Veterans who became Army guinea pigs for secret drug and chemical experiments are suing the VA, the CIA and the Defense Department. In this U.S. government photo, Wray Forrest is seen on the far right in 1973 while participating in the program at Maryland's Edgewood Chemical and Biological Center.
Wray Forrest, 2008 —
Forrest spent decades fighting post traumatic stress disorder, which he said the VA had linked to his time at Edgewood. Forrest, a heavy smoker most of his life, was diagnosed with skin cancer in 2009 and died in 2010. His doctor said some of Forrest's health problems could have been caused by chemicals used at Edgewood.
Tim Josephs: 1968 —
Tim Josephs joined the Army right out of high school and entered Edgewood for two months in 1968. He says he was told at first he would be testing gas masks and clothing.
Tim Josephs: 2012 —
Josephs, now 63, was diagnosed in his 50s with Parkinson's disease, a progressive neurological condition that he says forced him to retire early from his job as a realtor. His doctor says he suffered two small strokes, according to a plaintiffs' lawsuit against the VA. Josephs blames his experiences at Edgewood for the strokes and the Parkinson's.
Bill Blazinski: 1967 —
Bill Blazinski was drafted into the Army and also spent two months at Edgewood in 1968. In one test, he said, electrodes were attached to him and "electrical charges ran through his body, causing pain like pinpricks," according to the plaintiff's' lawsuit against the VA.
Bill Blazinski: 2012 —
Blazinski, now 64, was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia and ulcerative colitis in 2008. He applied for VA disability benefits, but was denied, according to the plaintiffs' lawsuit.
Frank Rochelle: 1969 —
Drafted by the Army in 1968 at age 20, Frank Rochelle also was at Edgewood for two months. During one drug test, Rochelle said, he thought that his freckles were bugs under his skin. He used a razor to try to cut them out, injuring himself. Later, Rochelle was deployed to fight in the Vietnam War.
Frank Rochelle: 2012 —
"I have breathing problems," said Rochelle, now age 63. "I still have problems getting around, getting along with people, nervousness and sleep apnea." According to the plaintiff's lawsuit, Rochelle's "medical problems have worsened and his health has deteriorated," and he is "no longer able to work the job that he held for over 28 years."