John Thomas Street – Photographic Memories

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 of our declining health.

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.”

John Thomas Street served his time at Enewetak Atoll as a dump truck driver with the 84th Engineer Battalion from October 1978 through March 1979. He said he lived at the Lojwa Base Camp and transported radioactive materials in his dump truck twice a day from contaminated islands to Cactus Crater on Runit Island.

He shared his photographic memories with us in the hope you can refresh his (and our) memories by naming the Atomic Cleanup Veterans pictured in his photographs.

Take a close look at the men in his photos and let us know who you recognize.

  

We urge our supporters to encourage their politicians to create legislation which will include Enewetak Atoll Atomic Cleanup Participants 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 Atomic Debris Cleanup Participant with C Company and HHC S-3 (Operations) of the 84th Engineer Battalion (Combat Heavy) (Fwd) Enewetak Atoll, Marshall Islands.

Photographs were provided by John Thomas Street, Atomic Cleanup Veteran, 84th Engineer Battalion (Combat Heavy) (Fwd) (Fwd), Enewetak Atoll, Marshall Islands.

25 March 2016 Status of Survivors Roster Report

12810031_162936954095238_837343451_o

 

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.”

Viewpoint: Vern Bates

 

Vern Bates

Viewpoint: Vern F. Bates

Branch: US Army

Job: 61C10 Transportation Battalion LARC Mechanic (Light Amphibious Resupply Cargo)

Location: Lojwa, Marshall Islands

When: 9/10/1978-12/10/1978

Quote: “It seemed we left more contamination than what we really cleaned up…”

Viewpoint: Vern F. Bates

Q – Before you were sent to the Marshall Islands, what did you know about the location or the mission?

A – Going to Enewetak? All we knew was that after seven days in Hawaii, we were in the Marshall Islands. We went to an in-processing deal and were told about the dangers of the sea life, not to eat the fish and not to eat any of the natural stuff from the islands.

Q – What was your job while you were there and what sort of protective equipment did you use?

A – When we first arrived, we were stationed on Enewetak. We ended up over on Lojwa but were moved back to Enewetak for what they called the ‘southern cleanup’. The thing is, they had the Air Force guys over there too for decontamination detail. It stood to reason then that there had to have been some kind of contamination present. So you’d think we’d have had some kind of protective gear to wear, but no. The only time we had anything was in the very beginning: banana suits they called them. We messed with those one time and that was it. We never saw any major protective gear; boots, shorts, and maybe an occasional T-shirt. We were told there weren’t any safety hazards to worry about. Never mind the fact that we dumped a lot of hot stuff (radioactive/contaminated) over there, especially into the lagoon.

Q – When did you first realize or suspect that the work environment you were once subjected to wasn’t right?

A – When did I suspect anything was wrong with this mission? Well, that’s a tough question. I never really suspected anything while I was there. It was more after the fact. Myself, I really didn’t feel like I was in any kind of trouble. I mean, I trusted the government. (Maybe I shouldn’t have done that.) As you know, we just had one of our LARC guys pass recently; Todd Lentini. Todd was a mechanic, too. He was there when I was and went back for another tour. Last Christmas he was diagnosed with cancer and by February he was gone.

They had civilian contractors over there that did the cooking for us. We had been told in safety briefing that we weren’t supposed to eat anything from the islands but those guys cooked stuff from out of the lagoon quite often. I never ate any of it, but some guys did.

Q – What prompted you to share your experiences with the world?

A – I thought I’d share my experiences at Enewetak because of all the health problems popping up among the other guys who served there. That, and the fact that the VA doesn’t want to help anybody. I mean, I don’t know if I’ve got any condition related to the time I spent there: I have some cardiac issues but not sure if that’s related to Enewetak.”

Q – If you could commandeer the cameras and the mics at the next State of the Union Address, and address the entire nation about your time and the repercussions AFTER the Rock, what would be the message you would convey?

A – As LARC guys, we were TDY. We were there to support to the 84th Engineers. Ours was a small group compared to them. So while I may not be as actively involved as some of the guys, I want to help. Many of my brothers are fighting some serious battles….

