Did you serve on active duty at the U.S. Marine Corps Base at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, from January 1, 1957 through December 31, 1987? You may have been exposed to drinking water contaminated with industrial solvents, benzene, and other chemicals.
The Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012 provided VA authority to treat Veterans who served at Camp Lejeune for not less than 30 days during the covered period. These Veterans are eligible for enrollment in Priority Group 6 or higher and cost-free care VA health care for any of the following illnesses or conditions:
• Bladder cancer
• Breast cancer
• Multiple myeloma
• Esophageal cancer
• Myelodysplastic syndromes
• Female infertility
• Neurobehavioral effects
• Hepatic steatosis
• Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
• Kidney cancer
• Renal toxicity
• Lung Cancer
Veterans already enrolled in VA health care can contact their local VA medical facility to receive care under the new law. Veterans who are not enrolled should apply for VA health care benefits by completing a VA Form 10-10EZ. The application can be submitted online, by calling toll-free 1-877-222-VETS (8387) or in person at their local VA medical care facility. To find the location of the nearest VA medical facility, use the facility locator.
Certain Family members who resided at Camp Lejeune will be eligible for health care once Congress appropriates funds to VA and final regulations are published. Family members can call 1-877-222-VETS (8387) to obtain more information.
The VA Office of Public Health website provides information about Camp Lejeune water contamination here.
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) provides information on its website. The US Marine Corps also maintains information here and encourages all who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune before 1987 to register to receive notifications.
Terry J. Walters is the Co-Chair of the VA Camp Lejeune Task Force and Deputy Chief Consultant of Post Deployment Health in the Office of Public Health at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.