I’m Congressman Matt Cartwright and I am the author of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. I’m thrilled that it’s just on the precipice of being passed out of the Senate, and go over to the White House for signature by the President, to benefit our service members, who suffered, for stepping up to the plate and defending the liberties of all of the rest of us.
Jerry Parker introduced me to this whole problem for the Marines, that they’re not able to have their day in court for being poisoned by the well water at Camp Lejeune, water that was horribly poisoned for so long. 1953 into 1987, for two generations of Marines. And it wasn’t just the Marines, it was the Marine families that were on base housing, it was the employees at Camp Lejeune over that whole length of time. These folks, all of them, the Marines, the families, the employees, they came down with horrendous diseases because of what was in the well water, volatile organic compounds, VOCs.
And they measured this stuff. At some point during that period, there was 3,400 times the maximum safe amount of these things in the water at Camp Lejeune.
It’s a horror story. It’s just a horrendous situation and a national disgrace.
And when Jerry Parker alerted me to this, I dove right in. It’s going to be wonderful because it’s a victory for justice in the United States. I owe Jerry Parker a great debt of gratitude for introducing me to this problem, and I’m happy that he’s going to have a hand in bringing these cases to justice.
Jerry Parker feels the same way, and it’s no surprise that he would get involved in something as hard as the Camp Lejeune Justice Act and these cases. We say of things that are really hard, what does it take, an act of Congress? Yes, this is an act of Congress, and it’s called the Camp Lejeune Justice Act.
I am overjoyed to have been a part of this, and I’m so glad that I got to know Jerry Parker in the effort. We’re very much kindred spirits, in liking to take hard things on and figuring out a path to victory.
Passing the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, we expect it to be signed into law very shortly. It’s just the start. I mean, it’s the end of my work, but it’s just the start for all of the families and all of the legal teams that have to get put together, and folks like Jerry Parker and Parker Waichman, they’re at the point now where they really have to roll up their sleeves and take these cases in front of the court and win them.