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Atomic Veterans VA 2012
US Congressman Jim McGovern recently got an amendment through the House which would create an “Atomic Veterans Service Medal”, but it seems to still exclude those involved in removing radiation testing filters from surveillance aircraft; mechanics; and most cleanup crews. Congressman Takai is trying to get health-care parity for Enewetak Atoll cleanup crews. Why this piecemeal approach? The law in place gives the run-around to many Atomic Veterans who have the “wrong” type of cancer or disease. Ionizing radiation has been long known to cause skin cancer. And, yet it is not on the list of the “right” cancers. It is increasingly realized, including by the ICRP, that radiation exposure can cause heart disease too. Why give elderly veterans the bureaucratic run-around? Apart from ethical considerations, bureaucratic run-around itself costs money. Give them blanket coverage.

The US Government must stop throwing away billions per year as hand-outs to the nuclear industry and for importing foreign nuclear waste to dump on America. Rather, it should provide health-care to veterans. The US government funded BEIR report says that even one track of ionizing radiation may lead to cancer. All countries should give blanket recognition and health-care coverage to veterans exposed to radiation during military service.

The “Father of Health Physics”, Dr. K.Z. Morgan when interviewed in the 1990s said: “They [Dept. of Justice employees] actually bragged about the fact that they set up courses to train health physicists and lawyers on how to keep injured parties, injured from radiation, from getting any benefits! One of these was even held in Washington. I didn’t attend it, but I can point to some people that attended the lecture that [Don] Jose from the Justice Department gave. Imagine: the Department of Justice—which is supposed, according to our Constitution, to provide justice to the citizen—training lawyers and health physicists how to cheat the public! How to allow people to be used as guinea pigs rather than be a hindrance to some nuclear or military program!https://web.archive.org/web/20130225223306/http://hss.energy.gov/healthsafety/ohre/roadmap/histories/0475/0475d.html#Influence

Congressman McGovern Press Release:
McGovern Applauds Passage of Amendment to Honor America’s Atomic Veterans, Servicemembers Exposed to Radiation During Nuclear Weapons Tests
May 18, 2016 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, Congressman Jim McGovern (MA-02) spoke on the House Floor to call for the House to pass his bipartisan amendment to the FY 17 National Defense Authorization Act to honor the more than 200,000 American veterans who were exposed to dangerous levels of radiation while conducting nuclear weapons tests during between 1945 and 1962.

McGovern later applauded the passage of his amendment as part of an en-bloc package and the bill will now go to conference negotiations with the Senate when the Senate finishes consideration of its version of the FY 2017 defense authorizations bill.

Full Text of Congressman McGovern’s Remarks Are Below:
“I rise in favor of the McGovern-Pompeo amendment, which is part of this en-bloc, to recognize the service of Atomic Veterans or their surviving family members.

“Between 1945 and 1962, about 200,000 servicemembers conducted hundreds of nuclear weapons tests and were exposed to dangerous levels of radiation. Sworn to secrecy, they couldn’t even tell their doctors.

“Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush recognized their service by providing specialized care and compensation, but this isn’t enough.

“Joe Mondello, a constituent of mine from Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, and other Atomic Veterans, helped bring this issue to my attention.  It’s long past time to honor their service.

“Last year, with the help of the chairman, in the authorization bill, we included this amendment, but then the Department of Defense insisted we remove it. Their explanation? ‘We don’t have a medal and we don’t want to create one. Congress should find another way to honor these veterans.’ That’s no excuse. In fact, that’s insensitive, that’s dismissive, and it’s ungrateful. We should be appalled.

“Tragically, many of these Atomic Veterans have already died, without receiving recognition. They kept a code of silence that likely led to many passing away too soon. We must right this wrong. I urge my colleagues to support this amendment and I urge the Senate to do the same thing.
http://mcgovern.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/mcgovern-applauds-passage-of-amendment-to-honor-america-s-atomic

