Veteran has problem with ‘Oppenheimer’ movie

MEDFORD, Ore. – The ‘Oppenheimer’ movie has been out for a few weeks now.

Reviews have been mostly positive, but there are some asking for more.

Richard Enriquez served as a flight engineer in the 1960’s.

He was among the many that were affected by nuclear testing.

Richard Enriquez said, “people see a sunrise the sun rising, and you see a kind of orange ball sometimes on a really nice sunrise, or a sunset. What I see, is an atomic blast.”

Richard Enriquez was on Johnston Island a few hundred miles southwest of Hawaii.

He and many others patrolled the island, while nuclear bombs were tested nearby.

He says he enjoyed the ‘Oppenheimer’ movie.

But he says he wished there was more acknowledgment of the nuclear testing done by the U.S. and the troops affected by it.

Richard Enriquez said, “there’s still people in Japan that are suffering because of birth defects, you know, cancers. And the same thing for Atomic Veterans, because we were placed out there with no protection whatsoever. None at all.”

Richard tells me, he watched nine bombs go off and years later he and his family had to deal with the potential effects of radiation.

Richard Enriquez said, “my youngest son had only one lung. I had colon cancer and because of my wife, she insisted I get a colonoscopy. That’s how they found it and I’ve gone through four major operations. I’m lucky to be alive.”

Richard Enriquez is a member of the National Association of Atomic Veterans.

These are all veterans who served from 1945 to 1962 and were affected by the radiation of nuclear tests.

Richard says that other atomic veterans he has spoken to felt similarly in regard to the ‘Oppenheimer’ movie.

Richard Enrique said “I was hoping to see credits about all the testing. Everybody that saw the movie said the same thing, there was never any mention of all the testing that was done after, and all the veterans that have suffered from cancers, all the veterans that have died.”

Richard Enriquez tells me that his health has improved and is now trying to spread the word of the Atomic Veterans.

You can learn more here. 

© 2024 KOBI-TV NBC5. All rights reserved unless otherwise stated.

Maximus Osburn is a reporter for NBC5 News. He studied at California State University-Northridge, graduating with a degree in Broadcasting. Maximus is an avid martial arts enthusiast and combat sports fan. He even traveled to Thailand to train with martial arts experts. Maximus loves movies, nature, and doing things outside his comfort zone, like swimming in sub-freezing lakes in the winter.
Skip to content