Veteranclaims’s Blog

March 28, 2010

VA Awards 100% Disability for Marine Exposed to Toxins at Camp Lejeune

Full Article at: VA ruling on former Marine’s illness may affect thousands
By Sandra Jontz, Stars and Stripes
European edition, Saturday, March 27, 2010

“Paul Buckley, a former Marine, has been granted full disability benefits by the Veterans Affairs Department after it was determined that his years living and working at Camp Lejeune, N.C., led to him contracting multiple myeloma, an incurable bone cancer.

A government decision to give disability benefits to a former Marine sickened by toxins at Camp Lejeune, N.C., could have far-reaching effects for thousands of other families who lived and worked at the military base over the years.

Paul Buckley, who was diagnosed with multiple myeloma four years ago, received a letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs earlier this month stating that “all reasonable doubt has been resolved in your favor.” Buckley’s incurable bone marrow cancer “was directly related to military service,” the letter continued.

“This is not the type of cancer you get from smoking or eating French fries,” said Buckley, 46, who now lives in Hanover, Mass. “I was too young to get this illness and I didn’t have any of the risk factors.”

But in the 1980s, Buckley was assigned to Camp Lejeune, where scientists found the presence of the degreaser trichloroethylene, or TCE, the dry-cleaning solvent tetrachloroethylene, or PCE, and the carcinogen benzene in the drinking water.

His doctors believe exposure to those chemicals was the likely cause of his cancer − a claim the U.S. government repeatedly denied until he received his letter from the VA on March 8.

For Buckley, the sudden reversal means that he can start collecting VA benefits, which will extend to his wife when he dies.

The VA’s ruling could have much broader ramifications: By some estimates, up to 1 million people lived or worked at the base between 1957 and 1987.”

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8 Comments »

  1. Greetings. Thanks for sharing. I was exposed to contaminated (VOCs) water at Camp Lejeune NC while active duty USMC from Oct 1981 to Jun 1984. I also had frequent exposure to trichloroethylene while employed in electronics field at Naval Avionics Center Indpls IN from 5/31/88 to 1995. I had further exposure while working at the same facility for Hughes Aircraft 1995-1996. Further exposure while working at the same facility for Raytheon Technical Services 1996-2002. I now have early onset Ideopathic Parkinson’s disease since Jun 1996 at age 34 (diagnosis 2000). Forced to retire May 2002 due to Parkinson’s. Been on SSDI since Oct 2002. Currently filling out CampLejeuneClaimsPacket.pdf
    (Tort Claim) found here: https://clnr.hqi.usmc.mil/clwater/index.html. Any advice or references much appreciated.

    Comment by mental33 — May 29, 2010 @ 1:16 am

    • best thing to do is have a representative handle your case. have a copy of your records showing your time at Lejeune, and also submit your medical records with it and try getting your doctor providing care to support your claim in writing. explain the case to your doctor and present all to your representative at once. I have RCC and fighting for my life right now. Kidney cancer is one of the most common of them. Not fun I can tell ya.I pray for you my brother, semper fi

      Comment by Bob nelson — July 24, 2016 @ 4:47 pm

  2. I was assigned to Lejeune from 1955 to 1959 and again in 1966 and now being treated for bladder cancer.

    Comment by William D. Kerakos — December 2, 2010 @ 1:27 am

  3. I was assigned to Camp Lejeune from 1955 to 1959 and again in 1966 (6 mounths)

    Comment by William D. Kerakos — December 2, 2010 @ 1:30 am

  4. i worked in the operating room at patrick air force base where trichloroethyulene was used as an anesthetic and after many years of the non tremor sides of parkinsons disease a tremor ended my surgical career. the va needs to recognize its presence at other bases and provide compensation. parkinsons disease may begin with stomach troubles, depression , sleep disorders and need not present for many years with a tremor.

    Comment by MAX PHILLIP LEVINE MD, MAJOR USAF 1973-75 — November 9, 2014 @ 10:21 pm

  5. THE BOARD OF VETERANS APPEALS ACKNOWLEDGED THAT TRICHLOROETHYLENE WAS THE CAUSE OF MY PARKINSONS DISEASE. THE CHEMICAL IS PERVASIVE NATIONWIDE IN PLACES NOT YET DESIGNATED AS SUPERFUND SITES. TCE IS LINKED TO EIGHT ILLNE SSES. BOTH VETERANS AND CIVILIANS ARE AFFECTED BY THESE PLUMES. IF YOU ACCESS THE DATA FROM THE AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY FOR YOUR OWN AREA FOR NON HODGKINS LYMPHOMA, BLADDER AND KIDNEY CANCER ETC AN INDUSTRY OR MILITARY BASE MAY HAVE BEENTHERE . THE VA IS WAKING UP AND YOU CAN FIND HELP MAX PHILLIP LEVINE MD, FACS

    Comment by MAX P LEVINE MD — January 30, 2017 @ 2:39 pm

  6. i was in from 86 until 89..i got multiple myeloma now..and i’m showing sign’s of Parkinson’s..i filed my claim a month ago….how will it work?do the pay you like it’s day one..or do you get retro pay if you was diagnosed 3 years ago?..hate to dwell on money..but all I get is my SSI

    Comment by vincent murphy — March 22, 2017 @ 9:18 am

  7. I was at Camp Lejeune 1955 and have had neurological problems and low count white, red blood cells and very low blood count which they could not explain. I was advised my bone marrow was compromised and I was encouraged to file a claim and was turned down on three filings and three others have not been decided. Near death experience with a problem with an over the counter cough med and my prescribed meds. My immune system could not handle the combination.
    At 80 I have fought 10 years for compensation for my late onset severe PTSD and finally got 30%????? So I am not holding my breath on any major changes with the CROOKED VA COMPENSATION SYSTEM.

    Comment by Janes Driscoll — May 18, 2017 @ 9:58 pm


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