here or call (210) 608-2636

Molina said a veteran can find out the status of their claim within three to six months.

More Veterans In Focus stories are available here, along with resources for local veterans. Contact Veterans In Focus reporter Pat Simon at pat.simon@kristv.com