A Trust Betrayed: The Untold Story of Camp Lejeune and the Poisoning of Generations of Marines and Their Families (Merloyd Lawrence Books/Da Capo Press—a member of the Perseus Books Group) provides the first comprehensive reporting on a story that began in 1941 when the Marine Corps opened a base on the Atlantic shores to practice beach landings for World War II. For the next 40 years, the Marines dumped toxic wastes at numerous locations around the sprawling installation that ended up seeping into the groundwater that provided the base water supplies.
“A meticulous reporter, Magner draws from a bounty of memos and other documents to build a devastating case against a generation of military leaders who ignored or played down the contamination at the base. He adds new insights into the appalling decisions made by Lejeune administrators who were alerted to the contamination but kept the water flowing without alerting residents to the severity of the problem…In writing this book, Magner has done a great service to those Marine families—a service that the Marines failed to provide” Washington Post
It wasn’t until the 1980s that wells containing industrial-strength solvents, benzene from spilled fuel and other hazardous chemicals were tested and taken offline. By that time, harm had been done to many base residents, especially babies exposed to the pollution in the womb, without them ever realizing it. When a federal health study in 1997 estimated that more than 100 children born at Camp Lejeune suffered from cancer or birth defects, victims of the contamination began to demand a full accounting. EIghteen years later, after much stonewalling and obfuscation by the Marine Corps and the Department of the Navy, health studies are continuing, lawsuits are advancing, and many affected parties are still awaiting compensation from the government.
“…this book is the first complete account of what really happened—an adroit mixture of detailed factual reporting and disturbing accounts of the serious health problems suffered by individual Marines and their families.” Publishers Weekly
The website will continue to follow the story of Camp Lejeune, providing updated information on VICTIMS, HEALTH STUDIES, INVESTIGATIONS, VETERANS’ PROGRAMS, LAWSUITS, and LEGISLATION. There is also a NEWS ARCHIVES with links to all the latest stories about the continuing saga.