The National Association of Atomic Veterans is looking for an estimated 195,0000 veterans who were exposed to radiation when the U.S. conducted nuclear bomb tests betweeen 1945 and 1962. If the veteran has any one of 21 different cancers that are traceable to radiation exposure, the veteran, his or her spouse and children could be entitled to a onetime award of up to $75,000 or a monthly disability payment of up to $2,673.

Finding these survivors is tough since their average age is 84 and they are dying at a rate of 16,000 per year. In addition, these men and women often took an oath never to reveal what they were doing; not to their doctors, their families or the public. Although the "cloak of secrecy" was lifted in 1996, many veterans still do not know that they are free to speak and do not realize that they may be entititled to compensation.

Only about 3,600 compensation claims have been approved since 1992. For more information about how to file a claim, go to www.naav.com.

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