I didn't pay much attention to the long-running water contamination scandal at the Camp Lejeune, N.C., Marine base until today, when I reported on a bill that will provide lifelong health care coverage to those who served there least 30 days from 1957 to 1987 and developed a wide range of cancers from the chemical-laced water.
I served at Lejeune from August 1965 through April 1966, after a tour in areas of Vietnam liberally sprayed with the toxic and cancer-causing Agent Orange.
Then -- to compound the problem -- I went to work for a termite-killing company in New Jersey from May to December 1966, and I sprayed thousands of gallons of chlordane a week to smite the beasts chewing their way through homes in upscale New York City suburbs.
The EPA determined chlordane was a carcinogen and banned its use in 1988. Contemplating this chemical trifecta, it’s amazing I’ve not come down with cancer.
Maybe it’s because during those years I also drank a lot of beer, well known for its cancer-fighting qualities.
Bob Brewin joined Government Executive in April 2007, bringing with him more than 20 years of experience as a journalist focusing on defense issues and technology. Bob covers the world of defense and information technology for Nextgov, and is the author of the “What’s Brewin” blog.