But a healthy group of young service men and women – many in their 20s – have come down with serious health problems since serving on a humanitarian mission to Fukushima, Japan, following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that led to a nuclear meltdown of the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TepCo) nuclear power plant.
Service members have faced cancer, brain tumors, birth defects, and other rare health problems since being exposed to radiation from the Fukushima plant. Some have even died.
Courthouse News talked to some of these service members to find out what's happened since they came home from Fukushima and why they believe TepCo needs to take responsibility.
"It was a gray smoke that surrounded you, and you didn't even know what it was"