Atomic Veteran Problem
The Atomic Veteran's struggles are not only with the medical problems and resultant financial burdens, it is also a struggle to gain recognition and acknowledgment of the Atomic Veteran.
The excruciatingly painful situation is that the country for which they have suffered and/or died refuses to recognize their sacrifices which occurred from military action. They have suffered, not at the hands of an enemy but at the hands of their country's self-destructive military policies.
Except for the Japanese, no deaths have ever resulted from the use of nuclear bombs as a weapon of war. The only deaths and injuries have been to islanders and our own countrymen, Atomic Soldiers, Atomic Veterans and our populace. This is true for every nation which chose to test nuclear devices. The only casualties were their own innocent trusting citizens and islanders.
The Cold War service-members did not face combat with an enemy. There was no combat, but unknown to them, they did have an enemy. The enemy wore the perfect disguise. They participated in these nuclear experiments with a feeling of pride, patriotism and trust only to have their innocence and trust betrayed.
As they developed the cancers inherent in radiation exposure, attempts were made to deny the atomic veterans very existence. They were first threatened with court martial if they did not keep silent. (They should not exist). As the veteran attempted to prove that they were one of the sacrificial guinea pigs, they were treated as unpatriotic, lying subversives, set on undermining attempts to keep the American Holocaust a secret.
They would no longer be silenced and so political powers were forced to throw crumbs of appeasement, if not to the veteran at least to the American public. Politically generated programs were developed which would show recognition of a "problem".
1. Medical disability benefit programs were developed in which a veteran must fight, a sometimes 20 years battle for benefits and care, with a less than 3% success rate.
2. Compensation for radiation exposure which offers a $75,000 (minus monetary setbacks) payoff which eliminates any future griping or claims. This payoff would be available to the same less than 3% of claimants.
3.An attempt to develop a program to honor Atomic Veterans with a medal or certificate, which has been so politically corrupted as to make it meaningless. Based on it's qualifying standards of proof, this would be awarded to the same less than 3% of claimants.
It is hoped the American public would recognize all the great efforts being made for the Atomic Veteran.
These programs may show recognition of a "problem", but not of the Atomic Veteran. The DNA estimates that nearly 400,000 service-members participated in radiation risk activities. After 50 plus years the participants still do not have names or faces. Why must the Atomic Veteran prove participation and sacrifices of health and lives, when names are available but secreted?
The children believe, that after watching their Dad's life-eating struggles, that maybe now after all these years, they can finally gain recognition of his sacrifices. Innocence and ideology is again betrayed as the 50 year coverup of truth and the denial continues.
More pain is experienced as this ugly, cruel and inhumane struggle passes to the children, as they attempt to prove Dad's worthiness of a tiny medal or a piece of paper which says, "Yes your Dad, as a nuclear test participant, gave his life in the service of his country".
All 400,000 participants deserve this, not a paltry less than 3%.