Byron Vaigneur's job as a health supervisor at the Savannah River nuclear weapons plant in South Carolina was to protect workers from the harmful effects of radiation. But he could not protect himself – he was exposed to plutonium while sitting at his desk in 1975 and developed cancer as a result.
The U.S. government has compensated over 52,000 nuclear workers illnesses related to radiation exposure, but the process is complicated. Deaths resulting from exposure while working at the plants and the compensation process for survivors begs the question: How much is a life worth?
In the early 1940s, the Y-12 plant in Oak Ridge, Tenn., employed thousands girls right out of high school. They realized that their work was top secret, but they had no idea of the role the Manhattan Project would play in helping to end World War II.
Just like 54,005 other nuclear workers who have tried to get help from the federal government after getting sick, George "Smitty" Anderson Jr., of Augusta, Ga., never got a penny. He relied on Jesus and morphine to help fight his multiple myeloma.
As the federal government increases spending on nuclear weapons, health and retirement benefits are potential cost-cutting casualties. At the Pantex nuclear plant in the Texas Panhandle, 1,100 unionized workers went on strike to fight the threatened cuts to their benefits.
The U.S. military has had a presence on the island of Okinawa since 1945. Long after the end of World War II, the small island has continued to be a strategic position for the United States and its allies, and a dispute has raged for more than 20 years over the Futenma base in Ginowan city. (Tiffany Tompkins-Condie, Adam Ashton and Natalie Fertig)
Amanda Meyer, originally from Strawberry Point, Iowa, filmed herself destroying a gun in response to the mass shooting that happened at a Florida high school. Meyer said she grew up around guns and that her parents always emphasized gun safety. She said the only way she could be sure that her Sig Sauer P229 won’t hurt anyone was by destroying it.
President Donald Trump said he would make a trip to Parkland, Florida after the deadly school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2018. About four minutes into his address to the nation, he spoke directly to "America's children" telling them that those who felt scared and alone are "never alone" and that there are people who care about them. Trump encouraged those kids to ask for help.
President Donald Trump addressed the nation a day after the shooting that killed at least 17 at Majory Stoneman Douglas High. "Our entire nation, with one heavy heart, is praying for the victims and their families," Trump stated on Feb. 15, 2018. He also said he'd be visiting Parkland, Florida to meet with families and local officials.