A Hero Returns After 65 Years
After 65 years, the remains of PFC Daniel Hunt were brought home on November 30th and interned on December 2nd 2016 at the Arizona National Cemetery. He had suffered being wounded twice in combat in Korea, before he was mortally wounded at the age of 18. After 65 years his remains were found by Korean officials and identified by the United States through the DNA samples from his living brothers. It was with joy and sadness that he was returned to his family, so that he could be laid to rest and his family could share one last moment with him in person.
PFC Hunt was buried with full military honors by the United States Army. His family was presented with his Purple Heart medal along with his flag. Officials from the Korean government also presented PFC Hunt’s family with the Korean War Peace Medal, in recognition of his service and duty during the Korean War. The family was surrounded by many offering their condolences and support in sharing the special moments that they got to say good bye to a Daniel and welcome home. There was a flyover salute performed by 2 separate groups of aircraft to show and pay respect to a Korean War veteran that was long overdue, but not diminished after all these years. There is also a press release from Susan Kee, Korean War Veteran advocate and writer that has the details of PFC Hunt’s journey from Korea to make his way home to be buried.
Susan Kee wrote:
Private First Class Daniel Hunt was killed on September 28, 1951 during combat on Heartbreak Ridge during the Korean War. Private First Class (PFC) Daniel Hunt was a member of A Company, 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, US Army. He was considered missing in action until 1953 then considered killed in action, although his remains were never recovered until recently. Last year, South Korea was conducting recovery of remains and sent some remains to the US for identification. One of these remains was identified to be Private First Class Daniel Hunt. The DPAA (Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency) lab in Hawaii made the DNA match to Daniel’s brothers’ (Charles and John) DNA.
In 1951, PFC Daniel Hunt and his younger brother, John, left for Korea on the same troop ship. Sadly, only John would return and Daniel would be missing in action for 65 years. After Daniel became missing, his older brother, Charles, also went to serve in the Korean War. The Hunt family has made tremendous sacrifices for our country and for South Korea. PFC Daniel Hunt and his family is deserving of our utmost gratitude and respect. This is a rare opportunity for Arizona to welcome this hero home after so many years. The family of PFC Daniel Hunt expresses their desire for all MIA families, to never lose hope. In this spirit, they would like to invite everyone to join them in the homecoming and funeral of PFC Daniel Hunt.
POISONED PATRIOTS OF FORT McCLELLAN
SURVIVING FORT McCLELLAN…OR DID THEY?
by Elizabeth R. Dilts
In dramatic war movies, there is frequently a scene in which a soldier fights valiantly in a firefight, gets back to safety with his buddies, and then sadly realizes that he received a fatal wound at the beginning of the battle and just didn’t know it.
Such is the plight of every man, woman and child that ever set foot on Fort McClellan between 1935 and 1999. Each of these people was exposed to a dangerous soup of deadly, toxic chemicals and radiation. They were unknowingly “wounded” when they arrived at Fort McClellan and only time will tell the extent and severity of those injuries. As the years go by, more and more people who lived or worked at Fort McClellan realize that they were injured by toxic exposure long ago, some of them mortally and just never knew it.
The chemical and radiation exposure suffered by these people causes a wide variety of diseases to include cancer, endocrine disorders, autoimmune diseases, blood disorders, parathyroid tumors, thyroid disease, uterine and ovary growth necessitating hysterectomies, neurological problems, diabetes, and undiagnosed illnesses of “unknown origin”. That term is particularly interesting since the reason the origin is unknown to the sick and dying is that the government is refusing to inform the veterans of their exposure to dangerous toxins even though the facts are proven by the government’s own studies.
Worse yet, many veterans are denied treatment by the V.A. for the very diseases their exposure at Fort McClellan caused.
Fort McClellan was so contaminated that the combination of these toxins has never before been seen in history. How bad was the exposure? Fort McClellan had radiation levels that exceeded the acceptable limits of Sr90, Co-60, and Cs137, and not by small amounts. The Co-60 alone “was more than 7 million times” the allowable limit for public use until January 1985 when the military finally “located” the “lost” isotope that had been there for years and recovered it. Take a moment to think about that. Ft. McClellan mishandled military radiation and a search had to be conducted to find it years later. The “unlocated” radiation resulted in Fort McClellan having Co-60 in unrestricted areas at SEVEN MILLION TIMES the allowable level for public use and the veterans, and their families were exposed to this for years. Upon this fact coming to light, the military did not notify the veterans and their families of their exposure nor did they provide medical testing or decontamination procedures. Instead, the government decided to do something entirely different: “ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.”
