Remember Enewetak! 3-16-1980

60-Minutes visited Enewetak.

60-Minutes visited Enewetak.

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.”

The Enewetak Atoll Atomic Debris Cleanup Mission caught the attention of 60 minutes.

Morley Safer visited the atoll to gain some insight into what was in store for the native peoples when they move back to their homeland.

His investigative questions and comments are eye openers. Some of his statements make me want to dig in deeper for more info.

Morley Safer got the grand tour of the islands while we were still cleaning up the radioactive soils and debris.

Notice the uniforms and dust and piles of radioactive junk seen in this March 16, 1980 broadcast of CBSNEWS 60 Minutes.

Almost every Atomic Cleanup Veteran worked 10 hour days, 6 days every week for about 6 months. Some served two tours and/or extended.

The Cleanup Mission was a joint task of the U.S. Department of Defense. Navy, Air Force, and Army Soldiers participated in the cleanup mission.

Our meals, laundry, and other services at Enewetak Atoll were provided by Holmes and Narver, a private contractor. Even though they did not move soils nor debris, they were no strangers to the heat and the radiation at the atoll.

One of those H&N kitchen staff members, George Kleb, was lucky enough to get his photo (above) taken with Morley Safer and his associate producer after eating lunch in the Lojwa mess hall.

Watch the investigative report so you too may gain some insight into our plight and take action. Share. Inform. Comment. Inquire. Support.

[Note: If you are unable to view the video you can watch it at CBS News ]

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.

Thanks goes to George Kleb for sharing the photograph of him standing between Morley Safer and his associate producer.

Credit goes to CBSNEWS for allowing us to share this episode of 60 Minutes with our supporters.

5 thoughts on “Remember Enewetak! 3-16-1980

  1. Hello all! I was there in 1977. Was flown out to Guam for the typhoon and returned 10 days later. Was there for 6 months ending in Feb 78 I think. I was Air Force on the FRST Team. My name is Vincent French. You all called me Frenchie. I had a killer stereo on Lojwa. Anybody remember me? Played softball with you guys all the time. Would like to hear from Kurt Von Lutz and the rest of the tribe.

  2. I can remember Marlin Perkins coming to the 84th Eng Bn in Hawaii and giving all of us a briefing on the fishing in Enewetak, and the dangers in the waters.

  3. I remember Morley and the young lady walking down the road from the landing field the day they arrived. Along with his camera crew. It created alot of buzz when the lovely young lady strolled down the lane. I don’t remember the exact date but I also recall seeing the Mutual of Omaha guy on the island to. Marlin Perkins doing his story on the Sharks of Eniwetok with the researchers from University of Hawaii. Those two dudes damn near didn’t make after getting mauled by the lagoon white tip sharks.

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