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Feb-08-2012 11:37printcomments

MSNBC Presents 'Semper Fi: Always Faithful' Friday, 24 February at 10:00 P.M. ET

“Semper Fi: Always Faithful” unfolds like a detective novel...

Jerry Ensminger was a career Marine, a Master Sergeant, when his young daughter fell ill from cancer connected to Camp Lejeune's deadly, toxic water.
Jerry Ensminger was a career Marine, a Master Sergeant, when his young daughter fell ill from cancer connected to Camp Lejeune's deadly, toxic water. Photos: Jerry Ensminger

(NEW YORK, NY) - MSNBC will premiere “Semper Fi: Always Faithful,” an emotional story of one man’s transformation into the activist he never imagined he’d become. The one-hour program, hosted by Lawrence O’Donnell of MSNBC’s “The Last Word,” will air Friday, February 24 at 10 p.m. ET.

Marine Corps Master Sgt. Jerry Ensminger was a devoted marine for nearly 25 years. As a drill instructor in the Marine Corps, he was responsible for training thousands of new recruits. But when Jerry’s nine-year-old daughter Janey passed away from a rare type of leukemia, his structured world began to collapse around him.

As a grief-stricken father, he spent years struggling to make sense of what had happened—how could an otherwise healthy nine-year-old suddenly become so fatally ill? His search for answers led him to a shocking discovery: the Marine Corps base where his family had lived for years was the site of one of the largest incidents of water contamination in US history.

For thirty years, the drinking water at North Carolina’s Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base was highly contaminated by toxic chemicals, with some chemical levels at nearly 280 times the legal amount.

Years later, it is estimated that nearly one million Marines and their families may have been exposed to extremely high levels of carcinogens through the water.

Jerry and Janey - Camp Lejeune

But even now, 25 years after the wells were finally closed, only a fraction of the former residents are even aware of their exposure to the toxic chemicals.

Janey Ensminger died after battling cancer.

“Semper Fi: Always Faithful” unfolds like a detective novel, tracking the discovery of the contamination and taking viewers to the foreground of Jerry’s fight for justice. Viewers will get a moving personal look into the lives of those who have lost children or are sick themselves from the contaminated water.

“Semper Fi” is directed by Rachel Libert and Tony Hardmon, produced by Rachel Libert, Tony Hardman, Jedd Wider and Todd Wider, executive producers Julie Parker Benello, Wendy Ettinger, Judith Helfand. “Semper Fi” is a production of Tied to the Tracks Films, Inc. in association with Wider Film Projects and Chicken & Egg Pictures.

For MSNBC Films: Michael Rubin is Vice President, Long Form Programming, Scott Hooker is Senior Executive Producer, Documentary Production and Development, Vicki Sufian is Senior Producer, Long Form Programming, Carrie Wysocki is director of production.

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PATRICK J OCONNOR February 25, 2012 8:06 am (Pacific time)

I would recomend all those who think 'hydro-fracking' to be an innocuos means to an end for our energy crisis, watch this documentary.

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