Thanks to the recently passed Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012, thousands of affected Marines and family members may finally receive health care for one of the worst cases of drinking water contamination in US history.
Over the last 30 years, around one million Marines and family members are estimated to have been exposed to drinking water contaminated with carcinogens at the Marine Corps base in North Carolina.
The measure was passed on Wednesday under the US Senate, which will provide health care to those who lived and worked at the base from 1957-1987, according to the Associated Press.
Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C. said in a statement, "This has been a long time coming, and unfortunately, many who were exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune over the years have died as a result and are not with us to receive the care this bill will provide ... While I wish we could have accomplished this years ago, we now have the opportunity to do the right thing for the thousands of Navy and Marine veterans and their families who were harmed during their service to our country."
"The push for answers continues, but in the meantime, veterans and family members are suffering," Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C. said in a statement. She added, "Many need treatment today and cannot afford to wait while studies are completed. The Marines and their family members affected by this tragedy have sacrificed to keep this country safe. After decades of denial, this country owes it to them to ensure they are taken care of in their time of need."
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In Rachel Libert's Camp Lejeune contamination documentary, more is revealed about the situation in North Carolina as well as the environmental crisis at military sites across the country.