Our Original Mission

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We are but a few of the Survivors of the Civilians, Government Employees and Soldiers in the Army, Air Force, and Navy who participated in the 1977-1980 Enewetak Atoll Atomic Debris Cleanup Mission in the Marshall Islands.

Our Original Mission was to move radioactive fallout and debris from the surface of the islands of Enewetak Atoll to a 370 foot diameter concrete containment structure on Runit Island and to create a number of artificial reefs in the lagoon.

Our three year mission allowed the dri-Enewetak Islanders to return to almost all of the 40 islands in their beautiful homeland of Enewetak Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

The U.S. Government evacuated Enewetak Atoll of its inhabitants shortly after the end of World War II so the atoll could be used as a major proving ground for the U.S. Government’s Atomic Bomb Testing of over 40 atomic bombs during the 1940’s and 1950’s.

In March 1974, the United States Energy Research and Development Administration published Radiological Conditions at Enewetak Atoll and Protection of Future Residents.It was written in both Marshallese and English languages so the dri-Enewetak people could understand the challenges of the cleanup and the changes in their lifestyles when they were allowed to return to their atoll.

After our mission was completed, a narrative history of the Radiological Cleanup of Enewetak Atoll was published by the Defense Nuclear Agency with a Forward written by Vice Admiral Robert R. Monroe, U. S. Navy and Director of the Defense Nuclear Agency. It was complied from historical documents stored in the Enewetak Radiological Cleanup Repository at the Defense Nuclear Agency’s Field Command in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Both of the above reports are great resources for learning more about our original mission in 1970-1980.

Learn more about us from various resources shared by supporters and cleanup participants in AtomicCleanupVets.com articles. Our articles contain photographs, videos, documents and stories written by the actual participants who cleaned radioactive contaminated soils and materials from the surface of the islands at Enewetak Atoll.

Article written by Girard Frank Bolton, III. 1977-1979 participant with C Company and HHC S-3 (Operations) 84th Engineer Battalion (Combat Heavy) (Fwd) Enewetak Atoll, Marshall Islands.

Our Current Mission is to help health challenged Atomic Cleanup Veterans become included in the Veterans Administration’s definition of an Atomic Veteran so we can qualify to apply for funds set aside for veterans “who participated in radiation-risk activities during active service.”

Our Current Mission

Participants of the Enewetak Atoll Atomic Debris Cleanup Mission built this 55' high 370' diameter 2' thick concrete containment structure and filled it with 109,840 cubic yards of radioactive soil and debris.

Participants of the Enewetak Atoll Atomic Debris Cleanup Mission built this 55′ high 370′ diameter 2′ thick concrete containment structure and filled it with 109,840 cubic yards of radioactive soil and debris.

We are but a few of the Survivors of the 1977-1980 Enewetak Atoll Atomic Debris Cleanup Mission in the Marshall Islands.

Our main focus is to help each other with information and moral support during challenging times.

Our secondary focus is to urge Congress to change the current laws and recognize soldiers of the cleanup mission as “veterans who participated in radiation-risk activities during active service.”

By obtaining this goal, we will be eligible to apply for funds set-aside for those who experience health complications due to radiation exposure at Enewetak Atoll.

Atomic Debris Cleanup Participants are not included in the U.S. Government’s definition because “Congress has not created any presumptions for veterans or civilians based on residual contamination of nuclear tests at Enewetak Atoll.”

We served our county by participating in the Enewetak Atoll Atomic Debris Cleanup Mission. The Marshallese People have returned to their homeland. The U.S. Government awarded us Humanitarian Medals for our efforts and we appreciate their praise.

However, many of our survivors and their families have health challenges that are not inexpensive. The Justice Department has ruled for medical funds to be available for those who participated in radiation-risk activities during active service, but Congress has refused to include cleanup participants in that definition.

We urge our supporters to encourage their politicians to create legislation which will include us in the U.S. Government’s definition of a veteran “who participated in radiation-risk activities during active service.”

Article written by Girard Frank Bolton, III. 1977-1979 participant with C Company and HHC S-3 (Operations) 84th Engineer Battalion (Combat Heavy) (Fwd) Enewetak Atoll, Marshall Islands.

Source material content for this article was found on websites owned by GovPulse and the Government Printing Office.