40. AN AMENDMENT TO BE OFFERED BY REPRESENTATIVE MCGOVERN OF MASSACHUSETTS OR HIS DESIGNEE, DEBATABLE FOR 10 MINUTES Page 173, after line 2, add the following new section:
SEC. 599A. ATOMIC VETERANS SERVICE MEDAL.
(a) SERVICE MEDAL REQUIRED.—The Secretary of Defense shall design and produce a military service medal, to be known as the ‘‘Atomic Veterans Service Medal”, to honor retired and former members of the Armed Forces who are radiation-exposed veterans (as such term is defined in section 1112(c)(3) of title 38, United States Code). (b) DISTRIBUTION OF MEDAL.— (1) ISSUANCE TO RETIRED AND FORMER MEMBERS.—At the re-quest of a radiation-exposed veteran, the Secretary of Defense shall issue the Atomic Veterans Service Medal to the veteran. (2) ISSUANCE TO NEXT-OF-KIN.—In the case of a radiation-ex-posed veteran who is deceased, the Secretary may provide for issuance of the Atomic Veterans Service Medal to the next-of- kin of the person. (3) APPLICATION.—The Secretary shall prepare and disseminate as appropriate an application by which radiation-exposed veterans and their next-of-kin may apply to receive the Atomic Veterans Service Medal.
https://www.congress.gov/congressional-report/114th-congress/house-report/569

It appears to exclude those who were involved with clean-up whether of reconnaissance aircraft checking Soviet weapons tests; US tests, or later clean-up crews with the exception of Amchitka Island, Alaska:
38 U.S. Code § 1112 – Presumptions relating to certain diseases and disabilities
3)For the purposes of this subsection:
(A)The term “radiation-exposed veteran” means
(i) a veteran who, while serving on active duty, participated in a radiation-risk activity, or
(ii) an individual who, while a member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces, participated in a radiation-risk activity during a period of active duty for training or inactive duty training.
(B)The term “radiation-risk activity” means any of the following:
(i)Onsite participation in a test involving the atmospheric detonation of a nuclear device (without regard to whether the nation conducting the test was the United States or another nation).
(ii)The occupation of Hiroshima or Nagasaki, Japan, by United States forces during the period beginning on August 6, 1945, and ending on July 1, 1946.
(iii)Internment as prisoner of war in Japan (or service on active duty in Japan immediately following such internment) during World War II which (as determined by the Secretary) resulted in an opportunity for exposure to ionizing radiation comparable to that of veterans described in clause (ii) of this subparagraph.
(iv)Service in a capacity which, if performed as an employee of the Department of Energy, would qualify the individual for inclusion as a member of the Special Exposure Cohort under section 3621(14) of the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act of 2000 (42 U.S.C. 7384l(14)).
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/38/1112 See too general provisions regarding disabilities from due to military service: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/38/1110

The DOE definition appears too narrow:
(14) The term “member of the Special Exposure Cohort” means a Department of Energy employee, Department of Energy contractor employee, or atomic weapons employee who meets any of the following requirements:
(A) The employee was so employed for a number of work days aggregating at least 250 work days before February 1, 1992, at a gaseous diffusion plant located in Paducah, Kentucky, Portsmouth, Ohio, or Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and, during such employment— (i) was monitored through the use of dosimetry badges for exposure at the plant of the external parts of employee’s body to radiation; or (ii) worked in a job that had exposures comparable to a job that is or was monitored through the use of dosimetry badges. (B) The employee was so employed before January 1, 1974, by the Department of Energy or a Department of Energy contractor or subcontractor on Amchitka Island, Alaska, and was exposed to ionizing radiation in the performance of duty related to the Long Shot, Milrow, or Cannikin underground nuclear tests. (C)(i) Subject to clause (ii), the employee is an individual designated as a member of the Special Exposure Cohort by the President for purposes of the compensation program under section 7384q of this title. (ii) A designation under clause (i) shall, unless Congress otherwise provides, take effect on the date that is 30 days after the date on which the President submits to Congress a report identifying the individuals covered by the designation and describing the criteria used in designating those individuals.
https://www.dol.gov/owcp/energy/regs/compliance/law/EEOICPAALL.htm

More Atomic Veterans who need inclusion, but these aren’t all. There needs to be blanket inclusion for all of those exposed to nuclear fallout:
TAKAI INTRODUCES “ATOMIC VETERANS” BILL
November 2, 2015 Press Release
WASHINGTON— Today, Congressman Mark Takai (HI-01) introduced H.R. 3870, the Atomic Veterans Healthcare Parity Act, to provide for the treatment of veterans who participated in the cleanup of Enewetak Atoll on the Marshall Islands and are suffering from service-related illnesses due to radiation exposure. 

“These men and women risked their lives in answering the call of duty to serve their country, and are suffering as a consequence.  We as a nation need to take care of our veterans and I hope my colleagues will join me in supporting them and thanking them for their service. Let us honor the past generations and remember that once a soldier, always a soldier,” Takai said. 

