Health Care Petition for Military Families Poisoned at Camp Lejeune

Courtesy: Documentary Film "Semper Fi"

Petition to Congress urges passage of health care legislation.

(CAMP LEJEUNE, NC) – Jerry Ensminger, White Lake, NC, is a retired Marine Master Sergeant with  24 years of active service. His family is one of hundreds of thousands who bathed, drank, and cooked with water contaminated with cancer-causing chemicals at Marine Corps base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Jerry lost his nine year old daughter, Janey, to leukemia in 1985. Jerry has dedicated his life to helping other victims of the contamination at Camp Lejeune.

His story, along with others who suffered tragedy from the water at Camp Lejeune, has been documented in the film, “Semper Fi: Always Faithful.”

Ensminger in an email, dated May 21, 2012, requested support for a petition to the Congress urging the passage of S-277 and HR-1742, two bill intended to provide health care to Marine veterans and their dependents poisoned byLejeune’s contaminated water wells (1957-1987).

The petition letter to Congress is as follows:

          “For nearly three decades, people living at the U.S. Marine Corps base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina were exposed to cancer-causing chemicals from contaminated water wells. Between 1957 and 1987, as many as one million Marines and their family members used and ingested extremely toxic chemicals, including PCE and TCE, known to cause cancer and birth defects.

Many who were exposed have suffered from serious illnesses and are still in need of medical care, which has yet to be provided by the U.S. Marine Corps.

As documented in the in the award-winning documentary “Semper FI: Always Faithful,” many families have come forward who lived at Camp Lejeune. Their stories of tragic illness and loss are heartbreaking. You can make sure the people living with illnesses borne from their time at Camp Lejeune are provided the medical care and health coverage they need to survive.

Please, provide the families suffering from exposure at Camp Lejeune the health care they desperately need.”

You can sign the petition at:


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Robert O’Dowd served in the 1st, 3rd and 4th Marine Aircraft Wings during 52 months of active duty in the 1960s. While at MCAS El Toro for two years, O'Dowd worked and slept in a Radium 226 contaminated work space in Hangar 296 in MWSG-37, the most industrialized and contaminated acreage on the base. Robert is a two time cancer survivor and disabled veteran. Robert graduated from Temple University in 1973 with a bachelor’s of business administration, majoring in accounting, and worked with a number of federal agencies, including the EPA Office of Inspector General and the Defense Logistics Agency. After retiring from the Department of Defense, he teamed up with Tim King of to write about the environmental contamination at two Marine Corps bases (MCAS El Toro and MCB Camp Lejeune), the use of El Toro to ship weapons to the Contras and cocaine into the US on CIA proprietary aircraft, and the murder of Marine Colonel James E. Sabow and others who were a threat to blow the whistle on the illegal narcotrafficking activity. O'Dowd and King co-authored BETRAYAL: Toxic Exposure of U.S. Marines, Murder and Government Cover-Up. The book is available as a soft cover copy and eBook from See: