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Howell veteran exposed to mustard gas frustrated with VA treatment

Norm Knappman photo
Scott Pohl
Norm Knappman holds a WWII-era photo of himself. The lifelong effects of mustard gas exposure made it impossible for him to hold down a job.

Current State talks with Norm Knappman of Howell about the long-term effects he has suffered after his exposure to mustard gas during World War II.

This week, NPR’s “Morning Edition” reported on the aftereffects of exposure to mustard gas in experiments on 60,000 enlisted men during World War II. The chemical agent can cause burns and life-threatening illnesses. On Monday, their storycentered on how blacks and other minorities were singled out for these experiments. Tuesday’s report dealt with the Veterans Administration’s failure to keep its word to thousands of those vets.

Current State’s Scott Pohl speaks with 93-year-old Norm Knappman of Howell. Unlike the veterans we heard from in NPR’s stories this week, his exposure to mustard gas wasn’t the result of experimentation. It was part of his job while assigned to an Air Force ordnance company.

Scott Pohl is a general assignment news reporter and produces news features and interviews. He is also an alternate local host on NPR's "Morning Edition."
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