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Where are they now? Red Hill family reflects on their year

water to red hill
Zoe Dym
/
HPR

Many displaced military families who were forced to alter their lives due to the Red Hill fuel contamination have voiced their concerns over the past year.

One family in particular was a Navy wife who was worried for her infant child and pets. Her family had arrived to Oʻahu just a few months before the fuel contaminated her drinking water.

The Conversation checked-in on them again, just as they were on the move to a new duty station. "Bianca," the military spouse, spent this weekend marking the one year anniversary — once again in a hotel; This time in another state.

"I guess I just told myself not to think about it anymore," she said. "Then when the water main broke, it brought back all of these feelings again of trust and I was like, 'Oh my god, it's happening all over again.'"

She reflected on what was a traumatic time in the Islands and her fears for her infant daughter. The Conversation first met her family during a town hall meeting with Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro, who assured the military service men and women that they would take care of their health needs.

She will spend the holidays at a new duty station far away from the problems of Red Hill, but her fears about the exposure won’t be as easy to set aside.

This interview aired on The Conversation on Nov. 22, 2022. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.

Catherine Cruz is the host of The Conversation. Originally from Guam, she spent more than 30 years at KITV, covering beats from government to education. Contact her at ccruz@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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