Wounded Times

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Sailors and Marines suffer after Japan nuclear disaster

In growing lawsuit, servicemembers fault TEPCO for radiation-related illnesses
Stars and Stripes
By Matthew M. Burke
Published: July 15, 2013

SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — Five months after participating in humanitarian operations for the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami that led to nuclear disaster in Japan, Petty Officer 3rd Class Daniel Hair’s body began to betray him.

He had sharp hip pains, constant scabbing in his nose, back pain, memory loss, severe anxiety and a constant high-pitch ringing in his ears as his immune system began to attack his body. The diagnosis, he said, was a genetic immune system disease, which on X-rays looked to have made his hip joint jagged and his spine arthritic. He was put on a host of medications and eventually separated from the Navy job he loved.

Hair believes radiation is the cause. He is among 50 sailors and Marines in a growing lawsuit against Tokyo Electric Power Co., alleging that Japan’s nationalized utility mishandled the meltdown at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant that spewed radiation into the air and water.
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