Between 1946 and 1962, atomic tests were conducted by the U.S., and several thousand military personnel were involved in these operations. The men and women who participated in these nuclear tests are known as the Atomic Veterans.
These brave Americans were exposed to nuclear radiation firsthand and many are still facing the consequences today.Among these nuclear operations were Bikini Atoll and Enewetak Atoll, a necklace of coral islands in the Marshall Islands, and the site of repeated nuclear testing campaigns by the U.S. government from 1946 to 1958.
Bikini Atoll – A Nuclear Test Site
More than 20 nuclear devices were tested at Bikini Atoll and nearby Enewetak Atoll, taking a toll on the local environment and on the indigenous people who were never able to return to their homeland. The explosions spread radioactive fallout over large distances, contaminating water and creating a host of other environmental hazards. As a result of the nuclear contamination, Bikini Atoll and surrounding islands remain uninhabitable today.
Who Are The Atomic Veterans?
Members of the American military services who were exposed to nuclear radiation during nuclear tests while on active duty are collectively known as Atomic Veterans. These servicemen came from different parts of the world, including the United States, Britain, and Australia. They had an instrumental role in the development of modern warfare technologies and tactics, but consequently, these soldiers paid a heavy price for their involvement. Of the military personnel connected with conducting, supporting, and observing these nuclear tests, many have been left with significant, long-term health problems, including cancer and other radiation-related illnesses from their exposure to the radiation.
Who Qualifies as an Atomic Veteran?
An Atomic Veteran is essentially a U.S. military member who participated in the nuclear testing program. To be considered an Atomic Veteran, an individual must have:
- Been present within the official test site or an adjacent area during an atomic test detonation. These sites and tests include Bikini Atoll, Enewetak Atoll, and Operation Crossroads, among others.
- Been part of a military unit that was tasked with the occupation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, or involved in the immediate aftermath of the bombings.
- Served in the production and maintenance of atomic weapons, or worked as a prisoner of war (POW) in Japan during World War II.
- Been a construction and trade worker who played an essential role in, or was affected during, the building and maintenance of the atomic testing program.
Compensation for Atomic Veterans
Unfortunately, weapons testing at such a magnitude had devastating consequences. Radiation exposure, alongside other chemicals, consequently led to detrimental health effects in members of the military service. Many developed various illnesses and serious long-term health complications, such as leukemia and other cancers.
Due to the nature of the onset of health effects, many veterans were unable to seek medical care or disability compensation from the Department of Veteran Affairs.As a result, the U.S. Government introduced certain compensation programs dedicated to helping these veterans and their families. The Atomic Veterans program intends to compensate members of the military personnel who participated in certain U.S. atmospheric nuclear testing locations, such as those conducted in the Marshall Islands, during the relevant time periods and acquired a covered cancer.
Veterans may also be candidates for an Atomic Veterans cancer-compensation claim if they were present within 6 months of other certain nuclear test operations, such as on Christmas Island, at the Nevada Test Site, or in the South Atlantic.In addition to this, eligible claimants may include:
- People from certain Native American tribes
- Individuals who lived downwind from the Nevada test site
- On-site test workers, including both civilians and military personnel Nuclear weapons workers and uranium workers, including industry miners, millers, and transporters
- Spouses, children, and grandchildren are also considered eligible survivors. They are able to make a claim on behalf of a deceased family member who would meet the criteria for the Atomic Veterans cancer compensation program.
Atomic Veterans played a crucial role during a turbulent period in history. However, their involvement in atomic testing programs, such as Bikini Atoll and other test sites, has been costly both physically and mentally with many being victim to serious, long-term health complications. Fortunately, compensation programs have been implemented to help provide support and relief for these veterans and their families.
Atomic Veteran Cancer Benefit Program
If you or a loved one have been affected by government-created radiation due to atmospheric nuclear testing at a recognized location, such as those conducted in the Marshall Islands, call the National Cancer Benefits Center today. Our compassionate providers have been helping Atomic Veterans claimants collect their compensation for cancer caused by government-created radiation for more than 25 years.
We understand the difficulty involved in completing the complex claims process and can guide you through it to help you obtain the financial compensation you’re entitled to. For more information, call us today at (800) 414-4328 or use our request for more information form.