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Our investigation uncovered a possible link between a cluster of Leukemia cases in children in South Korea, strange health problems among a small group of military veterans now scattered across the United States, and a secret the US Army has been keeping for 30-years - and it all started with the confession of a dying man in a trailer park in Apache Junction, Arizona.
In late 2010, Army veteran Steve House contacted CBS 5 Investigates, saying he wanted to tell the story about something he had done, while stationed at Camp Carroll, South Korea in 1978. House said he and other members of his platoon were ordered to bury hundreds of drums of toxic Agent Orange on the military base under the cover of night.
Now, more than 30-years later, House and the other veterans are suffering from illnesses they attribute to Agent Orange exposure and they worry about how the chemicals they buried may have been affecting the Korean village surrounding the base.
Over the course of the next nine months, CBS 5 Investigates tracked down Army veterans who corroborated House's story, obtained military records through Freedom of Information Act Requests, and finally, traveled to Camp Carroll, South Korea to uncover what really happened on that Army base 33-years ago.
Our investigative team met substantial resistance from the US military throughout the reporting process, from the challenges of obtaining public records, to actually getting on the base in South Korea.
Our investigation prompted international reporting on the issue from news outlets including the NY Times, CNN, Time Magazine, and countless Korean and international news outlets. The US Army commissioned a $4-million study of House's claim, and throughout the media frenzy that followed, CBS 5 News -- in Phoenix, Arizona, managed to break new developments every step of the way.
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