Harold A. Rumzek
Employer during Enewetak Atoll Atomic Cleanup Mission: Air Force
Rank: O-4 Major
Job Title: USAF Element Commander
Unit: United States Air Force
Enewetak Atoll TDY Tour: —
Island Lived on at Enewetak Atoll: Enewetak
Islands Worked on at Enewetak Atoll: All. I would not send my people anywhere I would not go myself.
Description of Work Performed: Supported my NCO’s decisions and ensured their welfare, and coordinated operations with all agencies working on the Defense Nuclear Agency Enewetak Atoll Clean-up. Challenged the JTC as often as possible.
Health Challenges which may be related to Radiation Exposure: Yes.
Comments about Health Challenges: Diabetes, hypertension, heart and stroke problems.
Veterans Administration Health Assistance: Pending assistance as of 7/17/2014. 1/25/2015 update: VA denied Agent Orange disability application which was forwarded by the VFW because a radiation exposure option was not available.
Experiences with the Veterans Administration: The only thing I ask for upon retirement was an annual radiation exposure evaluation. Never happened. Now have a 60% disability rating, and applied for disability for health challenges due to possible agent orange exposure during my combat tours in SEA. The VA is a perfect example of the non-politically correct term I coined to represent supervisors who have been elevated to their level of incompetency during their tenure with the U.S. Government, “rewarded incompetence!” (7/17/2014)
Current Residence: Colleyville, Texas
Contributions towards accomplishing Our Current Mission:
- Encouraging Texas Senators and Congressmen to add Atomic Cleanup Veterans to the VA definition of an Atomic Veteran in 2015.
- Enewetak Atoll Clean-up Project Vets. – Facebook Group Member
- Military & Dependent Environmental Hazard Group – Facebook Group Member
- National Association of Atomic Veterans – Facebook Group Member
Enewetak Atoll Photos:
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 atomic cleanup mission as “veterans who participated in radiation-risk activities during active service.”
Do you know Harold A. Rumzek? Do you know an Atomic Cleanup Veteran? Are you an Atomic Cleanup Veteran? Are you willing to help us accomplish our mission? Share your comments below!