I am but one of a few of the survivors of the 1977-1980 Enewetak Atoll Atomic Debris Cleanup Mission that took place in the Marshall Islands.

A major focus of this group has been to help one another with information and moral support during some of the challenging times we’ve encountered following our time in service at Enewetak.

A secondary focus/goal is to urge Congress to change current law and recognize Cold War Era soldiers of the Enewetak Cleanup Mission as “veterans who participated in radiation-risk activities during active service.”

By obtaining this second goal, individuals experiencing health complications resulting from radiation exposure at Enewetak Atoll will be eligible to apply for benefits that have previously been set-aside for other Atomic Veterans who have already been recognized and acknowledged for their service by RECA.

We urge our supporters to encourage their politicians to support legislation which will include Enewetak Atoll Atomic Cleanup Participants in the U.S. Government’s definition of a veteran “who participated in radiation-risk activities during active service.”

Article written by T-M Fitzgerald, a published author and self-professed Veterans Advocate.

Request for Interviews: Over 8,000 people participated in the 1977 – 1980 Enewetak Atoll Atomic Debris Cleanup Mission. I’ve already interviewed nearly 25% of the Atomic Cleanup Veterans who have reconnected with our group. If you participated in the mission, please contact me, T-M Fitzgerald so you can schedule your 30 minute interview too. I’ve been told I’m easy to talk with and I am not shy to say I feel honored every time I meet another Atomic Cleanup Veteran.

Viewpoint: Vela Carlos

 

Vela Carlos - Current

Viewpoint: Vela Carlos

Branch: US Army

Job: 11B, Infantryman

Location: Lojwa, Marshall Islands

When: 3/1/1978-10/1/1978

Quote: “We were trying to save the world for other people but we were the ones getting screwed…”

Viewpoint: Vela Carlos

Q – Before you were sent to the Marshall Islands, what did you know about the location or the mission?

A – My introduction to this project in the Marshall Islands went something like this. I was brought in by the sergeant major who told us that we were going to go clean ‘war debris’. That was it. That was all we knew. We were 11B’s (Infantrymen) so we thought we were going to pull guard duty of some sort (I was one of three 11Bs who went to Enewetak from Alaska) but that wasn’t the case. When we got down there, the clerk on Lojwa even questioned our presence. ‘We were just sent here.’ That was all we could offer as explanation.

Q – What was your job while you were there and what sort of protective equipment did you use?

A – We ended up working demolition. I ran a loader and a back hoe on Lojwa, worked a week over on Runit (location of Cactus Dome) and then was moved over to Engebi. We went out to some of the smaller islands to pick up debris.

Q – When did you first realize or suspect that the work environment you were once subjected to wasn’t right?

A – I had a paper mask and that was it. The uniform of the day usually consisted of cut-off fatigues, boots, and T-shirts (which we usually ended up taking off.) The heat got downright intolerable at times. And it wasn’t sand on the beach; it was coral, so there was no going barefoot. You’d cut up your feet pretty bad if you did. That coral also reflected the heat too.

We had to use water from the lagoon for making concrete. So to pump the water in, somebody had to walk out into the lagoon and hold the hoses down in the water. Working that angle in this cleanup wasn’t so bad. At least you could cool off in the water.

Working twelve-hour days, things were pretty relaxed out there. Even so, we tried staying busy. I was the sailing instructor at the rec center. There was one television out there that pulled in stations from Hawaii.

I found some skeletons when I was scraping topsoil; never knew if they were American or Japanese. We had to let HQ know about finds like that. They’d come in and box them up… once they took them away, that was pretty much the last we heard of it. We found tons of unexploded Japanese ordnance too, and when we went out diving in the lagoon, we found airplanes with skeletons still in them.

Q – What prompted you to share your experiences with the world?

