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Moore: Thank You For Your Service

Chris Moore
March 13, 2018 - 11:25 am

As a veteran, let me use this first opportunity I have to express an opinion on the Entercom KDKA website to speak up for a group of American veterans, real patriots, whom I feel are not only being forgotten, but are also suffering and possibly even dying because of willful neglect. I’m talking about the U.S. Navy personnel and Marines who served aboard the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan just after the Fukushima tidal wave and the resulting meltdown of the Tepco reactors on the coast of Japan in 2011. Here we are just days away from the seventh anniversary of the terrible event and our vets have no relief and no justice.

Shortly after the March 11, 2011 Tsunami and earthquake, the Nimitz class carrier and other American ships in her battle group sailed to Japan in the hope of carrying out an humanitarian relief effort stemming from this tragedy. Sailors aboard ship were told that they were in no more danger from radiation than they would be from eating a banana. Since that time, hundreds of the 4,500 sailors and Marines aboard the Reagan and her sister ships have come down with unexplained illnesses, many with cancer and a number have died. The number of illnesses far outstrip what would occur during a normal deployment.

Also, at least two lawsuits have been filed on behalf of ill sailors who claimed that the Reagan sailed through a radioactive plume. The ships had to be decontaminated several times and according to an article by Linda Pentz Gunter that I read on Counter Punch, “the plaintiffs in both suits charge that Tepco lied to the public and the U.S. Navy about the radiation levels at the Fukushima-Daichi nuclear power plant at the time the Japanese government was asking for help for the victims of the earthquake and Tsunami. By doing so, Tepco deliberately allowed those involved to sail into harm’s way and become exposed to radiation spewing from the stricken reactors on the battered Japanese coast.” Those two lawsuits have both been dismissed by U.S. Courts, and as far as I can see there is no justice yet to be had for those brave sailors and Marines who wanted to help a global neighbor in their time of need.

So forgive my redundancy but, as many of my fellow experienced veterans always tell me, it’s SNAFU all over again. The mantra that many of us have cited when we seek redress from the country we have served is all too often, “Delay, deny, until you die!” How would young patriotic men and women eager to serve their country in uniform view that mantra if it were a phrase on a recruiting poster? Yeah, thank you for your service.