Tara Craver stood strong with countless others in protest outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs St. Petersburg Regional Office.
The blood red sign that Karle was holding read,
“VA Denies Camp Lejeune Claims!”
Her husband, Karle Craver, had unfortunately passed away two years ago due to esophageal cancer.
Tara is certain that her husband was one of the 14,000 veterans who contracted the deadly disease after being exposed to contaminated water at the North Carolina Marine base.
It was only last week that the VA publicly announced that it was speeding up the process on these claims. It has also claimed that it is changing its policies and will only take cases if they are the result of one of the eight selected diseases issued.
Unfortunately Karle’s cancer does not qualify as one of the eight selected diseases they have handpicked to help.
The diseases include bladder cancer, kidney cancer, adult leukemia, liver cancer, aplastic anemia, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and Parkinson’s disease.
It was last year that the VA completely denied any connection between his cancer and his time spent in uniform at the contaminated base.
The Fight Goes On
Tara is determined to continue fighting for the claim that her husband’s cancer was indeed directly connected to being exposed to contaminated waters at Lejeune. Without proving this, the widow is unable to obtain death and burial benefits that she is due.
“I want the VA to wake up,” Carver said at Monday’s protest.
“We have a responsibility to take care of those who have served our nation and have been exposed to harm as a result of that service,” Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald said in a news release about the new comment period.
“Establishing a presumption for service at Camp Lejeune will make it easier for those veterans to receive the care and benefits they deserve.”