A – As I said before, we didn’t know much of anything about the cleanup before we went to Enewetak. And it’s hard to say when I first thought there wasn’t something quite right about the mission. When we worked out there, we carried radiation badges. So when we turned them in, we tried not thinking about why we had them in the first place. Just before I was discharged from the military, I had to go to Carson. Cancer was brought up at that point but the topic was dropped really quickly. Ten years after I was discharged, I had to have back surgery. At that time, I was told I had the bone density of a 70-year old man. (Keep in mind, this was 20 years ago. I am not even in my 60’s today.)

Learning about the environment I had actually lived and worked in while I was stationed down there, I started searching the Internet. I found the Enewetak Atomic Cleanup Veterans survivor page and connected with one of the administrators Frank Bolton. We started talking about Enewetak and sharing our stories. Because of the various jobs we all did down there, some of us received more exposure than others but we all served together during the same period of time.

Q – If you could commandeer the cameras and the mics at the next State of the Union Address, and address the entire nation about your time and the repercussions AFTER the Rock, what would be the message you would convey?

A – If I could get a message out to the world, I’d tell them not to forget us. People talk about the threats of nuclear war in our history and they talk about the atomic era. Nobody talks about the guys who did time in The Marshall Islands. We were all out there, yet have been almost totally forgotten. The Enewetak Atomic Cleanup Veterans are a prime example for the world to see what could really happen. It has taken years, but we are proof as far as what kind of long-term effects could occur after nuclear exposure. But we’re still here. Nuclear related issues happen in other countries and this country is all over it, offering help, solutions, humanitarian aid, etc. But when things happen here, to our own people? What has happened to us?

We were in hell but didn’t know it at the time. Now, we’re dying…one breath at a time. It’s scary to look at our brothers who have passed, to look at their ages. They’re MY age. We were trying to save the world for other people but we were the ones getting screwed.

Vela Carlos - Mission

I am but one of a few of the survivors of the 1977-1980 Enewetak Atoll Atomic Debris Cleanup Mission that took place in the Marshall Islands.

A major focus of this group has been to help one another with information and moral support during some of the challenging times we’ve encountered following our time in service at Enewetak.

A secondary focus/goal is to urge Congress to change current law and recognize Cold War Era soldiers of the Enewetak Cleanup Mission as “veterans who participated in radiation-risk activities during active service.”

By obtaining this second goal, individuals experiencing health complications resulting from radiation exposure at Enewetak Atoll will be eligible to apply for benefits that have previously been set-aside for other Atomic Veterans who have already been recognized and acknowledged for their service by RECA.

We urge our supporters to encourage their politicians to support legislation which will include Enewetak Atoll Atomic Cleanup Participants in the U.S. Government’s definition of a veteran “who participated in radiation-risk activities during active service.”

Article written by T-M Fitzgerald, a published author and self-professed Veterans Advocate.

Request for Interviews: Over 8,000 people participated in the 1977 – 1980 Enewetak Atoll Atomic Debris Cleanup Mission. I’ve already interviewed nearly 25% of the Atomic Cleanup Veterans who have reconnected with our group. If you participated in the mission, please contact me, T-M Fitzgerald so you can schedule your 30 minute interview too. I’ve been told I’m easy to talk with and I am not shy to say I feel honored every time I meet another Atomic Cleanup Veteran.

Viewpoint: John Lee Hodge

John Hodge

 

Viewpoint: John Lee Hodge

Branch: US Army

Job: Communications Specialist (Held initial MOS of 11B, qualified in multiple MOS’s)

Location: Lojwa, Marshall Islands

When: 4/5/1978-3/6/1979

Quote: “I’m proud to have served my country and would do so again. I just wish they had been up front with us from the beginning…”

Viewpoint: John Lee Hodge

Q – Before you were sent to the Marshall Islands, what did you know about the location or the mission?

A – We really didn’t know a whole lot about the deal. I had a brother who was already there. He was part of the first crew that went down there. When I started going through the whole process of being assigned and got to HQ with the 84th Engineers on Enewetak, people were asking about my brother. It was a real culture shock for me. I mean, I was Infantry. I was used to doing PT every day, we worked and trained Infantry and then rest was rest. That’s exactly what you did. When we were assigned with the Engineers on Enewetak, things worked a lot differently. I remember asking what time PT was and was told, ‘We’re engineers. We don’t do PT.’ They wondered just like I did about what exactly I was doing there. ‘We don’t have slots for combat guys here. You need to go upstairs to the MARS Station and talk.’

