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I was stationed at Lakehurst Naval Air Station in 1961/62 and was assigned to the Naval Crash Crew. My duties included fighting all type of fires involving aircraft and some structural fires. During this the Navy was using a fire foam that has since been listed as contained perfluoroctane sulfonic acid. This chemical has been linked to testicular and kidney cancer. During my duty at Lakehurst I was constantly covered with this product while training for fires and actual fires. My clothing was soaked with this product as well as my skin and was breathing in these fumes. I was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1963 and spent approximately 1 month in Cooper Hospital in Camden, NJ and had 5 operations and my testicles were removed but I was then told that I had about 6 months to live. Fortunately that was not the case and I was able to survive this terrible time in my life but I was unable to have anymore children from then on. I had one son but would have liked to have more but was unable. Currently the State of NJ is suing the chemical companies because they knew that these chemicals were deadly and I have to believe the Navy was aware of this also. Today Lakehurst is on a list of bases in NJ that are contaminated with Hess chemicals. At this point in my life I would like to know if I am entitled to some type of benefits for what has happen to me and my family? Thank you for your anticipated response.

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A1:  I definitely would say you are entitled to benefits, but the VA does not do this automatically. Filed a 21-526ez, the first page is about you, name, address SS#, date of birth etc, the 2nd page list the cancer you had and all the side effect loss of creative organs, l feel you could list depression secondary to cancer, you probably wear pads, that too is secondary to cancer. There probably more that could be filed for but without having a conservation with you. Best of success to you with it. It really shouldn't be that hard to get service connected for your disease.  (GR)  5/25/19

A2:  Find a Service Officer through the DAV, AM Legion, or VFW. Let them work with you.  (KD)  5/25/19

A3:  I am a VSO and I do believe you are entitled to several benefits, especially if you served 90 days Active Duty or more. You should be communicating with a VSO, Veterans Advocate or Veterans Social Worker! I wish you the BEST!!   (GL)  5/29/19


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