Veteranclaims’s Blog

October 10, 2009

Former Marine the New Face of Veterans Exposed to Toxins

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — veteranclaims @ 10:51 pm

Full Article at: Former Marine becomes face of new Vieques battle

By MIKE MELIA (AP) – 7 hours ago

ISABELA, Puerto Rico — “The headaches began just after Hermogenes Marrero arrived on Vieques, the small Puerto Rican island where the young U.S. Marine guarded stores of Cold War-era chemical weapons.

The retired sergeant, now 57 and terminally ill with cancer and other ailments, blames exposure to toxins released while he was stationed there from 1970 to 1972. By coming forward to support similar claims by island residents, he has become the public face of a new and bitter battle over Vieques, the Navy bombing range-turned-tourist destination off the U.S. territory’s east coast.

“I’ve been sick since I left Vieques,” said the wheelchair-bound Marrero, who now lives in an apartment cramped with life-support equipment in this small town in northwestern Puerto Rico.

Marrero is a key witness in a lawsuit seeking billions of dollars in compensation for illnesses that past and current Vieques residents have linked to the bombing range, where the U.S. and its allies trained for conflicts from Vietnam to Iraq.”

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