National Guard hears ‘heartbreaking’ cancer stories
Sea Coastline Daily
By Jeff McMenemy
Posted Dec 7, 2018
PORTSMOUTH -- More than 200 people who turned out for a meeting at the 157th Air Refueling Wing heard story after story about guardsmen who died from cancer or suffered with other health ailments after serving at the Pease Air National Guard base.
Col. John W. Pogorek, wing commander of Pease Air National Guard base. (Photo Rich Beauchesne Seacoastonlin)The guard hosted a “listening session” Friday afternoon to hear the health concerns of retirees, their widows and families, along with active duty guardsmen.
Led by Doris Brock, who lost her husband Kendall Brock, a 35-year member of the guard who died in June 2017 from bladder and prostate cancer, a group of widows and retirees have pushed the Air Force to conduct a health study because of what they believe is an unusually high number of cancers at the base.
Brock reminded the people in attendance that it took 35 years before the Veterans Administration sought presumptive disability status for veterans who served at Camp Lejeune, a Marine Corps base in North Carolina with acknowledged water contamination.
“I don’t want to wait that long for us. It has to be faster,” Brock said. “We’ve lost a lot of good people.”
She believes her husband’s exposure to 12 different chemicals on the base known to be carcinogens - along with drinking contaminated water at the former air base - caused his cancer.
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