Military families sickened by Navy water demand action on Capitol Hill

“I'm disgusted. It's dispicable that I have to fight this far.”
Published: Feb. 8, 2022 at 5:27 PM HST|Updated: Feb. 8, 2022 at 5:39 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Military families impacted by the tainted water crisis are demanding better treatment and more testing.

They took their plight to Washington, D.C. on Tuesday to ask for congressional help face to face.

“I’m disgusted. It’s despicable that I have to fight this far,” said Jamie Simic, a Navy mother and wife who lives at Hale Na Koa housing at Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam.

Talking to Hawaii News Now, Simic and Army Maj. Amanda Feindt say they met with nine members of Congress in private meetings Tuesday.

The action comes just days before a Navy timeline shows families in the Red Hill neighborhood could move back home.

The state Health Department, meanwhile, is stressing that test results are still pending.

Feindt, who lives at Ford Island, wants Congress to provide long-term care for the children who drank tainted water that sickened them.

“My kids will stop getting medical coverage at the age of 26,” she said.

She says even if thousands of displaced families can move back home after the Navy’s repeated system and home flushing, not every home is being tested.

“The military is going to test 10% of the homes and then we have 48 hours to move back in, but for the 90% of us who aren’t being tested, the Navy has already gone on record that they know, they acknowledge that they’ve lost our trust,” said Feindt.

Simic says she and her family suffered multiple illnesses for months long before the Navy’s Red Hill well became tainted with fuel from an underground fuel storage facility.

Thousands of military families complained of illnesses last November.

She was hospitalized and now the family of four lives in a Waikiki hotel. “All the way to the top, Mr. Biden needs to stand up and look at what’s going on with these families,” said Simic.

Their attorney is filing tort claims against the U.S. government on behalf of about 100 people.

She believes the military needs to start releasing families from their Hawaii deployment as the tainted water drags on.

“As their lawyer, I vote them off the island. Why can’t we get them off the island. Let’s get these families to safety,” said attorney Kristina Baehr.

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