Camp Lejeune Veterans: Advocating for Better Healthcare

Thousands of former residents have tried in vain to get answers and help from the United States Marine Corps, Camp Lejeune administration, and the US Government following the toxins in the base’s water supply. With the signing of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act and the PACT Act by President Biden, help is available to veterans, their families, and civilian base workers.

doctor and survivor advocating for better healthcare for camp lejeune victims

The Act has been a long time coming. Two men—one retired US Marine and a man who was born at the base—have worked tirelessly to bring the matter to the forefront and advocate for others who suffered illness and losses because of the water contamination.

Jerry Ensminger, USMC Retired

A former Marine Master Sergeant and drill instructor Jerry Ensminger spent 11 years at Camp Lejeune. One of his daughters, Janey, was the only one conceived, carried, and born there. Janey was diagnosed with leukemia at six years of age, passing away three years later on September 24, 1985.

Twelve years later, Mr. Ensminger discovered the water contamination in 1997 on a newscast. He was shocked to not only learn about the contamination but also the extent to which the Department of the Navy and the Marine Corps went to conceal both the contamination and the amounts of toxins involved. The amounts were described as “minute,” “trace,” “small,” and “miniscule,” conflicting with the amounts later reported by the EPA and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR.)

Eventually, Camp Lejeune became a Superfund site. The Marine Corps has yet to acknowledge a link between the contamination and illnesses.

Mr. Ensminger also discovered that the Veterans Administration added obstacles for Camp Lejeune veterans to apply for and receive benefits. In his testimony, he detailed how the VA began requiring Subject Matter Experts (SME), selected from existing VA medical staff. They were untrained in the contamination issue but denied thousands of veterans needed care and benefits at the VA’s direction. Significant numbers of veterans and civilians have died waiting.

Mr. Ensminger became a staunch advocate for those sickened by the water contamination and their family members. In 2015, he testified before Congress about the issue and continues to speak about the contamination, his daughter’s illness and death, and the coverup. He was also involved with the eventual passing and signing of the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012, and later, the PACT Act. He has filed his own claim for losses from the contamination.

Mike Partain, Born at Camp Lejeune

In 2008, Mike Partain was told he had breast cancer after discovering a lump in his chest. With no history of the disease in his family, and didn’t smoke, drink, or consume drugs, he was stunned.

Sometime later, Mr. Partain saw a news story about Jerry Ensminger and his fight for justice for his daughter Janey and so many others who were sickened and died after living at Camp Lejeune. Stunned, he realized that he was affected. The son of a US Marine, he was born at the base, and his mother unknowingly used and consumed contaminated water during pregnancy.

Mr. Partain learned what people had long suspected about the base’s water. Since then, he has discovered that more than 83 men who either served at the base or lived there have been diagnosed with breast cancer, including many veterans.

Mr. Partain has joined forces with Mr. Ensminger to advocate for veterans, their families, and others affected by the toxic exposure.

Herren Law Can Help if You Have a Camp Lejeune Claim

Even if we’ve helped you before with another VA disability claim, we can help you with filing a claim under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act.

Let us review your situation and see if you meet the eligibility criteria under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. The Herren Law Firm stands ready to help. Call The Herren Law Firm today at 713-682-8194 (or use our online contact form) to schedule your free consultation. There’s no obligation, and we’ll take your case on a contingency fee basis, with no up-front charges.

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