Q – What was your job while you were there and what sort of protective equipment did you use?

A – I was exempt from any duty rosters. I worked at the MARS Station doing communications. It was very easy duty. Coming from an infantry unit, I was used to being busy constantly.” (Mr. Hodge shared the many MOS designations he was qualified in: 11B, 11C, 36K10, 05B. 05C, 05D, 63B). I worked communications and other jobs just to keep busy because I had a lot of free time.

Q – When did you first realize or suspect that the work environment you were once subjected to wasn’t right?

A – Work crews had been out scraping topsoil since before I ever got there. I was watching them one time and happened to ask about it. Of course, they told me the surface was ‘hot’ (radioactively contaminated) and so they’d have to scrape down some more. You could look out and see those guys doing their job but that was what it was all about.

Q – What prompted you to share your experiences with the world?

A – When I got down there, it was ‘150 days and you were done. Next plane off the island and you were on it.’ We had incoming on Tuesdays and Wednesday mornings, we had people out in front of HQ ready to leave. But I didn’t go that route. I was extended. That means I went past the 150 day mark. So, as I was told, I was the only junior-grade enlisted that got a 2-for-1 deal. I was credited for an overseas tour with my time in Hawaii and a hardship tour for Enewetak. As far as I know, a lot of the officers didn’t even get that. I got two tours out of it.

I spent 305 days in the Marshall Islands. It was your typical American GI scenario; ‘Make the best with what you got.’ There were lots of memories, -some good, and some bad. And protective gear? Let me tell you a little something about that. When I went to Lojwa, they sent me through a class on the banana suits. We dressed out in full gear; mask, gloves, hood, tape…We basically toured the island in that getup. It was the first, last, and only time I wore it. After that, my job had me in an air-conditioned building the entire time I was there. I was more concerned with exposure to the radiation I had inside than I was with whatever was outside. I guess it was because I didn’t know about any problems out there. None of us did at the time.

Q – If you could commandeer the cameras and the mics at the next State of the Union Address, and address the entire nation about your time and the repercussions AFTER the Rock, what would be the message you would convey?

A – Right now, I don’t have any health issues. I’ve been a smoker for almost 50 years and I have the smoker’s hack… but my brother, on the other hand, has degenerative bone disease. He was in the Marshalls in 1977 for six months with the first crew as a mechanic. His bunch worked on the vehicles down on the ramps at the lagoon. They sucked in all the dust they kicked up so constantly.

One night when all was said and done, this guy asked me if I would talk to some of his friends on the radio. And you know, we had to be careful about what we said out there because Russia wasn’t far off. So a night or two later, we got on the radios and started talking. It was 1978, and this fellow started asking me all kinds of questions about the radiation on the Islands, what did I know about it, had I seen any weird stuff and if anybody was getting sick or anything. I was just a radio guy so I didn’t know the answers to a lot of the questions. Turned out, that guy was a congressman on the Mainland. So I’ve had about forty years to think about that single 10-15 minute conversation. There was something more to it than I knew at the time.

I am but one of a few of the survivors of the 1977-1980 Enewetak Atoll Atomic Debris Cleanup Mission that took place in the Marshall Islands.

A major focus of this group has been to help one another with information and moral support during some of the challenging times we’ve encountered following our time in service at Enewetak.

A secondary focus/goal is to urge Congress to change current law and recognize Cold War Era soldiers of the Enewetak Cleanup Mission as “veterans who participated in radiation-risk activities during active service.”

By obtaining this second goal, individuals experiencing health complications resulting from radiation exposure at Enewetak Atoll will be eligible to apply for benefits that have previously been set-aside for other Atomic Veterans who have already been recognized and acknowledged for their service by RECA.

We urge our supporters to encourage their politicians to support legislation which will include Enewetak Atoll Atomic Cleanup Participants in the U.S. Government’s definition of a veteran “who participated in radiation-risk activities during active service.”

