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.
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.”