U.S. House Bill to Address Compensation for Veterans, Families Toxic Exposure at Nevada Nuclear Test Site
LAS VEGAS, April 11, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — A Bill is being drafted in the U.S. House of Representatives to provide compensation and restitution for U.S. Military personnel and their families who have suffered from exposure to radiation and toxic materials as a result of nuclear testing at the Tonopah Test Range.
U.S. Congressman Mark Amodei, (R-Nev.), serving the 2nd District of Nevada, will introduce the Bill in response to research and reports by U.S. Air Force veteran David Crete.
From 1983 to 1987, Crete was a member of the 4461st Security Police Squadron based at the highly classified Tonopah Test Range (TTR) in remote Nevada. The unit provided operational security for America’s top-secret F-117A stealth aircraft. Three other Air Force units and additional Department of Defense (DoD) personnel were also stationed at TTR during this time.
They did not know the Department of Energy (DoE) and Sandia National Laboratories had conducted nuclear testing at TTR decades before they arrived. They also didn’t know TTR’s soil and water were contaminated with ionizing radiation from Plutonium 239 and other highly toxic materials. The bill alleges no measures were taken to protect the military or civilian personnel at TTR from these dangerous substances.
Crete has documented the effects of the exposure to these contaminants on his fellow servicemen and their families. Many are suffering from various cancers, cardiovascular disease, pulmonary disease and other serious health issues. Many have died. Many women have experienced miscarriages and many of their children have been born with birth defects.
Weapons testing and other activities at TTR and other highly contaminated sites throughout the Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR) continue to this day.
In 2000, President Bill Clinton signed Executive Order 13179, which, in part, read: “While the Nation can never fully repay these workers or their families, they deserve recognition and compensation for their sacrifices. Since the Administration’s historic announcement in July 1999 that it intended to compensate DOE nuclear weapons workers who suffered occupational illnesses as a result of exposure to the unique hazards in building the Nation’s nuclear defense, it has been the policy of this Administration to support fair and timely compensation for these workers and their survivors.”
This order applied only to DoE and other civilian workers. To date, more than $23 billion in compensation and medical expenses have been paid. DoD personnel, including the Air Force units that served throughout NTTR/TTR and their families, were not eligible to receive fair and timely compensation for their sacrifices.
After 30 years, the pending House Bill seeks to rectify this injustice.
A .pdf presentation by Dave Crete is available at: https://www.dropbox.com/s/2gdm8j8e91iz2cj/The%20Invisible%20Enemy%20at%20TTR_2023.pdf?dl=0
Dave Crete is available for interviews. To schedule an interview contact:
Virginia Martino, Brand LTD (702) 591-9183 [email protected] or
Richard Gubbe, Brand LTD (815) 670-2620 [email protected]
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SOURCE U.S. Air Force Veteran David Crete
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