Veterans awaiting compensation after being exposed to toxic water at Camp Lejeune

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — Thousands of veterans are still awaiting compensation after being exposed to toxic water while stationed at Camp Lejeune.

Last year, the PACT Act was passed after it was discovered that the drinking water at Camp Lejeune was contaminated with a number of highly toxic cancer-causing chemicals.

Since then, veterans across the county said they have filed thousands of claims but have seen very little progress being made.

Channel 9′s Glenn Counts spoke with The Montfort Point Marine Association, a local group that is heading up that effort.

Veteran Rodney Richardson said he served as a Marine in the first Gulf War and was stationed a Camp Lejeune for around four years.

“I needed the discipline and so that’s why I wanted to join, I wanted to be a part of what I thought and still believe to be an elite crew,” Richardson explained.

However, Richardson said his health has begun to get worse with each passing year and he’s worried that time is running out.

“Right now, they are looking at me for probable bladder cancer. I just had Xrays to look at my kidneys because I have stage 3 kidney failure,” Richardson told Channel 9. “You had a lot of young men and women who took an oath to protect this country. And in return, we want this country to turn around and take care of us now.”

Annie Black said her husband, Buford Black, died in 2014 at the age of 64. He served also served in the Marines and was also stationed a Camp Lejeune for around four years.

“It was esophageal cancer and kidney disease,” Black explained. “When he actually found out what was going on. It was shortly after that he passed away.”

North Carolina Senators Ted Budd and Thom Tillis have called on the Navy to explain why it’s taking so long to process the claims.

Attorney Kevin Edwards, who has been representing veterans and their families seeking compensation said what he’s been hearing so far has not been encouraging.

“Most of their emails are telling us they do not have the manning. Or they do not have the resources to get through these as quickly as we need to get through them.”

VIDEO: Area vets stationed at Camp Lejeune seek reparations for toxic water exposure