25 March 2016 Status of Survivors Roster Report

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

Our Original Mission was to relocate and entomb radioactive fallout and debris from the surface of the islands of Enewetak Atoll so the dri-Enewetak Islanders could return to their beautiful homeland of 40 Islands in the Marshall Islands.

We accomplished our Humanitarian Mission in 1980. Currently, some of us have health challenges related to cleaning up radiation produced by 43 atomic bombs tested in the Pacific Proving Grounds during the Cold War’s Atomic Test Program.

On May 6th 2014, we started collecting information about our health challenges.

As of 25 March 2016, we have 342 responses to our survey.

 

In response to who was your employer during the Enewetak Atoll Atomic Debris Cleanup Mission the answers are as follows:

  • According to The Radiological Cleanup of Enewetak Atoll published by the Defense Nuclear Agency in 1981, 8,033 people were involved in the 1977 – 1980 Mission. The response vs total participants breakdown is as follows:
    • 282 of the 2670 Army participants responded (10.6%).
    • 74 of the 2207 Navy participants responded (3.4%).
    • 46 of the 740 Air Force participants responded (6.2%).
    • 5 of the 1011 DOE & Contractor participants responded (0.5%).
    • 0 of the 597 DOI/TTPI participants responded (0%).
    • 8 of the 246 DNA/JTG participants responded (3.3%).
    • 0 of the 49 Journalist participants responded (0%).
    • 3 of the 513 Others participants responded (0.6%).
    • 418 of the 8033 Total Participants Responded (5.2%).

In response to which island did you live on while at Enewetak Atoll, the answers are as follows:

  • 251 lived on Enewetak Island (62%).
  • 147 lived on Lojwa Island (38%).
  • A total of 408 replied to this question.

In response to the Health Challenges believed to be due to exposure to Ionized Radiation during the Mission, 348 responded.

  • 201 claim health challenges are due to Radiation Exposure (58%).
  • 147 claim no health challenges due to Radiation Exposure (42%).

In response to Veterans Administration Assistance Status, 352 responded.

  • 101 reported they are receiving VA Health Assistance.
  • 30 reported they have pending VA Health Assistance Claims.
  • 149 reported they have no need for VA Health Assistance.
  • 79 reported “Other” as their VA Health Assistance Status.

We appreciate each and every Atomic Cleanup Veteran who helped our readers get a clearer view of the background and current status/consequences reported by participants of our Humanitarian Mission.

You can help us change our “occupational” exposure classification to “at-risk” exposure by letting your Federal Representatives know you want them to support Hawaii’s Rep. Mark Takai’s Bill H.R. 3870 Atomic Veterans Healthcare Parity Act.

Continue to learn more about us from various resources shared by supporters and cleanup participants in future AtomicCleanupVets.com articles. Our articles contain photographs, videos, documents and stories shared 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 (14 month) 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.”

11 thoughts on “25 March 2016 Status of Survivors Roster Report

  1. I have been busy all morning making phone calls to our Rep.’s to get this bill passed. I have been busy for years before I joined this group trying to get us recognized for our mission in the Marshall Islands & to get us the testing we deserve & have a right to, this was not an occupational hazard as described by the VA.
    We have a New President with power in both houses & it is not time for letters it is time to call & give our testimonials to our representatives & committee leaders.
    I posted the original bill a while back, https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/3870
    Mark Takai of Hawaii who past away last summer was our strongest advocate & we are left without one now.
    The bill was reintroduced in his honor & I am proud of that since he cared so much about our plight.
    https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/5980/text

    There was also another bill introduced to award all service members who served in this mission a medal. https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/2747

    I am calling on all my fellow Lojwa Animals to get their friends & family to flood the Veterans Affairs Office with phone calls. We have run out of time as some of our brothers are no longer with us & soon the rest of us will be gone in time. Time is the one thing we do not have & we can no longer play the waiting game as usual.
    I left that Island in 1979 & I will be 60 in March & I have not given up this fight yet. I also received a back injury that I am getting an increase review on next week. I fell backwards onto a filing cabinet from a makeshift scaffold while repairing the 20 ton Dump Truck repair bldg. on Lojwa after Typhoon Alice tore it down. I am also am arthritic on the L. side of my body & had to have a hip replacement over 10 years ago. Why did I develop arthritis at such a young age? why only on the L. side? Could it have been the Jap Bunker we drilled bore holes into & sat on to pack C4 down the holes. You all know why.
    I do not know if I suffered anything, I am not a Dr. but I do deserve a right to be examined by a Dr. that does know what to look for. I deserve to know my Dosimeter & Film Badge readings while stationed on the Island.
    Please heed my call to action & flood this agency with phone calls this week.
    If we do not get this bill passed it might as well be torn up & thrown away because we have run out of time & the VA is winning the waiting game as usual.
    The only bill that is going to get passed in my opinion is the one for the medal. The only problem with that is it will be after we are dead & buried & awarded posthumously to our family.
    Here are the web sites to get the phone numbers so please get you friends & family to flood them with our cries for help.
    S.O.S. My fellow Animals call now.

    My Congressman & the head of Veterans Affairs.
    http://roe.house.gov/

    The Sub Committee where the bill is gathering dust.
    https://veterans.house.gov/subcommittees/disability-assistance-and-memorial-affairs-114th-congress

    Sub Committee on Health.
    https://veterans.house.gov/subcommittees/health-114th-congress

    Be polite when you call & give them your heath concerns & any issues you are having from your tour of duty on this mission.

    • As of now the bill is still in Sub Committee & it has not been reintroduced into this session of Congress. We need the bill reintroduced into this Congressional Session, We need it passed by both houses & we need our new Commander in Chief to sign it.
      In my profile picture you will see me tearing down the barricades with fellow Veterans that were put up around our Monuments in D.C. by you know who. (I am done saying his name)
      I stayed in the hut that was on the far N.W. corner of Lojwa & I built a coral wall & BBQ on the back of our hut for fellow animals to come & enjoy a nice steak & a cold brew.

  2. Those “Lojwa Animals” challenge coins are nice. Do you know where I can purchase one?

  3. Great site ! very informative. It really took me back to when I served in 1977. Have a VA disability claim (for exposure to ionizing radiation) under appeal for 2 years. Thank you for your hard work.

  4. Hello, Saturday I sign up, how often does the list up date? 5 April 1979 – 29 Aug1979 rank held there was PFC. I have 25 1/2 years service USArmy

  5. I came across this while browsing one day and boy did it bring back memories, very well written and a lot of research went into this, thanks a job well done HOOAH. how do we get our bane added to the roster.

  6. Great info Frank! We all need to thank you for your time and efforts on setting this site up. No one will ever know how much time and energy you spend everyday on helping this project get up and continue going everyday. God Bless you. We would not be here without you and others trying to clear this mess up. I personally know what you do for our little radioactive family… and want you to know I appreciate it. Thank you….Aloha Ken

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