Girard Frank Bolton, III
Enewetak Atoll Atomic Cleanup Mission Veteran
Enewetak Atoll Atomic Cleanup Veterans
I was a two tour participant in the 1977-1980 Enewetak Atoll Atomic Cleanup Mission while serving in the U.S. Army as a Combat Draftsman. My 1st tour was with the Advanced Party beginning in mid-1977 for 5-1/2 months. The Advanced Party was tasked with clearing vegetation from radioactive islands and building the Lojwa Island Base Camp.
My main duties involved preparing construction documents for the Lojwa Base Camp and Battalion Mail deliveries. My 2nd tour was during the cleanup phase of the mission beginning in 1978 and ending in 1979 for 8-1/2 months. My duties with S-3 (Operations) in Headquarters Company, 84th Engineer Battalion included preparing construction documents for the Radiation Debris Containment Structure on Runit Island, also known as Cactus Dome by Joint Task Force 7, and The Tomb by the dri-Enewetak people.
I worked closely with officers on scheduling work to be performed, keeping JTF7 updated with man hours, equipment hours, and volume of radioactive contaminated soils and debris relocated to Cactus Crater & various lagoon disposal sites. I am one of the three founding members of the Enewetak Atoll Cleanup Project Vets Facebook Group. As of the end of 2020, the group has increased its membership to over 1,100 members consisting of participants and family members.
In 2014, I created the AtomicCleanupVets.com website to increase public exposure, find more mission participants, and share information. As of the end of 2020, the website’s Survivors Roster lists over 700 of the 8,033 participants from the Enewetak Atoll Atomic Cleanup Mission.
The website reconnects, on an average, about three to seven Survivors every month from our 40 year old mission. The current focus of the Enewetak Atoll Atomic Cleanup Mission Survivors is to encourage the U.S. Legislature to change the laws to provide government sponsored healthcare assistance currently not allowed for the consequences of the mission.
When I ended my four year enlistment contract in 1980, I returned to civilian life and began my Architectural, Engineering and Construction career in the private sector. In 1991, I added Sales and Marketing to my career focus. In 2008, I added Internet Social Networking to my experiences. I believe those skill sets have been instrumental in finding Mission Participants and increasing public exposure about the mission and its health care consequences. I feel honored to have been asked to join the Advisory Board of the Children of Atomic Veterans organization.
The health consequences of the Cold War Radiation Tests and so called Cleanup Missions have proven to be a seemingly neglected situation on a worldwide scale. Many participants of these missions have experienced health challenges, as well as some of their family members. Scientific studies have proven up to seven generations can be affected by radiation exposure, not just the ones who were exposed.
Girard Frank Bolton, III. lives with his wife in Mobile Alabama in the United States. They have two daughters and four grandchildren. Bolton suffers from several digestive tract (Barrett’s Esophagus, Acid Reflux and Diverticular) health challenges. His children have not suffered any obvious health challenges that might be associated with the cleanup mission.