Article written by T-M Fitzgerald, a published author and self-professed Veterans Advocate.

Request for Interviews: Over 8,000 people participated in the 1977 – 1980 Enewetak Atoll Atomic Debris Cleanup Mission. I’ve already interviewed nearly 25% of the Atomic Cleanup Veterans who have reconnected with our group. If you participated in the mission, please contact me, T-M Fitzgerald so you can schedule your 30 minute interview too. I’ve been told I’m easy to talk with and I am not shy to say I feel honored every time I meet another Atomic Cleanup Veteran.

Viewpoint: Sammie Lee Marler

 

Sammie Lee Marler

Viewpoint: Sammie Lee Marler

Branch: US Army

Job: MOS 91B20 Corpsman

Location: Lojwa, Marshall Islands

When: 6/11/1977-10/19/1977

Quote: “Live today like it’s your last, because it may very well be. The future is now…”

Viewpoint: Sammie Lee Marler

Q – Before you were sent to the Marshall Islands, what did you know about the location or the mission?

A – Nothing. But once I got there, my job entailed a lot of different things. We were just a bunch of young guys doing our jobs. Nobody thought about the possibility of anything being or going wrong.

Q – What was your job while you were there and what sort of protective equipment did you use?

A – I’d go to different islands with the soldiers and provide medical care as needed. I set up the work schedule for four of us medics, checked supplies and also took wet bulb temperatures. About those temps, what that entailed was basically checking the temps each day. If temperatures read over 120 degrees at any particular time, only half the guys in the details would work at a time. Thirty minutes would pass and the next batch of guys would rotate in. And as far as protective gear? On Enewetak, we were shown the yellow banana suits but I was never in one. I didn’t even have a dosimeter badge.

Q – When did you first realize or suspect that the work environment you were once subjected to wasn’t right?

A – I never knew until a few years ago that the place was toxic and that was only after I watched an episode of 60 Minutes.

Q – What prompted you to share your experiences with the world?

A – I was searching through the internet and came across an article about Enewetak Atoll. I investigated a little further and found out about all the other guys. I decided to share my experiences with the world because we were all deceived. We were told that the Marshall Islands were safer than Denver, Colorado. But now, a lot of the men who served there are suffering health problems in a variety of ways, cancer in particular.

Q – If you could commandeer the cameras and the mics at the next State of the Union Address, and address the entire nation about your time and the repercussions AFTER the Rock, what would be the message you would convey?

A – We went out of our way, through a lot of hardships for this nation. We should be taken care of as veterans. As for myself, I have PTSD pretty bad even to this day. While serving in the Marshall Islands, every night you’d have twenty maybe twenty-five rats crawl up on your bunk. Lojwa was overrun with them, big as full-grown cats some of them were. I have no idea how rats survived for so long on those islands particularly when people hadn’t been there for years.

The medics and firemen all slept in the same hooch. One night, we killed over fifty rats with a spear gun. We’d throw their bodies into a 55-gallon barrel outside the hooch. When we filled one up, we fed the sharks. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep much on Lojwa. I was a mess when I got back home. At night, I’d wake up screaming thinking those rats were coming up on the bed.

I called bingo one night a week for the guys. Bingo was a big deal because they could win a lot of money. I also had a 9 member band (‘Singing Sam and the Superstuds) and we’d play at the club. As a matter of fact, Jim Androl played the drums. I was also the MC and comedian in the USO show that came. I kept the guys spirits up; helped them forget about home a little bit, so they respected that. Everyone knew me. I’m glad I could make them happy for a little while.

I am but one of a few of the survivors of the 1977-1980 Enewetak Atoll Atomic Debris Cleanup Mission that took place in the Marshall Islands.

A major focus of this group has been to help one another with information and moral support during some of the challenging times we’ve encountered following our time in service at Enewetak.

A secondary focus/goal is to urge Congress to change current law and recognize Cold War Era soldiers of the Enewetak Cleanup Mission as “veterans who participated in radiation-risk activities during active service.”

