Invisible Enemies by John Bankston

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About the Book After suffering with indescribable horrifying health conditions from exposure to ionizing radiation for 57 years, I was driven to expose the effects of this illness and show what a total displeasure it has been to go through life while suffering by degrees from such a horrible sickness. And because America's Atomic War Veterans in general have been living with ionized radiation exposure, some of which are suffering more than others and because many thousands gave their lives to Atomic rediation, I decided to share my personal experience in the form of a book. The bulk of the text of this book is committed to memory and recalling conversations with comrades that I served with in World War II and afterward. Some additional knowledge that I gained was from various sources of information showing the dangers of being exposed to radiation and other chemicals. The history of the Second Marine Division and the battles they fought are portrayed in official records and in Division books. Primarily, it is my desire to express how discomforting life can be when exposed to deadly chemicals and the hardships brought upon the families of those who suffered from this exposure. Additionally, this is being written to show that most of us served willingly when called upon to protect our country, only to be forsaken by our government who foolishly ignored our pleas for help when we were suffering from Atomic fallout. We at the time were not aware of our invisilbe enemies. Atomic Veterans are the ones referred to as the ones that glow in the dark and we are the ones who seek no special favor-simply justice. We are the ones who received little or nothing for our injuries and sacrifices while serving our country. A scant few received very little for horrid infirmities inflicted voluntarily by our inhumane category with obvious approval by the White House and other high level Government officials working against all principles of civilization, casting their devious immortalities on America's military. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- About the Author John D. Bankston, as a young Marine served proudly for six and one half years in the USMC, serving twice in the 2nd Marine Division and once in the First Marine Division. He served two years during WWII in the South Pacific and in the Occupation of Japan in the cities of Nagasaki, Sasebo, and Fukuoka during the first 2nd Marine Division tour of duty. During his tenure with the First Marine Division he served on the island of Guam in the South Pacific and as a China Marine; in his third tour of duty he served with the 2nd Marine Division for the second time during the Korean Era. Bankston has a lifetime membership with the Marine Corps League, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, and is a member of the National Association of Atomic Veterans, the American Legion, and is an Honorary Member of the Korean War Veterans. Some of the medals awarded to Ssgt. Bankston were the Good Conduct Medal-GDCOM; Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon-NMOSR; Navy Presidential Unit Citation with star-NPUC; Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal-APCM; Combat Ribbon-CAR; WWII Medal; Navy Occupation Medal; China Service Medal. "Your Struggles are history, but not a thing of the past. It's timeless, poignanat, current, and not something to be swept under the rug or taken lightly. Semper Fi!" Kenneth F. Rogers, son of Frank M. Rogers Combat photographer WWII. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sample Excerpts PREFACE After suffering with indescribable horrifying health conditions from exposure to ionizing radiation for 57 years, I was driven to expose the effects of this illness and to show what a total displeasure it has been to go through life while suffering by degrees from such a horrible sickness. And because America's Atomic War Veterans in general have been living with ionized radiation exposure, some of which are suffering more than others and because many thousands gave their lives to Atomic radiation, I decided to share my personal experience in the form of a book. The bulk of the text of this book is committed to memory and recalling conversations with comrades that I served with in World War II and afterward. Some additional knowledge that I gained was from various sources of information showing the dangers of being exposed to radiation and other chemicals. The history of the Second Marine Division and the battles they fought are portrayed in historical archives, and Second Marine Division books. Primarily, it is my desire to express how discomforting life can be when exposed to deadly chemicals and the hardships brought upon the families of those who suffer from this exposure. Additionally, this is being written to show that most of us served willingly when called upon to protect our country, performing our assigned tasks with pride and honor, only to be forsaken by our own government who foolishly ignored our pleas for help when we were suffering from Atomic fallout. We at that time were not aware of our invisible enemies. Atomic Veterans are the ones referred to as the ones that glow in the dark and we are the ones who seek no special favor-simply justice. We are the ones who received little or nothing for our injuries and sacrifices while serving our country. A scant few received very little for horrid infirmities inflicted voluntarily by our invisible enemies. Our invisible enemies put us in an inhumane category with obvious approval by the White House and other high level Governmental bodies working against all principles of civilization, casting their devious immoralities on America's military. It cannot be overstated that it is time for these wrongs to be righted with acknowledgements and compensation for our suffering every second of our lives without justification. Also, there is a need for special legislation to prevent these atrocious acts from ever happening again. Every person who had any responsibilities or assisted in any way in keeping secret the dangers of ionizing radiation from Atomic Veterans should be made accountable publicly. By not exposing those responsible will further erode confidence in our Government and our leaders. It cannot be argued against that to have a strong nation the public must be informed. I sincerely wish it to be understood that I still love my nation as strongly as always. However, I highly disagree with some of the foolish decisions interjected by the shortsighted disingenuous American leaders who approved researchers' requests for human torture in the testing of what the long term effect radiation exposure would have on those who were exposed. *************************************************** EPILOGUE Wars not only cause physical damage to humans and structural loss, but they are destructive environmentally to all natural resources from the outer regions of the Universe down to the infauna that burrow in the substrates of the ocean's floor. I fully understand wars are necessary when your sovereignty is in jeopardy or your homeland is attacked without provocation. The masses are the ones who contribute most in sacrificing for the world-shaking inane leaders who are always embellished with elaborative additions in time of peace and war. When nations are gifted with intelligent leaders they find an alternative to those devastating and ruinous wars if at all possible. The world was created for all species to have independent existence. Ravishing wars are disruptive to families of the innocent. President Franklin Roosevelt once said war begets war. Preparation for war is exhausting, expensive and arduously severe, switching many of a country's resources and manufacturing for normalcy into fighting equipment for the military causing displacement of need and discomfort of all others, which results in nothing but waste. This includes causing a separation of family and friends. Injuries and early deaths are inevitable in all wars. The infirmities we incurred from the atomic fallout were never given attention. To my knowledge the Atomic Veterans of WWII are the largest group to suffer invisible wounds after making intolerable sacrifices for their country only to be left stranded without any attempt to be rescued. During our initial extensive training we were taught that it is a Cardinal sin to leave a comrade stranded without exhausting every ounce of energy and all known sources in attempting his or her rescue. Atomic Veterans are contributing heavily to the more than one thousand deaths each day in conjunction with WWII Veterans. A dire need for complete restitution and justice for Atomic Veterans has been overdue for almost 58 years. The atomic legacy must continue until complete justice is served. After almost 58 years of suffering from exposure to ionizing radiation I have never heard an Atomic Veteran speak anything but good about his country. It is the leaders of the land we are discontented with by letting our families suffer along with us. Another horrifying fact is that many of us suffering from Atomic radiation fallout have genetically transferred this wicked disease to our offspring and the horror of it was compounded by the iniquitous act by our Government who allowed the deep dark secret regarding radiation exposure to be kept from us. NO AMOUNT OF RADIATION IS SAFE. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Catalogue Information -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- National Library of Canada Cataloguing in Publication Bankston, John D., 1926- Invisible enemies of atomic veterans / John D. Bankston ; editor: Sally B. Davenport. Includes index. ISBN 1-4120-0300-8 I. Davenport, Sally B., 1935- II. Title. UB369.B35 2003 362.1'086'970973 C2003-902466-0 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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