top of page

Enewetak Atoll Cleanup Veterans



Frank Bolton




Enewetak Atoll Cleanup Veterans


Whilst not a formal organization, we have been a very active group to promote and publicize our government’s denial to offer our 1977-1980 cleanup mission participants the same healthcare offered to Atomic Test era Veterans. 

The website and public Facebook page were created by Frank Bolton to increase public exposure and to find other surviving participants. Our main focus is to help each other with information and moral support during challenging times. 

Our secondary focus is to urge Congress to change the current laws to help soldiers of the cleanup mission as “veterans who participated in radiation-risk activities during active service.” By obtaining this goal, we will be eligible to apply for funds set-aside for those who experience health complications due to radiation exposure at Enewetak Atoll. Atomic Debris Cleanup Participants are not included in the U.S. Government’s definition because “Congress has not created any presumptions for veterans or civilians based on residual contamination of nuclear tests at Enewetak Atoll.” 

We served our country by participating in the Enewetak Atoll Atomic Debris Cleanup Mission. The Marshallese People have returned to their homeland. The U.S. Government awarded us Humanitarian Medals for our efforts, and we appreciate their praise. However, many of our survivors and their families have health challenges that are not inexpensive. The Justice Department has ruled for medical funds to be available for those who participated in radiation-risk activities during active service, but Congress has refused to include cleanup participants in that definition. As a result of this group, we have reconnected with almost 900 of the 8,033 military and civilian participants. 

There are also a number of other Facebook groups as part of the group: 


  • H.R. 4426 /S. 1751, the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act Amendments of 2023. This bill would extend RECA until 2043 (it is currently set to sunset in 2024), would expand coverage to clean up veterans, and would increase the amount of money atomic veterans are able to receive $150,000. 

  • Atomic Cleanup Vets have worked with the Marshallese Communities since 2018 by attending “Nuclear Remembrance Day” events in Springdale, AK and Spokane, WA, to raise awareness of the shared nuclear legacy of nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands. 

  • Atomic Cleanup Vets members work continuously to raise awareness on their issues. They pursue local, national, and even international media coverage, and have a Speakers Bureau, whose members often speak at public events and are available to request for events.


Atomic Cleanup Vets engaged in advocacy on the successful passing of the following federal legislation: H.R.3967 PACT ACT of 2022, which included the Mark Takai Atomic Veterans Healthcare Parity Act. 

This bill “provide for the treatment of veterans who participated in the cleanup of Enewetak Atoll as radiation-exposed veterans for purposes of the presumption of service-connection of certain disabilities by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.” H.R. 4778 Atomic Veterans Service Medal Act of 2023 authorizing “the award of a military service medal to members of the armed forces who were exposed to ionizing radiation as a result of participating in the testing of nuclear weapons or under other circumstances.”This includes the cleanup of radioactive material resulting from any such atmospheric detonation as well as the bombs dropped in Japan during the war.


Atomic Cleanup Vets would welcome support from other organizations on their Congressional advocacy on H.R.1377 and H.R. 3783, especially help making connections with key House and Senate offices in Washington, D.C.  They also welcome opportunities to raise awareness of their work through media and speaking opportunities.

bottom of page