By obtaining this second goal, individuals experiencing health complications resulting from radiation exposure at Enewetak Atoll will be eligible to apply for benefits that have previously been set-aside for other Atomic Veterans who have already been recognized and acknowledged for their service by RECA.

We urge our supporters to encourage their politicians to support legislation which will include Enewetak Atoll Atomic Cleanup Participants in the U.S. Government’s definition of a veteran “who participated in radiation-risk activities during active service.”

Article written by T-M Fitzgerald, a published author and self-professed Veterans Advocate.

Request for Interviews: Over 8,000 people participated in the 1977 – 1980 Enewetak Atoll Atomic Debris Cleanup Mission. I’ve already interviewed nearly 25% of the Atomic Cleanup Veterans who have reconnected with our group. If you participated in the mission, please contact me, T-M Fitzgerald so you can schedule your 30 minute interview too. I’ve been told I’m easy to talk with and I am not shy to say I feel honored every time I meet another Atomic Cleanup Veteran.

Photos from Ken Kasik – A Lojwa Animal

IMG_20150315_0046

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 of our declining health.

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.”

On April Fool’s Day this year, Ken Kasik mailed me a couple of discs with his photo memories of living at the Lojwa Island Base Camp. He was a government contract civilian who ran the Lojwa PX during our Atomic Cleanup Mission.

I posted his photos on Facebook soon after I received them, but was recently reminded that they were not yet on our website.

That error has been corrected as of this post. You will not be disappointed. Ken was able to capture the hard work his friends in the military performed, as well as the more relaxed off duty R&R times.

 

Before you take a look at the photos Ken Kasik shared, I want to take a moment to tell you that Ken has taken a deep interest in military veterans who have struggled with getting health challenges taken care of by the Veterans Administration.

He has personally suffered health challenges and knows first hand what others are going through. That is why he maintains close ties with politicians in Hawaii to change the law in favor of Enewetak Atoll Atomic Cleanup Veterans becoming classified as veterans who had “at-risk” exposure to radiation instead of “occupational” exposure.

Because of Ken’s efforts, on Monday, the 2nd of November 2015, Congressman Mark Takai (1st District of Hawaii) introduced “H.R. 3870: Atomic Veterans Healthcare Parity Act” which was referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

Please let your Federal Representatives know you want them to co-sponsor or vote yes on the bill.

In the meantime, take your time enjoying Ken Kasik’s photos and share your thoughts in the comments area.

