A letter was written to the President of the United States by a group of 700 veterans and family members. The letter urges government leaders to take action regarding burn pit victims who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. “We write because these veterans are seriously ill, dying or have passed away, and more must be done.”
More than 81,000 veterans and current service members are in the burn pit registry. They report illnesses from respiratory fatigue to rare cancers. “Many of us went to war able to run marathons, but now our health has deteriorated so much that we cannot hold down steady jobs.” This letter was sent days after a Government Accountability Officer’s report found gaps in the Defense Department’s monitoring of burn pit victims.
Rosie Lopez-Torres, executive director of Burn Pits 360, stated she has at least 5,000 more cases that aren’t included in the registry because of reporting restrictions. “The burn pits are this generation’s Agent Orange, but we are seeing deaths happen after three or five years, instead of decades later. We cannot afford to wait for another delayed medical study, we need the President and Congress to recognize this crisis is happening now.” The Burn Pits 360 letter urges President Obama to use his final moments in office to advocate for veterans and speak out regarding the long term effects of burn pit exposure. Veterans are also requesting more research on the medical impacts of the exposure to burning hazardous materials. To read the full letter click here.
Full Story on The Military Times.
If you have a condition that you believe is related to exposure to a burn pit during your service in the Middle East, please contact an experienced advocate at Veterans Help Group to discuss your disability claim.