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Williams Soldier Blames Terminal Cancer On Iraq Guard Duty, Chemicals

Last updated on Friday, December 12, 2008

(WILLIAMS) - A former Indiana National Guard Commander says his terminal cancer was likely caused by exposure to toxic chemicals at a water pumping plant in Iraq.

Retired Lt. Col. James Gentry is under hospice care and reportedly has been told he has only weeks to live.

The 51-year-old Gentry is from Williams. He was commander of a unit assigned to guard a water pumping plant in Basra shortly after the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Sixteen soldiers from the unit filed a federal lawsuit last week against defense contractor KBR, Inc., saying its employees knowingly allowed them to be exposed to a known carcinogen.

Gentry is not a party to the suit, but he tells the Times-Mail that he believes he was exposed to the chemical.

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