A retired marine who lost his daughter to a rare form of cancer testified Wednesday before a congressional committee once again.
Jerry Ensminger, of Onslow County, testified at the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs Wednesday morning. The committee is considering legislation that would pay for health care for marines and their families affected by tainted tap water.
Democratic Senator Kay Hagan has co-sponsored a bill to open access to VA health care for veterans and family members who developed health problems from the water. She says it's time people like Ensminger get the answers they've been looking for. "It's critically important that these men and women have served our country, they've put their lives on the line for us, we need to get their questions answered. We need to be sure that the illnesses they are contracting now that they get the help they so deserve."
Hagan co-sponsored the "Caring for Camp Lejeune Veterans Act" with Republican Senator Richard Burr. If the committee approves the act It will be presented for debate on the Senate floor.
Ensminger says contaminated tap water aboard Camp Lejeune in the 1980s is responsible for the 1985 death of his 9-year-old daughter, Janey.
As many as one million people may have been exposed to the water, and thousands believe the poisons caused illnesses that they or their family members suffer.
This is at least Ensminger's third trip to Capitol Hill. WITN went to Washington D.C. to cover Ensminger's testimony in 2004.