Did the US military house American soldiers in an area that put their families' health at risk?

“Our husbands have sacrificed years of their life serving our country. At the minimum they should feel safe to leave their families in homes that are safe.”

That was the response of one military mom, Melany Stawnyczyj, whose son was diagnosed with leukemia, according to an article by CBS News.

Stawnyczyj, along with her friend, Amanda Whatley, whose daughter was also diagnosed with leukemia, did some research and found that tanks used for heating oil buried near the Marine Corps base in Laurel Bay, South Carolina had leaked.

From the article:

Online, the Marine Corps said when it started removing the tanks in 2007, it found “some petroleum product had escaped.” The corps says it has taken steps to clean up the sites and that its soil gas tests so far are “within acceptable limits.”

But Whatley and Stawnyczyj fear a known carcinogen in heating oil, benzene, which can cause leukemia, may have made their children sick. They said 11 other families who lived near the base also have children with cancer.

Now the Marine Corps is conducting a study of potential health hazards at the base, the article states. While the military families support the base’s efforts, they also commented that the study is taking too long.

The article states that Stawnyczyj’s son has been in remission for over a year, and Whatley’s daughter had a bone marrow transplant and is hanging in there.