Camp Lejeune

President Obama
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza.

Earlier this week, President Obama signed a law to provide health care to thousands of Marine veterans and their families who were exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune between 1957 and 1987. Retired Marine Jerry Ensminger was one of them. His daughter died of leukemia he believes was caused by the contamination. For fifteen years, Ensminger has led the fight to get help for sick veterans and their families. And he says it’s not over yet.

North Carolina lawmakers are hailing the signing of a bill today that will grant health care to marines and their families who drank toxic tap water at Camp Lejune from 1957 to 1987. An award-winning documentary chronicles the efforts of former U.S. Marine Master Sergeant Jerry Ensminger who lost his daughter, Janey, to a rare form of childhood leukemia as a result of the exposure. Congressman Brad Miller says the chemicals found in the water are known carcinogens that cause a host of illnesses and conditions that include male breast and female infertility.

A bill that helps military families harmed over 30 years by water at Camp Lejeune will become law today.

Saluting the Montford Point Marines

Jul 12, 2012

The U.S. Marine Corps remained segregated until 1948. The first group to break the color barrier was a group of African-American men who trained at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, NC. They became known as the Montford Point Marines. Earlier this summer, the Montford Point Marines were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in Washington, DC. FM Hooper was among the men who were honored at the ceremony.

A U.S. Senate committee has heard testimony about the Marine Corps' attempt to delete information from a government report on contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune.

A recent study outlines efforts at North Carolina's military bases to help the Department of Defense reduce energy consumption. The report is from the Pew Charitable Trust. It says Fort Bragg and Camp Lejeune are using energy reduction projects and bio-fuel to cut costs. Coby Jones is the energy program coordinator at Fort Bragg. He says recent renovations have cut energy consumption by 23 percent at 30 of the base's older buildings.

Water contamination at Camp Lejeune is the subject of a public forum today in Wilmington. Experts estimate close to a million people at Camp Lejeune might have been exposed to contaminated water between the 1950's and 1980's. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry will host the session. Previous meetings have been held at the agency's headquarters in Atlanta. But they're holding the meeting in Wilmington because of the large number of affected residents in North Carolina.

Marines at Camp Lejeune are welcoming the shipment of locally-produced biofuel. 800 gallons were delivered today as a demonstration of the capability of biofuel in North Carolina. The delivery is part of the efforts of the North Carolina Eastern Region's Military Growth Task Force. George Miller is the Program Manager for the Food and Fuel Program for the task force. He says the crop was grown in eastern North Carolina in Jones and Craven Counties, turned into 100 percent biofuel at the Piedmont Biofuels refinery in Pittsboro, then sent to Potter Oil back east.

Marines at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville have a new facility to train for their biggest threat in Afghanistan: roadside bombs.

Improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, are responsible for nearly 80 percent of combat deaths in Afghanistan. The Marine Corps says Camp Lejeune's new training facility will ensure Marines are as prepared as possible before going into harm's way.

North Carolina military bases are on a heightened level of security after Osama bin Laden's death this week. Top commanders directed all U.S. military installations to a status called Force Protection Condition Bravo. It's the middle level of a five-stage security system. The order came Sunday morning, before President Obama announced American forces had killed bin Laden. Camp Lejeune spokesman Nat Fahy says marines and sailors are taking basic steps to ensure safety.

First Lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden are due at a celebration for 40 expectant mothers at Camp Lejeune this morning. The visit is part of a 2-day national tour and comes a day after Mrs. Obama announced a new initiative to support military families. The non-profit Operation Shower is hosting the event. LeAnn Morrissey, creator of Operation Shower, says she started the group as a way to give back to those wives whose husbands are fighting overseas.

Harrier at night aboard USS Kearsarge
26th MEU

Marines from Camp Lejeune are part of the coalition conducting air-strikes on Moammar Gadhafi's forces in Libya. The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit joined attacks yesterday. Officials said they were successful in destroying military targets near Bengazi. Marines in the 26th began their deployment by aiding refugees of massive floods in Pakistan last August.

A community college in Jacksonville is seeing a number of its students struggle with the effects of traumatic brain injuries. School administrators at Coastal Carolina Community College held a presentation this week to get the word out to students about the help available to them. The proximity to Camp Lejeune and the large veteran population means a number of students have suffered injuries in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Christopher Sabin, the college’s Director for Veterans Programs, says many students hide their problems:

Pronouncing The 'R' In Camp Lejeune

Jul 16, 2010

Transcript

MICHELE NORRIS, host:

There's a long-running debate at a Marine Corps base in North Carolina. We're not talking about the debate over the policy in Afghanistan. It's about pronunciation.

ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

Just the kind of thing that ends up absorbing precious minutes of our day here in the newsroom.

NORRIS: The big question in that debate is this: Do you say Camp Lejeune or Camp Lejerne(ph)?

Here's Catherine Welch, from member station WHQR, to sort this all out.

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