Travis Lee Higginbotham
Employer during Enewetak Atoll Atomic Cleanup Mission: Army
Rank: O-2 2LT Second Lieutenant
Job Title: 21B Combat Engineer – Platoon Leader
Unit: A Company, 84th Engineer Battalion
Enewetak Atoll TDY Tour: 11/21/1977 – 5/3/1978
Island Lived on at Enewetak Atoll: Enewetak
Islands Worked on at Enewetak Atoll: Enewetak & Lojwa
Description of Work Performed: Platoon Leader for 3rd Shop, A Company. We performed all the heavy equipment maintenance of Wheeled Vehicles and Engineer Equipment for all elements of the 84th Engineer Battalion on Enewetak Atoll. We also maintained all Generators and sent Contact Trucks to various work site throughout the Atoll. We supported the LARCs detachment, the Air Force and the Navy. Our machine shop could make anything you wanted. Our group had an attachment of Seabees assigned who could do Depot Level Maintenance (ie: tear an engine down to its components and rebuild it.) Believe it or not, we also repaired the washing machines and dryers on the atoll.
Health Challenges which may be related to Radiation Exposure: None
Comments about Health Challenges: None
Veterans Administration Health Assistance: TRICARE
Experiences with the Veterans Administration: I have had a good experience with the VA. Fortunately I have other healthcare insurance and those things that I can’t get at the VA I go thru my private healthcare provider. Generally I get my flu shots and annual physicals at the VA. It was recommended that I have a skin cancer screening and the VA has only one dermatologist. So the wait time was at least 6 months. I ended up going thru my family doctor and getting my screening done. If I have any criticism of the VA it would be not referring to outside providers to get health issues resolved rather than depending totally on in house resources. This causes too much delay.
Current Residence: Blue Springs, Missouri
Contributions towards accomplishing Our Current Mission:
- Atomic Cleanup Veterans – Facebook Page Fan
- Enewetak Atoll Clean-up Project Vets. – Facebook Group Member
- National Association of Atomic Veterans – Facebook Group Member
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.”
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