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.”
By obtaining this goal, we will be eligible to apply for funds set-aside for those who experience health complications due to radiation exposure at Enewetak Atoll.
Atomic Debris Cleanup Participants are not included in the U.S. Government’s definition because “Congress has not created any presumptions for veterans or civilians based on residual contamination of nuclear tests at Enewetak Atoll.”
We served our country by participating in the Enewetak Atoll Atomic Debris Cleanup Mission. The Marshallese People have returned to their homeland. The U.S. Government awarded us Humanitarian Medals for our efforts and we appreciate their praise.
However, many of our survivors and their families have health challenges that are not inexpensive. The Justice Department has ruled for medical funds to be available for those who participated in radiation-risk activities during active service, but Congress has refused to include cleanup participants in that definition.
We urge our supporters to encourage their politicians to create legislation which will include us in the U.S. Government’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.