Letters To Lawmakers – Steve Harrison

Steve Harrison at Enewetak Atoll, Marshall Islands

Steve Harrison at Enewetak Atoll, Marshall Islands

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.”

Many of the participants of the Enewetak Atoll Atomic Cleanup Mission have not seen each other since the end of the project in 1980. However, that is changing.

Less than 100 of us have reconnected on the Facebook Social Network.

According to one Defense Nuclear Agency document, less than 1,000 soldiers participated in the atomic debris cleanup mission.

Evidently there are another 900 veterans who have not reconnected with our growing Facebook Group.

Some of our members have written letters to their lawmakers.

With his permission, I am pleased to present you with the Facebook message and letter that Atomic Cleanup Veteran Steve Harrison wrote to his lawmakers.

“This evening I e-mailed the following to my Oregon Senators and Congressmen, my apologies for fragmented sentences and any misspelling.

Dear Sir,

Servicemen from the Army, Navy and Air Force are being denied Atomic Veterans status and VA medical services. We served our Country cleaning these radioactive islands and many have paid the ultimate price with sickness and/or death only to find our government has turned it’s back to us. There has been amendments for the years and places for the existing Atomic Vets, please see that we are included and considered “Atomic Veterans”. To include Enewetak and Bikini Atolls, Johnson Island. The bulk of the Enewetak Atoll Clean-up was 1977 thru 1980.

The following was taken from a moveon.org petition.

Should Radiation Exposed Veteran’s from Enewetak Atoll Be Able To Receive Benefits for Disabilities and Awards Relating to Radiation Exposure that causes Cancer and Other Diseases Due to their Military Service When the U.S. Government Knew of the Hazards, and Kept the Truth from these Veteran’s? Then Deny Their Benefits?

Thank you for your consideration

Edward Steven Harrison
Enewetak Atoll Clean-up
Lojwa Animal”

We urge our supporters to encourage their politicians to create legislation which will include all Marshall Island Atomic Cleanup Veterans in the U.S. Government Veterans Administration’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.

Letter to Steve Harrison’s Lawmakers provided by Edward Steven Harrison an Enewetak Atomic Cleanup Veteran and Facebook Group Member.

2 thoughts on “Letters To Lawmakers – Steve Harrison

  1. I heard that the native people were returned to the islands and all got sick and were forced to leave again. what is their status now?

    • The dri-Enewetak were returned to Enewetak Atoll and have since created their own government. The financial burden of cleaning the remaining radiation has fallen upon them. They have to pay (usually) U.S. Contractors to continue to monitor and treat the medical and environmental results of the U.S. Government Atomic Test Program. The Marshallese have been awarded funds from several legal battles with the U.S. Government to help them pay for the expenses forced upon them. The Marshall Islands have an official website with past and current information about their plight at: http://www.nuclearclaimstribunal.com/ – Thank you for your concerns William Craft.

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