"About a quarter of a million American soldiers were intentionally exposed to radioactive fallout at the Nevada Test Site and the other test sites. So far the Veterans Administration has turned down nearly all requests for benefits for radiation victims, and for their children born with birth defects and diseases. The vocally resistant members of the Alliance of Atomic Veterans, who had initiated this Veterans Day action, were a small minority. Many veterans felt compelled to keep their experiences secret, or only divulged them on their deathbed. Two friends of mine told me almost identical stories about their soldier fathers. Both fathers died of cancer, and both of them on their deathbeds talked about witnessing a bomb so bright they could see the bones of their hands through their closed eyes, and then would say no more of what they had seen."
—Rebecca Solnit, “Golden Hours and Iron Country”, Savage Dreams