Nuclear Radiation Secrecy Agreement Act
The U.S. government has officially acknowledged and apologized for not adequately informing soldiers who rehabilitated nuclear facilities and using them as human subjects in atmospheric tests. However, many nuclear veterans today feel neglected and ignored and are still struggling for recognition. Frank Farmer commented sardonically: “There is a big joke among nuclear veterans. [The government] will wait until we get tired of dying, and then pay compensation to the few of us who remain.  “Some of them get up there with age, and many of them have died from their radiation exposures,” McGovern said. “It would be nice to pay tribute to them while they are still alive.” Rex Montgomery was present at the Hood test in Nevada, where a 74-kilogram thermonuclear device exploded. He recalled that he and the other men on his train were only equipped with their usual vests, weapons, helmets and a gas mask. You have received only rudimentary instructions: crouch, put your back against the explosion, bend their heads and cover their eyes. In addition, they were not informed of what would happen during the test.
Only the soldiers they had seen before knew what was going to happen. According to the DTRA website, during World War II, thousands of soldiers participated in the secret nuclear bomb-building program – the same project on which DTRA goes back to its roots — known as the Manhattan Project. Thousands more were part of the American occupation of Japan just after the dropping of two nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the unconditional surrender of Japan. After the end of the war, through decades of the Cold War, many more troops participated in atmospheric and underground nuclear weapons tests. The National Association of Delisting Survivors filed a complaint in 1983. The veterans` group said VA veterans serving Hiroshima and Nagasaki and those present during atmospheric atomic tests were denying benefits. The group also attempted to overturn an 1864 law that provided that lawyers representing veterans could not charge fees of more than $10.  Joanna M. Miller, “`Atomic Veterans` Get More Attention, Help: Radiation: People who witnessed nuclear bomb tests while in the military could benefit from a bill expected to come to a Senate vote soon,” LA Times, published September 16, 1991, www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1991-09-16-me-1633-story.html.