What Kinds of Illnesses Did People Get at Camp Lejeune?

People who become Marines learn how to become some of the toughest people in the country. They hone their bodies and become proficient in all kinds of combat while at training camps. These camps are all over the United States. There was one, though, that put the enlistees in danger that they couldn’t see – Camp Lejeune.

Due to water contamination, people who drink the water there unknowingly put themselves at risk of getting some serious and deadly diseases. They faced hardships that they didn’t deserve in later years.

You can learn more here if you are interested. Here are some of the diseases that they wound up having to contend with:

Different Types of Cancer

Unfortunately, the people who were stationed there found themselves facing different types of cancer that attacked various parts of their body. These included:

  • Adult Leukemia
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Breast Cancer
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Liver Cancer
  • Lung Cancer
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Non-Hodkins Lymphoma

Aplastic Anemia

This form of anemia is when your body stops making enough red blood cells. It leaves the people that have it feeling fatigued and they have other symptoms like rashes.

Parkinson’s Disease

Besides cancer, veterans who spent their time at Camp LeJeune also began getting Parkinson’s, a disease that affects the nervous system and manifests in people losing control of certain parts of their body.

Female Infertility or Miscarriage

Women who were at camp found themselves unable to have babies or lost them far too soon.

Neurobehavioral Effects

These include memory loss, dementia, an inability to concentrate, PTSD, insomnia, fatigue, and motor problems. These effects can be devastating to both the people that have them and their family members who have to see them suffer through them.

Renal Toxicity

This meant that their kidneys were basically poisoned by the contaminants and subsequently damaged. The kidneys are important in eliminating urine and other bodily waste. Electrolytes in your blood, like potassium and magnesium, will rise.


People who have this see their skin tighten up, their joints hurt more, they may feel the cold a lot more than other people, and they may suffer from heartburn.

This applies to people who served and were based there from 1953 to 1987 and they usually spent 30 or more days at this camp. There are a variety of efforts to bring them both financial and medical relief, both in the court of law and through various associations, like the Veterans Association.

Getting any kind of disease is awful, but getting it through the seemingly intentional negligence of people in authority makes it worse. It is hard to imagine the feeling of betrayal that the people who served their country felt when they realized what the reason was for their becoming so seriously ill.

Unfortunately, this is far from the only occurrence when bureaucracy has taken precedence over safety. Other instances included burn pits in military bases. It is time that the people who have suffered from these get the support that they deserve.


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