Veterans organizations decry settlement program for Camp Lejeune toxic water exposure victims
More than twenty veterans’ organizations sent a letter to Congress expressing their disappointment in the Departments of the Navy and Justice’s new “elective option” settlement program for victims of toxic water exposure at Camp Lejeune.
While many were originally hopeful that the plight of those affected by the Camp Lejeune water contamination crisis had finally been addressed, after examining the details of the new settlement program, officials with the Special Operations Association of America concluded that the program falls short of delivering justice.
President Stephen Patterson said the government is trying to avoid responsibility for these veterans and their families and he called the program unacceptable.
He added that it was crafted without any input from the claimants it is meant to serve.
The proposal limits compensation for veterans who spent less than five years on base and Patterson said it focuses on a veteran’s length of exposure as a determining factor for compensation instead of considering the varying degrees of suffering they experienced.