Takai introduces bill to help atomic veterans

Photo: Ken Kasik

An Always Investigating report has helped prompt legislation in Congress to make a change to help some long forgotten veterans.

KHON2 reported earlier this year about thousands of veterans who helped clean up radioactive debris in the Marshall Islands, but have not been able to get health benefits and compensation for their radioactive exposure.

That elicited a promise from Hawaii Congressman Mark Takai that he’d push Veterans Affairs to include the clean-up crew. He introduced legislation to make it happen.

“If they cannot and they refuse, then it becomes Congress’s job, my job, to push forward this on our side,” said Takai.

Takai’s measure aims to fix the law that currently only covers veterans of 1940s and ’50s atomic testing, and at Japan’s two nuclear bomb sites.

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