I am often asked why I continue to raise awareness of the Atomic Test Survivor Community.
Is it personal? Why does it matter? Why do you take the abuse from certain people? You will never win.
If you are not connected to the Atomic Test Survivor community, you may not be aware of the suffering that the veterans and their families are going through every day.
These families are awaiting the results of the LABRATS health survey, the Public Health England study and most importantly the DNA study at Brunel University.
If you have never read the book, FALLOUT - Living in the Shadow of the Bomb, it is a very sad story of a families struggle with the Atomic tests. It is available from Amazon -
I was privileged enough to be involved in this book and the story is shocking, but it is just one of thousands of stories, many which have been untold.
During my time involved with the BNTVA and NCCF and now as LABRATS, the stories that I heard from people across the world are heart breaking, they are terrible stories of disease, death and deformity.
The Atomic testing program is a period of history which no-one should be proud of. The scientific achievement is brilliant, but the experimentation and devastation of the planet is definitely not an achievement which should be celebrated.
Many of the Veterans who attended the tests are no longer with us, many died young and the ones that are left have fought many battles with illness and with their own governments who sent them as young boys to the tests.
I have spoken to thousands of people, veterans, wives, widows, descendants, scientists, journalists, writers and film producers over the years and the personal stories continue to upset me. Individual battles with illness and battles for recognition and compensation continue.
Personally, I continue to raise awareness through LABRATS because of my family, my mother and father, my brother and everyone who is suffering today. Through my journeys to France and the USA, I have met very passionate people who deserve the recognition, deserve the help. The indigenous people of the test locations, whose homes were destroyed, their lives altered forever.
We must never forget the testing program, the devastation that it has caused and the effect on the world, especially the Atomic Test Survivors.
Many have tried to derail the awareness program, fake news, accusations, yet we are still here, stronger than ever. The legacy of the testing program will live on in thousands of people, the testing areas will remain contaminated, it cannot be airbrushed from history.
When you sit and listen to the Veterans stories, they are harrowing, they are beyond belief. One such story is from Alex from the USA, who was in a trench in Nevada during an explosion, he was then ordered to get out of the trench and walk towards the mushroom cloud. It is something that you cannot imagine, walking towards the deadliest of man's creation, seeing the mushroom cloud, feeling the heat, the blast.
The lasting effects of these tests will go on long after the last veteran has died, the descendants will continue to feel the effects, the land will remain contaminated. We must ensure that the legacy is recorded and that future generations are educated. So much time has passed since the tests the veterans are now speaking, their families are speaking and their voice needs to be heard, recorded and digitised for all time.
Many Veterans voices have been silenced, they are no longer with us, but for those who remain, we are urging you to speak to us and tell us your story. I have heard many stories, but the world needs to hear them.
We have created the worlds first global Internet resource regarding the Atomic Testing program, the website has videos, links, organisations, individuals and blogs. Our new blog radio allows your voice to be heard, your voice is important, the world needs your story.
Please contact Susan Musselwhite on firstname.lastname@example.org to book your slot on the program, the time is now to tell the world that the testing program affected thousands of lives and continues to this day.
Keep shouting, keep raising awareness, keep the pressure of your MP's / representatives, this community deserves more respect and recognition.
Today would have been my mothers birthday, but there is no celebration, no party, just remembrance. As a family, we are not alone in this, we cannot telephone her and say 'Happy Birthday', we cannot visit with presents and hear her laugh. Those times have passed, we only have memories.
These memories will never fade, we will always remember, as will the families who have lost loved ones too soon. We must remember the cause and why as volunteers and campaigners for the Atomic community we continue on our quest.
I consider myself lucky, I still have family, my sister, brother-in-law, nephews, nieces and great-nephews and great-nieces. My wife and son all support me in this quest, my friends are fantastic, many are also passionate about the cause. When my son was ill, it was one of the worst periods of my life, watching your child suffer is something that no-one should go through, and I know that a lot of you have experienced this and it is terrible. But my family and friends helped me through it.
Some veterans do not have this support network and through our community efforts, we must assist them when they need us, through companionship and grants. Our community is strong if we work together, not against each other, causing problems where there is none.
Everyone can make a difference, nobody is insignificant, but there is no need for the vendetta's, the hidden agenda's, the jealousy, the lies, the extremely bad treatment of veterans. We all get angry, we all get sad and we all enjoy happiness in our life. Instead of looking for issues and problems which do not exist and for a personal vendetta, think of your trace, which you leave behind with every good deed, which cannot be erased.
Unfortunately, there are some extremely nasty people with their own agenda's, who continue to upset the community and cause arguments and threaten others. To those people I say, sit and look at the people around you, think about the people you have lost, the people who are being affected by your actions, their mental health, their physical health and consider your actions.
I know what my mother would say. 'Ignore them, they are not worth it. Keep doing what you are doing, you are making a difference'. My father on the other hand would not be so considerate and would knock some heads together!
Happy birthday Mum, enjoy your day wherever you are, the family will continue to help the Atomic Community and make you proud. I wish you could see your family today, especially the little ones.
If today you can sit with your mum, make her a cup of tea, or call her. I cannot make that call, I wish I could, but it is not possible. Today, please enjoy the day, remember the ones that have passed and remember the good times.