In April, 1997, even after years of remediation and removing truckloads of contaminated soil, concrete, and other material the “highest soil surface sample Co-60 activity result…was…41 times the release criteria” and the highest surface soil sample of Cs137 activity was still 11 times the release criteria. The government’s own studies state that after a minimum of 12 years of cleanup and decontamination of Fort McClellan, the dangerous radiation of Co60 and Cs137 were still well above acceptable release criteria for public use. Yet, if you were at the base during any of that time, you would have heard the call of cadence in the distance as soldiers ran by in formation, and children playing outside, because no one told these soldiers or their families about the dangerous radiation or toxins in the water, air and soil.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission became actively involved in December 2012 and found that the military possessed radioactive substances in excess of that allowed by their licenses (because some got lost, and some got buried). The U.S. Army
was cited for three (3) violations regarding mishandling radioactive material. In one instance, the military was found to have literally buried a radioactive isotope in a dirt mound in an unrestricted area.
The veterans and their families who have yet to even be told they were exposed to these toxins have never been given medical tests or afforded treatment for any exposure. The unholy trinity of radiation was just the beginning for these veterans though, because the water was also severely contaminated at an unprecedented level.
There were numerous isolated incidents of water contamination at Fort McClellan such as in November, 1984 when Boiler Plant #2 discharged 500 gallons of post alkaline post boil solution into Cane Creek creating a pH range of 10.9-12.0 and killing all of the fish for at least 1.5 miles downstream. Interestingly, this was the same area where the Military Police School would bivouac during training, to include filling canteens and washing off in the stream. Once again, no warnings were issued for the veterans who interacted with this stream during a clearly peak toxic time. There were also long term contamination’s such as those caused by Monsanto.
Since Monsanto had been causing the water, air and soil to become toxic for decades with improper disposal of chemicals and PCBs, the residents of Fort McClellan and the town of Anniston had even more unknown exposure to additional toxins. The exposure
to those toxins began in the 1960s and continue to be “remediated” even today. In an ironic twist of fate, Fort McClellan did stop using some of its own contaminated wells and switched to City of Anniston water which ironically was polluted with toxins so potent that they had one of the highest childhood cancer rates in America and the area was named by “60 Minutes” as one of the most toxic places in the country.
As a result of decades of hiding that toxic environmental impact, and the deadly impact on the citizens in the community, a lawsuit was filed against Monsanto, securing a 700 million dollar judgment for the citizens of Anniston, but excluding the veterans,
DOD workers, and their families. It was presumed that the Military would notify the veterans and take care of their own people. Clearly, to date no notifications have been made. It is simply inhumane and unconscionable that our government is refusing to advise these veterans of their exposure or to render medical treatment when they know from their own studies that the illnesses from which the veterans suffer were caused by their toxic exposure at Fort McClellan.
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71st Anniversary of The Battle of Midway
Looking back at special moments of the year 2013 in Arizona.
The 71st anniversary of, The Battle of Midway remembrance ceremony at the Arizona Capitol Museum in Phoenix. These are the pictures captured during the ceremony as well as some of the slides that were shown during the ceremony at the capitol museum. Some of the special guests at the event were attendees from the Navy, Admiral James Symonds, USN (ret), Captain Mike Dewitt, Commander NOSC Phoenix, Representative from the Navy Recruiting District – Phoenix, as well as Secretary of State Ken Bennett. One of the more special attendees was Jack Holder, who was both a Pearl Harbor Survivor and fought in the Battle of Midway. The cadets from US Naval Sea Cadet Units of Phoenix were also in attendance.
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WORLD WAR II SALUTE THE FALLEN – Marion Cartland
The memorial features the gun barrels pointing toward downtown along W. Washington Street, with the mounting of a series of nine steel beams standing upright between them, bearing the names of the more than 2,000 Arizonans who died in World War II. The memorial is located between the anchor and mast from the USS Arizona, with the Arizona’s gun representing the beginning of the war and the Missouri’s gun representing the war’s end.The hard work of many volunteers and organizations were critical in making the event a reality. The project was funded and supported by donations from private parties and companies desiring to ensure the history of Arizona.
The Secretary of State Ken Bennett spent many hours of his personal time to support this effort in the memory of our Word War II veterans and Arizona history. Mr. Bennett was also putting in his own sweat equity at many events during the process of getting the guns prepared, moved and dedicated.On Saturday December 7th, 2013, the World War II memorial with the guns from the USS Arizona and USS Missouri were officially dedicated, in the presence of veterans from World War II to the current conflict in the Middle East. The crowds numbered in the thousands that heard the words and speeches from the and supporters that helped to commemorate the awe inspiring memorial. The importance of the 2 barrels selected for the event were chosen to reflect the beginning and ending of World War II. The 14 inch gun from the battleship USS Arizona which was selected to identify that faithful day December 7th, 1941 in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The 16 inch gun from the battleship USS Missouri that represented the end of World War II, with the unconditional surrender of Japan on September 2nd, 1945. The two guns will stand as testament to those who fell in support for the country during World War II in service to their country .One of the highlights of the commemoration was the flyover of the B-17 “Sentimental Journey” of the CAF Airbase Arizona, based at Falcon Field. In support of the event as well, the CAF provided eight tickets for flights on the B-17, the drawing was sponsored by the Phoenix Rotary 100, to raise public awareness of the commemoration and dedication event.