Target: Chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, Patty Murray
Goal: Provide benefits to soldiers suffering from radiation exposure.
In the aftermath of World War II, members of the military experienced radiation exposure as a result of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. These brave Americans were unable to receive benefits, however, due to the fact that the science of nuclear contamination was a relatively new one, and the American government had no means of tracking the levels of exposure. Now, a recent proposal would have the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs create a database dedicated to recording radiation exposure, ensuring that America’s soldiers will be protected once they return home.
Support for the database stems largely from the events in Fukushima, Japan in March of 2011. A powerful earthquake and subsequent tsunami caused significant damage to the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, leading to three nuclear meltdowns and the release of radioactive materials. While the effects of the disaster have been neutralized, many United States service members were and are stationed in Japan. By assisting with recovery and rebuilding efforts, they have greatly increased their chances of being exposed to radioactive materials. Upon completion of their tours of duty, these loyal citizens deserve the protection and support of the government.
The incident in Japan is not the only instance involving radiation exposure. In addition to the atomic bombs of the 1940s, the U.S. Navy operated a small nuclear plant at the McMurdo Station in Antarctica during the 1960s and 1970s, which was shut down after a leak was discovered. Although there were few serious health concerns, the events demonstrated the dangers present when dealing with nuclear energy. American troops are risking their lives on a daily basis to protect global security, and the government has an obligation to reward this service by providing care for them. Sign the petition below to urge the U.S. Government to finally provide much-needed benefits to soldiers suffering from radiation exposure.
Dear Chairman Murray,
I am writing to express my support of your proposal to operate a database cataloging service members who have been exposed to radiation. During World War II, the bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki exposed countless soldiers to radiation, but because the Department of Defense did not record these incidents, these veterans did not receive benefits from the VA after the war. American troops are risking their lives on a daily basis to protect global security, and the government has an obligation to reward this service by providing care for them.
The nuclear disaster in Fukushima served as a powerful reminder of the devastation that radioactive materials can cause, and the American government must prove that it has learned from its mistakes. The brave citizens who have provided support in Japan must be protected from any potential fallout. Please continue your efforts to maintain radiation records so that all of the country’s veterans can receive the proper care and attention that they deserve.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Diana Markosian