Nuclear Fallout: The vets who went back
August 22, 2023
The people of the Marshall Islands suffered significant harm from explosions and fallout from the 67 atomic tests carried out there by the US during the Cold War. So did the US military personnel who witnessed the tests. But what of US soldiers who were sent back to “clean up” the radioactive contamination left behind? A new 20-minute film — Nuclear Fallout, directed by George Steptoe — tells their story. Never classified as “atomic veterans” like those who witnessed the tests, the “cleanup” soldiers were denied health benefits from the Veterans Administration even as they suffered a devastating death toll and numerous cancers and other illnesses related to radiation exposure. The film follows two vets and their protracted campaign on Capitol Hill to achieve justice.
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