Read the full article by Garret Ellison (MLive)
“EAST LANSING, MI — To say contamination at the former Wurtsmith Air Force base has harmed Craig Minor and his family would be putting it mildly.
Minor, a retired lieutenant colonel, lived with his wife, Carrie, in Oscoda in the mid-1980s, when base drinking water came from on-site groundwater wells.
Then, in 1989, their son, Mitchell, was born with severe cerebral palsy and microcephaly. Mitchell eventually died in 2020 at age 30. Carrie later suffered miscarriages. Craig has had tumors removed from his back and been hospitalized for unidentifiable prostate issues. His liver and spleen are enlarged and his kidneys are low-functioning.
In 2019, Craig’s blood was tested and the levels of toxic PFAS were elevated. In particular, the amount of PFHxS, a signature component of PFAS-based firefighting foam used by the military and airports, was nearly 20 times the national average.
‘This is just the beginning of the list,’ said Minor, who testified Monday, Aug. 1, during a U.S. Senate homeland security and government affairs committee field hearing in East Lansing, which was convened by Sen. Gary Peters, a Democrat from Michigan and the committee chair.
Minor urged the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DOD) to acknowledge how severely PFAS pollution has harmed veterans and provide presumptive health care and disability benefits to PFAS-exposed veterans at home as is being done for veterans exposed to toxic burn pits overseas.
‘I know we’re all looking forward,’ said Minor. ‘I know that we’re talking about this being in fish and all that kind of stuff. But we’ve got to turn around and look back at what’s left over from that tsunami; and that’s actually people that are devastated and having difficulty — the ones that are still alive — getting through life.'” …