DECATUR, Ga. (CBS46) -- When you turn on the faucet you expect the water coming out to be safe, but for many Camp Lejeune veterans that was not the case.
“They said they were going to help us treat our illness but it never happened. Only thing they authorized us with is free Medicare”, said Veteran John L. Davis Jr.
Davis says from 1972 to 1976 he was among the thousands of vets exposed to drinking water containing industrial solvents, benzene, and other chemicals. As a result his skin began having crippling reactions to the sun.
“I went to the hospital which is on base, that my neck had flared up and from then on they started treating me,” added Davis.
But the skin flare ups weren’t only on Davis’ neck, they happened all over, including his feet, leaving him unable to walk. In a video placed on the VA’s website, former secretary of Veteran Affairs detailed the benefits being offered to those stationed at Camp Lejeune, among them financial compensation for eight illnesses, but none include what Davis suffers with.
In the meantime Davis says his life has forever been changed. He can’t go out in the sun for long, he can no longer walk, and he can barely get medical help he needs.
“Every time I go to the dermatologist it’s like a game. You know they don’t really want to care that I have this problem until it flares up.”
The VA says any time a vet reaches out with a concern they contact that vet directly and in this case they can only approve benefits for illness approved by the federal government.