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Clean up deadly Army chemical weapon spill at Fort Detrick that created “cancer cluster”

This petition had 14,569 supporters

Since 2008, I’ve buried two members of my family, and been to the funerals of 32 friends. That’s because my community in Frederick, MD, has been ravaged by cancer caused by the reckless practices of those who work to protect our nation: the U.S. Army.

Our lives were turned upside down after dangerous chemical weapons buried at the Fort Detrick army base near our home seeped into the ground. This irresponsible action caused a rare form of cancer for thousands of people who I can family, friends and neighbors. It claimed the lives of 2,500-plus, including loved ones whom I mourn every single day: my ex-wife of 14 years, Debra, and my daughter Kristen, who was a mother of two. She passed away in my arms.

I’d do anything to have my Kristen and Debra back in my life. All I can do now, however, is fight for their memory and for our community. I’m seeking justice in the memory of the deceased. Congress must pass legislation to ensure that the Army cleans up Fort Detrick and compensates those affected for their medical expenses.

This situation is extraordinary. In one family alone, 11 people were diagnosed with cancer, and 57 people who live on the same street were diagnosed. All this time, the U.S. Army has continued to block any calls for accountability, dismissing hundreds of health claims from sick residents as recently as last year. They’ve created a major health emergency, and they’re refusing to acknowledge it, even as people continue to get sick and die. That’s unacceptable.

It’s clear to me now that the Army will never do the right thing on its own. They know what they’ve done, and they refuse to fix it. That’s why I’m asking Congress to act now before many more people will suffer from these tragic mistakes.

The last words Debra told me before she died were “keep fighting so others don’t have to suffer.” She didn’t say anything else to me. And I didn’t need to hear anything else. I knew then and there what I had to unrelentingly pursue: justice. That’s why I created this petition. That’s why I started the Kristen Renee Foundation:

Please sign my petition asking the United States Congress to create and enact legislation immediately to clean the chemical repositories at Fort Detrick and compensate the affected.

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