LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Veterans spent Friday at Louisville VA Medical Center fighting for health coverage for deadly diseases caused by drinking water at a military base in North Carolina.
The protest comes as thousands of veterans complain of water contamination at Camp Lejeune.
The Department of Veterans Affairs says any vets who served at the Jacksonville, N.C. Marine Corps base could have been in contact with toxic chemicals in the drinking water there between 1953 and 1987. The contaminants have caused cancer and other sicknesses with hundreds of thousands of claims filed in connection to the camp.
One veteran protesting Friday said getting help with the department is a struggle for thousands across the nation.
“What I find worst is how the VA treats you in your claims process,” said Neal Crawford, a veteran. “Taking 7 to 10 years and fighting for it, denied three, four different times. You end up getting a lawyer and having to give up your benefits and part of your back benefits just to get somebody to help you find your case.”
Along with calling for reforms, the veterans said they’re trying to get the word out to other vets who may not know Camp Lejeune’s water was ever contaminated.