Nearly two years after EnviroReporter.com first found these soldiers’ tombstones sticking out of the ground in a nuclear and chemical toxic site, nothing has changed. The grave markers are disappearing back into the brush. Senator Feinstein’s staff failed to follow up on our January 2008 tip about this illegal dumping of soldiers’ headstones. The VA hasn’t performed its $1 million Phase Two testing of the site which might have found these gravestones emerging out of the hillside.
There may be many more deep in the dirt. EnviroReporter.com has a photograph of what appears to be the very truck dumping the debris the gravestones are in that was taken in 1971. It suggests that there are many more headstones illegally disposed of without being pulverized to be made unrecognizable in respect to deceased soldiers.
When EnviroReporter.com first found these tombstones, we took one of the names off of it and did a little research. It seems that when the soldier died, his wife was still alive. When she passed and was buried with him, a new tombstone for their plot in the Los Angeles National Cemetery was prepared and installed. But for some reason, the VA didn’t see fit to properly dispose of the headstones which is required to respect the soldier and make sure his tombstone, among other things, doesn’t end up in a nuke dump.
If the VA is forced to remove these grave markers and dispose of them legally, they will have to remember that they are located in a site closed because of toxic contamination. Will the VA make sure that their workers are wearing proper outfits and equipment to insure they aren’t exposed to contamination that the VA has so far failed to adequately test for?
If EnviroReporter.com‘s experience investigating the activities of the west LA VA since 2001 are any measure, the answer to that is not certain at all. When the VA had a major weed-whacking endeavor to clear the area of brush in 2006, workers were riding tractor mowers which generated clouds of possibly toxic dust. None of them wore face masks. This time they would have to be excavating in a known dump.
(Click thumbnail to view entire photograph)