JASPER COUNTY, Mo. — It’s been decades since the US entered the Nuclear Age, but a southwest Missouri lawmaker says it’s never too late to recognize the sacrifice made through the Atomic Program.
State Representative Bob Bromley of Carl Junction is part of an effort that’s underway to recognize the military veterans associated with the US Atomic Program.
“I think every time we get the opportunity to thank them we should. Because once they’re gone, they’re gone,” said Jim Beeler, military supporter.
Jim Beeler says it’s important to thank any vet for their service, and today, especially those who were a part of the US Atomic Program.
“It’s nice to see someone recognize that.”
State Rep. Bob Bromley is sponsoring House Bill 1652 which would designate a section of Highway 171 as “Atomic Veterans Memorial Highway.” Bromley says it’s important to recognize the role these veterans played in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, and the potential toll to their health after being exposed to radiation.
“There were 23 different types of cancers that develop with a lot of these veterans. And they were not eligible with their medical records and everything to get compensation,” said MO Rep. Bob Bromley, R.
Often tied to the top secret nature of the work. It took decades to change that.
“Some of them did not get compensated for their cancers and different things that was caused by this exposure to radiation ’til the mid 90s. And so it’s just very important to understand the sacrifice and the contribution that all these veterans made.”
The bill has already gone before the Veterans Committee and is expected to see an initial vote this week. Missouri is just one of a list of states considering this measure to recognize Atomic Veterans.