David Goodman - Staff Sergeant, Military Police, U.S. Army
David Goodman, an Army Airborne Staff Sergeant, was stationed at Fort McClellan from December 1983 until May 1984 for Basic Training and Military Police training. He is experiencing degenerative disk disease, osteo-arthritis, and hypertension that he connects to Agent Orange, radiation and other toxins he was exposed at Fort McClellan. When at Fort McClellan, David saw stacks of corroded and rusty barrels stored in the woods on base. Two of David's friends from Basic Training recently died as a result of heart problems and at least 6 of 20 of his Ft McClellan friends are experiencing health issues that they believe are connected to exposure to toxins from their time at the northern Alabama Army installation.
David is currently very active in working with his Congressman, Raul Grijalva-D, Arizona 3rd congressional district, to get legislation - Health Registry Act (HR 3666) - passed in the U.S. House of Representatives. If legislation is passed by the House and Senate, the resulting registry would officially notify veterans who were stationed at Fort McClellan of their potential exposure to toxic substances known to be present on the Army installation, and the possible connected symptoms and/or illnesses. The registry would also create an official list of veterans who report related illnesses and symptoms. This could then lead to service connected disability ratings from the Veterans Administration for affected veterans. "From there, things can start rolling," David says. He also hopes for Fort McClellan veterans to be included in Presumptive Status 38 CFR 3.307 for herbicide exposure, which covers Vietnam Veterans exposed to herbicides like Agent Orange. "It was the same exact stuff, it didn't just come from nowhere, it didn't just magically appear in Vietnam. They had to store it somewhere, they had to manufacture it somewhere. They had to train with it, they had to become proficient, and that didn't happen in Vietnam. It had to happen somewhere and that place was Fort McClellan."
Listen to part of David's story, in his own words, in the audio file above.