Workers' advocate helps nuclear weapons workers and their families
A plaque on the memorial reads "In honor of Evelyn M Davis and Christopher F. Davis, loving parents of Denise Davis-Brock."
The Weldon Spring memorial, a miniature Gateway Arch, honors government workers exposed to radiation during the Cold War. For two decades, hundreds-of-thousands of workers produced uranium for the nuclear-bomb-making Manhattan Project.
The idea for the memorial came from O'Fallon, Mo., resident Denise Brock. Brock's father Christopher Davis worked for 15 years at Mallinckrodt Chemical Company in St. Louis, a uranium plant. In 1978 cancer spread through Davis' body and took his life at age 52.
"I remember him going back and forth to the hospital," said Brock. "They would be issuing him his last rights, telling us he wasn't going to make it. He would wear these elastic stockings and we would have to take those off and his skin would just rip right off and bleed. They were actually going to amputate both legs. He passed away before that happened."
In 2001, Brock successfully won more than $300,000 dollars in workers' compensation for her mother on behalf of her deceased father. In the process of studying legislation and figuring out the process, Brock became an expert on a specific kind of workers' compensation: nuclear weapons workers.
"Somebody had to be out there to advocate for the remaining workers and honestly I made a promise to God," said Brock. "I promised I would help the remaining workers and it truly has been the biggest blessing in my life."
Brock became a workers advocate for nuclear weapons workers, assisting families in Missouri and all over the nation.
"There has been $11.5 billion in compensation paid out," said Brock. "I just a letter the other day from a lady who is 87 years old and her house was being foreclosed on. But because of the compensation she was able to buy a house with an apartment attached to it where her son and daughter-in-law are able to live and take care of her."
It all started with helping her parents and Brock remains committed to those who served their country by working with radioactive material. Her goal is to create a memorial at every nuclear facility in honor of nuclear weapons workers.
"They may not have been in the trenches during the war, but they did a patriotic duty," said Brock, "and they deserve their compensation."