pproximately 200,000 U.S. military personnel occupied Hiroshima and Nagasaki after WWII. n additional 200,000 personnel were participants in over 235 nuclear weapons tests between 1945 and 1962, conducted in the merican West and the Pacific Ocean. The U.S. government has determined that these veterans are entitled to V health care and, in certain cases, V compensation.
Disabilities directly related to radiation exposure consist primarily of cancers. Cancers that are considered “presumptive,” those that V presumes are due to radiation exposure and therefore not challenged, include cancers of the: bile ducts, bone, brain, breast, colon, esophagus, gall bladder, liver (primary), lung, ovary, pancreas, pharynx, salivary gland, small intestine, stomach, thyroid, urinary tract (kidneys, renal pelvis, ureter, urinary bladder, urethra), bronchio-alveolar carcinoma, leukemia (except CLL), lymphomas (less Hodgkin’s disease) and multiple myloma.
ny veteran who has one of the above cancers, and who participated in occupation duty, atomic testing, or who was a POW in the vicinity of Hiroshima or Nagasaki at the time of the bombings, should file a V claim for service-connected disability. Contact your local County Veterans Service Officer (CVSO) and he or she will be happy to assist. Your CVSO will walk you through the process and take care of the paperwork for you. Radiation claims involve proving exposure, verifying a current disability, and obtaining a medical opinion as to the likelihood of the current disability being related to or caused by the exposure.
Veterans should be prepared to discuss the circumstances surrounding their exposures with their CVSO, specifically the dates, places, operation names (if possible) and which units they were assigned to at the time of their exposure. ny old military records, cruise books, letters, photos, etc. would also be very helpful. This will assist in the verification of exposure process by V. lso be prepared to obtain medical records related to your current disability (treatment, diagnosis, etc.) or have the name and address of the facilities that have treated you. This will aid in the current disability verification.
Finally, atomic veterans need to know that the list of presumptive disabilities changes from time to time, with new cancers being added. If an atomic veteran develops a disability of any kind that could be related to radiation exposure, it is advisable to submit a claim. You can locate your CVSO under the “county government” listings in your local phonebook or via the CVSO ssociation of Wisconsin website at www.wicvso.org.