Last year, 2018, I was diagnosed with MDS-RS-SLD, a fairly rare kind of bone marrow cancer that inhibits normal red blood cell development and presents as anemia in routine blood tests. It was confirmed following a bone marrow biopsy at Mayo Clinic. So far I’m relatively asymptomatic although the condition apparently has been simmering along for at least several years. I’ll be okay, at least for the time being, and generally feel fine with no physical limitations or special medications. I mention it because it’s one of the illnesses that can be related to the contaminated water supply in the MCAS New River-Camp Lejeune base complex during the years we were based there and you guys should be aware of it. If your doctor ever says “anemia” be sure and mention the New River-Lejeune connection, since civilian doctors may never have heard of it. Like Agent Orange and a few other nasties, the presumptive link has already been established and the VA will provide health and compensation benefits to those with the diagnosed condition based on the severity of symptoms. You should only have to document your condition and your service in the area during the affected time frame. An internet search of “mds-rs-sld lejeune” will produce links to more information. I suggest starting at https://www.va.gov/disability/eligibility/hazardous-materials-exposure/camp-lejeune-water-contamination/. Semper Fi!
Note from Webmaster: The author is a Marine who locked on with us at New River and went over with us on USS Boxer. He wishes to remain anonymous online but will correspond with anyone who feels the need for more information. Just contact the Webmaster.