Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Getty/Library of Congress/CDC
“My dad was a Purple Heart at 19 years old. In Korea, he got shot and he survived,” Michael Kirby said, choking back tears. “The Korean War didn’t kill him, but the government did.”
For just over a year in the late 1950s, Kirby, a 64-year-old Colorado-based stockbroker, lived on the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina with his parents, Sgt. Gerald “Red” Francis Kirby and Shirley Kirby, along with his four siblings.
It was there that the Kirbys were exposed to drinking water that the U.S. government now acknowledges as having contained dangerous chemicals—in some areas, hundreds of times the level allowed under safety regulations would allow—that may have caused serious medical conditions in military members and their families.
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