IMG_20150315_0014 IMG_20150315_0015 IMG_20150315_0016 IMG_20150315_0017 IMG_20150315_0018 IMG_20150315_0019 IMG_20150315_0020 IMG_20150315_0021 IMG_20150315_0022 IMG_20150315_0023 IMG_20150315_0024 IMG_20150315_0025 IMG_20150315_0026 IMG_20150315_0027 IMG_20150315_0028 IMG_20150315_0029 IMG_20150315_0030 IMG_20150315_0031 IMG_20150315_0032 IMG_20150315_0033 IMG_20150315_0034 IMG_20150315_0035 IMG_20150315_0036 IMG_20150315_0037 IMG_20150315_0038 IMG_20150315_0039 IMG_20150315_0040 IMG_20150315_0041 IMG_20150315_0042 IMG_20150315_0043 IMG_20150315_0044 IMG_20150315_0045 IMG_20150315_0046 IMG_20150315_0047 IMG_20150315_0048 IMG_20150315_0049 IMG_20150315_0050 IMG_20150315_0051 IMG_20150315_0052 IMG_20150315_0053 IMG_20150315_0054 IMG_20150315_0055 IMG_20150315_0056 IMG_20150315_0057 IMG_20150315_0058 IMG_20150315_0059 IMG_20150315_0060 IMG_20150315_0061 IMG_20150315_0062 IMG_20150315_0063 IMG_20150315_0064 IMG_20150315_0065 IMG_20150315_0066 IMG_20150315_0067 IMG_20150315_0068 IMG_20150315_0069 IMG_20150315_0070 IMG_20150315_0071 IMG_20150315_0072 IMG_20150315_0073 IMG_20150315_0074 IMG_20150315_0075 IMG_20150315_0076 IMG_20150315_0077 IMG_20150315_0078 IMG_20150315_0079 IMG_20150315_0080 IMG_20150315_0081 IMG_20150315_0082 IMG_20150315_0083 IMG_20150315_0084 IMG_20150315_0085 IMG_20150315_0086 IMG_20150315_0087 IMG_20150315_0088 IMG_20150315_0089 IMG_20150315_0090 IMG_20150315_0091 IMG_20150315_0092 IMG_20150315_0093 IMG_20150315_0094 IMG_20150315_0095 IMG_20150315_0096 IMG_20150315_0097 IMG_20150315_0098 IMG_20150315_0099 IMG_20150315_0100 IMG_20150315_0101 IMG_20150315_0102 IMG_20150315_0103 IMG_20150315_0104 IMG_20150315_0105 IMG_20150315_0106 IMG_20150315_0107 IMG_20150315_0108 IMG_20150315_0109 IMG_20150315_0110 IMG_20150315_0111 IMG_20150315_0112 IMG_20150315_0113 IMG_20150315_0114 IMG_20150315_0115 IMG_20150315_0116 IMG_20150315_0117 IMG_20150315_0118 IMG_20150315_0119 IMG_20150315_0120 IMG_20150315_0121 IMG_20150315_0122 IMG_20150315_0123 IMG_20150315_0124 IMG_20150315_0125 IMG_20150315_0126ScannedImage_102350 ScannedImage_102429 ScannedImage_102546 ScannedImage_102638 ScannedImage_102906 ScannedImage_103132 ScannedImage_103256 ScannedImage_103326 ScannedImage_103416 ScannedImage_103503 ScannedImage_103551 ScannedImage_103639 ScannedImage_103728 ScannedImage_103834 ScannedImage_103925 ScannedImage_104021 ScannedImage_104108 ScannedImage_104158 ScannedImage_104244 ScannedImage_104333 ScannedImage_104418 ScannedImage_104503 ScannedImage_104549 ScannedImage_104807 ScannedImage_104852 ScannedImage_104938 ScannedImage_105024 ScannedImage_105112 ScannedImage_105201 ScannedImage_105247 ScannedImage_105332 ScannedImage_105417 ScannedImage_105502 ScannedImage_105547 ScannedImage_105632 ScannedImage_105719 ScannedImage_105804 ScannedImage_105848 ScannedImage_105934 ScannedImage_110019 ScannedImage_110105 ScannedImage_110149 ScannedImage_110235 ScannedImage_110319 ScannedImage_110408 ScannedImage_110457 ScannedImage_110541 ScannedImage_110626 ScannedImage_110711 ScannedImage_110755 ScannedImage_110840 ScannedImage_110925 ScannedImage_111010 ScannedImage_111055 ScannedImage_111140 ScannedImage_111225 ScannedImage_111309 ScannedImage_111355 ScannedImage_111442 ScannedImage_111526 ScannedImage_111610 ScannedImage_111655 ScannedImage_111740 ScannedImage_111824 ScannedImage_111909 ScannedImage_111956 ScannedImage_112043 ScannedImage_112135 ScannedImage_112221 ScannedImage_112306 ScannedImage_112351 ScannedImage_112437 ScannedImage_112523 ScannedImage_112607 ScannedImage_112651 ScannedImage_112737 ScannedImage_112821 ScannedImage_112906 ScannedImage_112951 ScannedImage_113035 ScannedImage_113120 ScannedImage_113207 ScannedImage_113251 ScannedImage_113336 ScannedImage_113420 ScannedImage_113504 ScannedImage_113552 ScannedImage_113638 ScannedImage_113841 ScannedImage_114623

 

We urge our supporters to encourage their politicians to create legislation which will include Enewetak Atoll Atomic Cleanup Participants 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 Atomic Debris Cleanup Participant with C Company and HHC S-3 (Operations) of the 84th Engineer Battalion (Combat Heavy) (Fwd) Enewetak Atoll, Marshall Islands.