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Burned by Water: The USS Nimitz CVN-68 Fuel Contamination Fall-Out
Are Sick Sailors Being Silenced?
It was brought to my attention by a fellow Navy Veteran that there are sailors stationed aboard the USS Nimitz (CVN-68) who are having difficulty getting treatment and recognition that they may have been negatively impacted by the recent JP-5 (Jet Fuel) contamination in the ship’s potable water system.
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Sailors had been drinking, showering, washing their hands, and eating food cooked in this Water/Fuel mix; for anyone with a functioning brain, it’s clear that this is not a good thing. While I’m 100% aware that the military is not where you go to get a top-quality OSHA-approved working environment, you’re also not expected to accept poisoning without question.
Each screenshot message within this piece comes directly from a sailor currently onboard the Nimitz, identity protected for obvious reasons.
We’ve seen these types of issues play out in the military since its formation; once again, our fighting men and women who volunteered to serve our country are being told to “suck it up” and deal with the fallout; that’s what they signed up for…
I’d normally agree with the do your fucking job approach, but that’s relegated to the context of not getting enough sleep, temperature too high/low, or stress - but a poisoned environment?
Military Personnel Are More Than Cannon Fodder
We’ve seen the military treated like shit for decades, and those who’ve honorably served have to fight tooth and nail for treatment and recognition that the environment our government placed them in resulted in lifelong illness and pains.
When you join the military, you sign a contract, and that contract goes two ways:
You say you are willing to give everything, up to your life, in defense of your country and in the performance of your duties.
The country promises to take care of you if you leave the service in a worse condition than you entered.
This is why the military offers “Disability Compensation” for exiting service members; young men and women are leaving the military in broken conditions, and the only way to recruit more bodies is to ensure those signing up that if they’re going to be crippled, at least they’ll be able to have some healthcare.
I am a 60% disabled Veteran; when I left the Navy after 8 years, I suffered (still suffer) from major hearing loss/tinnitus in my left ear; daily pain and permanent loss of my original range of motion in my shoulder, which occurred due to a total shoulder reconstruction surgery after injuries sustained on deployment were repeatedly ignored, and on top of this, my back is all sorts of fucked up…
That is nothing compared to what the government has done to many who came before me:
These are just to name a few, but there’s a host of issues that plague veterans, and they are in legal battles for years, oftentimes dying before the case is made and their benefits can be claimed; but when the Veteran has died, what’s the point?
This brings up the question and my frustration, are these events delayed to “wait out” the sailor’s issues? Is leadership on the Nimitz looking to brush this under the rug to make it through COMPTUEX (Sea Trials) so they can meet their deployment schedule, and nobody can claim medical reports for the side effects experienced here? Because at the end of the day, this shit does matter as it sets a precedence for those who follow, and while the current generation may not get the coverage they deserve, those who follow years later will have a clear path laid out towards the protection of their health.
It’s “Just a little Water”, right?
Read about the Water Contamination in Camp Lejeune; it’s no joke what this stuff can do to you.
Our service members deserve better, and again, this is a War-Ship we’re talking about, and it’s not that this happened which bothers me; it’s the dismissal and expected acceptance that this can happen without taking care of those who may be suffering medical pains later in life because of it.
These messages right here capture my issue with this…
Our sailors, servicemen, and fellow countrymen deserve better - so do their superiors…
The men and women who sign on that dotted line are ready to die for their country, but they didn’t sign up to die a slow death without care for their country because someone made a mistake, and their leaders were afraid of the blowback that would stem from a series of medical reports filed.
Mistakes happen; we need to take some of the pressure off the top dogs who think any mistake will lead to termination.
Thinking any admission of an accident will lead to the end of your career is not a healthy environment for anyone, and it for damn sure is not going to groom men and women to become the best they can be for themselves, their mission, or their people. The CO, XO, CMC, and entire Officer Wardroom and Chief’s Mess should be rallying together to make sure this is taken care of and handled so that anyone negatively impacted knows how to file a claim, get wounds treated, and proof/awareness of how the issue was solved needs to be relayed to the E-6 and below wondering what the hell is going on?
This piece and the screenshots shared from those with literal “boots on the ground (deckplates to be more accurate)” were all brought across my desk by a fellow Navy Veteran. If you’d like to continue the conversation or want to reach out to (the other Zach), you can reach him on his Twitter account above or by leaving a comment below.
- Zac Small
UPDATE: Since beginning this piece, I have received word that the Navy has indeed reached out to the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center. It appears as though the voices are no longer being silenced, and what could have been a simple mistake and correction has turned into a “thing” that I hope results in future focus on truth, transparency, and what’s best for the crew as opposed to what’s best for the Navy’s bottom dollar or reputation.
PSS: LATEST UPDATE 26 Sep 639pm