Bill would honor veterans of nuclear weapons testing era

The tests put the veterans in hazardous areas

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern and U.S. Sen. Edward Markey are pushing a bill meant to honor veterans who took part in nuclear weapons testing.

The bill would authorize the award of a military service medal to members of the Armed Forces exposed to ionizing radiation after participating in the testing of nuclear weapons or under other circumstances.

Supporters say between 1945 and 1962, about 225,000 members of the Armed Forces participated in hundreds of nuclear weapons tests and became known as Atomic Veterans.

The tests put the veterans in hazardous areas and exposed them to radiation as part of their duties. Many suffered from radiation-related diseases and other health issues. They were also sworn to secrecy.

Fellow Massachusetts Democratic Reps. Katherine Clark and Seth Moulton are among the bill’s co-sponsors.

___

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s