The law currently covers the Atomic Veterans who participated in the 1944-1958 atomic testing and at Japan’s two bomb sites. However, it does not apply to the soldiers who cleaned up radioactive debris.  Takai has been a longtime advocate for counting these cleanup personnel as Atomic Veterans, leading efforts in the Hawaii State Legislature asking the federal government to do so. There is an approximated 35 percent cancer rate among these individuals.  These veterans hail from all over the United States from states as diverse as California, Missouri, Nevada, and of course, Hawaii. 

“We, the ‘Enewetak Atoll Radiological Cleanup Survivors,’ thank Congressman Takai for all of his efforts on our behalf and for introducing the Atomic Veterans Healthcare Parity Act to Congress.  Through his work, he is assisting us in receiving recognition by attempting to re-add us to the same classification as the National Association of Atomic Veteran’s. This important effort is much needed for those of us that are ill in order for us to receive the very much needed assistance,” said Kenneth Kasik, spokesman for The Enewetak Atoll Radiological Cleanup Veterans. The bill will be referred to the Veterans Affairs Committee and will await further action.https://takai.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/takai-introduces-atomic-veterans-bill

https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2015/06/20/heartless-us-nrc-ignores-icrp-concerns-re-radiation-risks-to-cardio-cerebrovascular-systems-comment-deadline-monday-22-june-1159-pm-one-minute-to-midnight-ny-dc-et/

K.Z. Morgan’s allegations re Don Jose-DOJ are also found here: https://archive.org/stream/SavannahRiverEnvironmentalImpactStatements/DOE-EIS-0147-VOL2_djvu.txt

List of cancers:
(c) (1)For the purposes of section 1110 of this title, and subject to the provisions of section 1113 of this title, a disease specified in paragraph (2) of this subsection becoming manifest in a radiation-exposed veteran shall be considered to have been incurred in or aggravated during active military, naval, or air service, notwithstanding that there is no record of evidence of such disease during a period of such service.
(2)The diseases referred to in paragraph (1) of this subsection are the following:
(A)Leukemia (other than chronic lymphocytic leukemia).
(B)Cancer of the thyroid.
(C)Cancer of the breast.
(D)Cancer of the pharynx.
(E)Cancer of the esophagus.
(F)Cancer of the stomach.
(G)Cancer of the small intestine.
(H)Cancer of the pancreas.
(I)Multiple myeloma.
(J)Lymphomas (except Hodgkin’s disease).
(K)Cancer of the bile ducts.
(L)Cancer of the gall bladder.
(M)Primary liver cancer (except if cirrhosis or hepatitis B is indicated).
(N)Cancer of the salivary gland.
(O)Cancer of the urinary tract.
(P)Bronchiolo-alveolar carcinoma.
(Q)Cancer of the bone.
(R)Cancer of the brain.
(S)Cancer of the colon.
(T)Cancer of the lung.
(U)Cancer of the ovary.
(3)For the purposes of this subsection:
(A)The term “radiation-exposed veteran” means (i) a veteran who, while serving on active duty, participated in a radiation-risk activity, or (ii) an individual who, while a member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces, participated in a radiation-risk activity during a period of active duty for training or inactive duty training.
(B)The term “radiation-risk activity” means any of the following:
(i)Onsite participation in a test involving the atmospheric detonation of a nuclear device (without regard to whether the nation conducting the test was the United States or another nation).
(ii)The occupation of Hiroshima or Nagasaki, Japan, by United States forces during the period beginning on August 6, 1945, and ending on July 1, 1946.
(iii)Internment as prisoner of war in Japan (or service on active duty in Japan immediately following such internment) during World War II which (as determined by the Secretary) resulted in an opportunity for exposure to ionizing radiation comparable to that of veterans described in clause (ii) of this subparagraph.
(iv)Service in a capacity which, if performed as an employee of the Department of Energy, would qualify the individual for inclusion as a member of the Special Exposure Cohort under section 3621(14) of the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act of 2000 (42 U.S.C. 7384l(14)).
(4)A radiation-exposed veteran who receives a payment under the provisions of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 2210 note) shall not be deprived, by reason of the receipt of that payment, of receipt of compensation to which that veteran is entitled by reason of paragraph (1), but there shall be deducted from payment of such compensation the amount of the payment under that Act
“.
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/38/1112