Military members assume the government is doing what’s necessary to keep them safe. Many servicemembers don’t realize how little oversight there is to some aspects of military life. Unfortunately, this lack of oversight can negatively impact the servicemember and their family members.
One of the issues that they face has to do with the conditions of military housing units. There are 14 companies that manage privatized military housing units, which comprise 99% of all military housing.
The largest privatized manager of military housing, Balfour Beatty, operates at 16 Army, 18 Navy and 21 Air Force bases. The president of that company was called to testify before congress about the conditions of military housing.
Major problems exist in these properties
In 2014, a requirement was issued to track data on the health of service members who were living in privatized military housing. While the Navy and Marine Corps had complete records, the Army had only 68% and the Air Force had only 59% of their records completed by October of 2021. Part of the issue is that it takes considerable manpower to populate information for 211,826 housing units.
The problems in these homes range from mold and lead-based paint to more serious substances like asbestos. Servicemembers and their family members living in these units can face some catastrophic conditions. Exposure to asbestos can lead to mesothelioma, even decades after exposure to the natural substance that was once commonly used in house-building.
Family members who live in homes that contain asbestos can be exposed to it without ever knowing it if the asbestos is touched while they are there. In some cases, the exposure might be secondary if the service member handles asbestos and then comes home with fibers still on themselves.
A mesothelioma diagnosis is the first step in a lifetime of intensive medical care. This terminal condition can lead to a claim for compensation, but it’s best if you work with someone familiar with these cases because there are a lot of points to consider. There are time limits built into the law for these matters, so don’t delay acting.