At a time when the Environmental Protection Agency is becoming more and more scrutinized with each new day, for what some claim to be an “over regulation” in the maintenance of the public’s drinking water supply, it came to my attention after viewing the Academy Award short listed documentary Semper Fi: Always Faithful that our health is neither protected, nor considered. This film chronicled the tireless efforts of one man, retired Staff Sergeant Marine Jerry Ensminger, who sought justice and truth after his young daughter lost her battle to leukemia at the military base, Camp Lejeune, in Jacksonville, North Carolina. Semper Fi strikes a nerve because it examined how issues involving our governmental agencies neglecting to inform the people of potential carcinogenic toxins present in our drinking water supply. There are over 130 contaminated military sites throughout the United States: making the Department of Defense the country’s number one polluter. It is approximated that 1 out of 10 Americans has lived within 10 miles of a contaminated military site. If this fact doesn’t enrage you then you must reconsider the severity of this situation. Hazardous carcinogens have affected nearly 1 million Americans, and have initiated a new battle that too many veterans, and their families, are currently fighting. “Semper Fidelis” is a tradition among the Marine Corps that distinguishes them from any other. It translates into “always faithful,” yet the true character of the Marine Corps contradicts that very tradition. Let us be the voice to change the way the Department of Defense, along with the Marine Corps, hide the truth from the ones they are supposed to “protect.”
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