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News For Certain U.S. Veterans

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There may soon be a decision by the VA to begin recognizing health problems experienced by a lot of vets that had been stationed at Ft. McClellan, Alabama.

For those of you that don't know. McClellan was where the U.S. Army's Chemical Warfare Training Center had been for more than half a century before Ft. McClellan was closed down when PCB's began leaking into the Anniston, AL water supply from Ft. McClellan's ranges. It was also home to the US Army's Military Police Academy until it was moved to Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri in the late 80's.

The MP school moved to McClellan in June of 1975; just before I arrived there from basic training. In fact my class was the first to cycle through the "new" MP school and some of the training facilities weren't even completed yet.

When I was stationed there the second time from 1986 to 1989, I was a squad leader with the Regimental Aggressor Platoon. The platoon would rotate squads out to the ranges as OPFOR against various NCO and Officer training exercises conducted by the MP school. We'd deploy anywhere from a few days up to a couple of weeks at a time.

While on the ranges we lived in the Range control building, showered with water supplied by a well near the range building and mixed that water with our various drink powders and used that water to cook with. A few miles from the range control building was a dried-up lake surrounded by very nice picnic pavilions. We were told at the time the lake was drained because it was contaminated. We thought it was contaminated with old mustard gas - since the chemical school used to bury old unused mustard gas containers out on the ranges in the old days, and every once in a while someone would stumble onto a leaking canister and end up at the post hospital. We had no idea it was because of PCBs.

As OPFOR, the guys and gals in my squad spent a lot of time low crawling around on that range, lying on that ground for hours in wait, digging fighting positions, playing sports out in the parking lot, breathing the dust generated by our trucks, which coated everything and everyone - especially the inside of our noses and throats - and we were apparently exposed to contaminated water; not for one or two days like the students, but for days and weeks on end - time after time over several years.

So, if any of you know anyone that used to be stationed at Ft. McClellan as a soldier, it would be a good idea to let that person know about this issue and the possibility that if they are experiencing any odd health problems that it might be service related. Direct those folks to the Ft. McClellan Registry Act Page on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/groups/130762717088405/

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