Wives speak out about Navy’s claims about mold

Posted at 11:30 PM, Jan 16, 2012

“An insult.” “A slap in the face.” This was just a taste of the outrage from Navy wives who were unhappy with a sarcastic statement from the Navy about the mold in their homes.

A Navy captain told the Pilot that WTKR is making it seem "like a science-fiction movie with mold monsters growing everywhere." Laurie Simmons spoke with 10 Navy wives who obviously did not agree with the Navy's claim.

NewsChannel 3 has been investigating mold in Lincoln Military Housing all over Hampton Roads. Because of our reporting, both Lincoln and the Navy have promised action and have begun testing some homes.

Yet, the Navy is saying things aren't that bad.

A group of Navy wives and moms got together to tell investigator Laurie Simmons just what they thought about that captain's quip.

“It is a public health concern when it’s my health in jeopardy, my children’s health in jeopardy,” says Brandi Jones.

“If children are getting sick, people keep getting sick. How can you say it’s a maintenance problem? It might have started out that way, but now it’s graduated to a health concern,” says Mary Johnson.

These Navy wives say they have never had any communication with the Navy Captain who made the claim, but they were not happy about his comment.

“It’s a slap in the face.  It’s an insult, and quite frankly, I don’t appreciate it,” says Shelley Federico.

“For them to downplay everything my family’s gone through, everything we face as far as health issues, referring to a science fiction movie is just ridiculous. They obviously haven’t seen it for themselves,” says Megan Sulligan.

“If he would have been there when I was having to hold my one-month-old son having spinal taps. It’s a mold monster because it is. My son has been sick since living in this house. He is four-months-old, there is no reason why this should be going on,” says Latisha Mathers.

“I would like to invite Captain Don Hagan to my house for a few months. Let him live in my house. Let him get sick, and then they can put him up in a hotel for two months with two children and let me know if it’s still a fabrication,” says Jones.

Some officials have consistently claimed that there are no proven health effects from mold.

“When it is going to come to the point where this is an epidemic and we're going to do something about it?” asks Frederico.

Several of the women stated that they did not agree at all with the claim the Navy made in the article about WTKR’s reporting on the issue.

“You truly went out and fought for the story to find the cold hard facts. Now, whether they chose to see that or not is up to them, but the facts are the facts,” says Jones.