William L. Collins

I was stationed at George A.F.B. from 1973 to 1977. I was at the FMS Squadron. The last year I was transferred to the Wheel and Tire Shop. They brought in a large Trichlorethylene tank in order to clean wheel bearings that came off the wheels of the F-4. We would lower the bearings into this large. 5 x 4 x 7-foot long tank. The Trichloroethylene would be heated to a steam and we would spray down the bearings. We would let them sit in the steam for about 20 minutes…then we would raise the grate out of the tank and….presto…clean as a whistle. We were never taught how to handle the bearings…..never given instructions regarding a respirator. Well….after I got out I came down with Diabetes. I have struggled with the Disease for 30 years now. Recently I filed a claim with my local VA Benefits Office in Klamath Falls. They responded by saying there is no record of the tank being brought in. And if I was going to have a problem with the exposure to Trichloroethylene….it would have manifested itself within the first year. Really???

Anyway…these articles may help with my claim. Maybe…..any thoughts or opinions on this? By the way….we were directed by my Superiors to drive the 55-gallon drums filled with used Trichlorethylene out to the edge of the Base landfill….there we were told to just dump the fluid out.

No wonder it is on a Superfund list.

I am not a doctor or attorney, and cannot give medical advice or legal advice.

If you, a friend, or loved one has been injured or died as a result of the contamination at a DOD Superfund Site please follow the steps that are outlined at Get Help.

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