Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Few, The Proud.... Semper Fidelus!

Marine Corps Base Camp Lejuene, NC

Toxic Water Contamination

From the 1950's up until 1987 this Marine Corps Base suffered a heavy loss right here at home. Thousands upon thousands of lives have been affected by toxic water contamination. Many of those lives suffering terrible pain physically not to mention the mental anguish of not knowing why or how this came to be.

The Dry Cleaners were dumping cleaning solvents into the ground, the Marine Corps Motor-pool was dumping degreasers into the ground. All of these toxic substances were leaching into water reservoirs and making their way to barracks, housing, businesses, and schools on Camp Lejuene.

At first there wasn't any regulations on what to do with these chemicals and then I don't want to speculate, what I do know is that the powers that be were informed of the 'situation' in 1982 and there was still a problem with people being exposed all the way up till 1987. That is all that I am going to say on the matter of what transpired then till now and just say that the Marine Corps seem to be stepping up and owning the tragedy.

My father, Kenneth Keith Shafer was a Marine stationed at Camp Lejuene during the late 50's and spent several years back and forth between Camp Lejuene and Korea. After the war he went back home and married my mother and they moved to Florida where I was born in 1966.  At age 12 my horrible teeth were undergoing braces and in the process an x-ray was taken and a cyst was discovered in my jaw, full of thousands of thousands of baby teeth cells in this cyst.

In my junior year of high school I became pregnant and lost that child at 4 1/2 months along.  My second child was born at Camp Lejuene in 1985 with a severe case of Jaundice and recovered.

My husband was a Marine stationed at Camp Lejuene and I took work with Special Services on Camp Lejuene and worked there until 1987 when my husband received orders to Okinawa Japan and the Marine Corps moved us back to Florida. Before I left North Carolina I became pregnant with my third child who was born in Florida with congenital spinal deformity, but a mild case that seems to of healed on its own.

Shortly after her birth I suffered mental breakdowns, severe neurological behavior that no one identified and I dropped through the cracks and have suffered greatly a large portion of my life since that time. I was a case book study if anybody cared to look at me any other way than down. I attempted suicide - if that isn't a cry for help - what is?

Not going into all the specifics of my experiences, lets just say having a damaged brain can put you into some peculiar predicaments.

I've made contact with the proper authorities and am following the correct procedures to ensure my case is secure. But to be completely honest, knowing the truth of what and how makes me feel so much better. I've always said I can face anything so long as I know what I am facing - now I know.

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