In 1957, Maj. Charles Brody watched an atomic blast from only 700 yards away.
His widow is still feeling the shockwave.
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF ATOMIC VETERANS
DOYLE ADVERTISING & DESIGN, BOSTON, 1992
The campaign, from the early 1990s, gave voice to a group of victims who had remained silent for decades.
* * *
There are dreams.
White light roaring across the desert, the earth shuddering with the dark rumble of a million Armageddons, the fire rain of Hell.
She closes her eyes but still she sees and she stares, screaming, at the glowing bones beneath the young soldier’s flesh.
She covers in his trench as the shock wave rips across the sand, shattering in the distant mountains. And she stands and watches the colors dancing in the cloud, its swollen head rushing toward space.
And everywhere, the dust is falling. The dust rust keeps falling.
From 1946 to 1963, the United Sates government detonated 235 atomic and hydrogen bombs, both in the South Pacific and the Nevada desert.
As difficult as it is to imagine, well over a quarter of a million young soldiers and sailors were ordered to witness the blasts, often from as little as 500 yards away.
Officially, they were told they were in no danger. They were assured that decontamination was as simple as taking a long, hot shower. Tragically, they were misinformed.