Mr. Adams* was a WWII veteran when he married Mrs. Adams. Though he spoke very little about his time in the war, Mrs. Adams knew he had once served in Japan. When Mr. Adams died of stomach cancer at 66, she inquired about the benefits she could receive as a veteran’s widow but was told she did not qualify for any support.
Years later, she learned about LSSP’s Veterans Legal Services Project and asked for help in finding out more about her husband’s service. Her attorney at LSSP wondered if Mr. Adams had been among the more than 150,000 “atomic veterans” who had experienced high levels of radiogenic exposure while serving in Japan. However, his records had been destroyed in a fire at the National Personnel Records Center, so his service location was not apparent. After much investigation, research and correspondence with the VA, the LSSP attorney discovered that Mr. Adams had in fact served in a high radiation area in Japan soon after the atomic bomb was dropped, and his cancer was among the types recognized as service-related. Because of this discovery, Mr. Adams’ sacrifice to his country was finally recognized and Mrs. Adams is now receiving the widow’s benefits for which she had been eligible for more than two decades.
*Name has been changed to protect client’s identity