In the last twenty years, more veterans have died from Toxic Exposure than have at the hands of our enemy’s.
Numerous military bases in Operations Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Enduring Freedom (OEF) theatres of operation produced several tons to several hundred tons of solid waste per day. Open- air burn pits were the primary waste disposal method during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This involved the burning of plastics; medical waste, including human body parts and expired pharmaceutical drugs; chemicals, including paint and solvents, petroleum products; and unexploded ordinance, which according to some reports may have also included Iraqi chemical warfare agents.
Additionally, some of the burn pits were reportedly built on top of soil contaminated by chemical warfare agents. Due to the unacceptable risk posed by these burn pits to our service members, their use was partially banned, except under narrow circumstances, in 2010. Tens of thousands of service members have been exposed to toxic chemicals and microfine, highly respirable and dangerous particulates from burns pits and they continue to suffer serious, disabling health consequences.
Here is some of what we now know: Air sampling data indicate that smoke from these burn pits contained chemicals associated with cancers, lung diseases, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, neurological disorders, and more. Exposure to these toxins have caused a traumatic impact on the lives of our service members and their families. Some of the devastating health conditions suffered by Veterans exposed include the following: neurological disorders, pulmonary diseases, rare forms of cancer and many unexplained symptoms. There have been thousands of deaths resulting from the invisible wounds of war.
The uncertainty of the health impacts of this exposure should not circumvent the requirements needed to address the health conditions and benefits for survivors and their widows.
To educate our nation about the effects of deployment related toxic exposures and establish the military toxic exposure coalition of veteran businesses and notable influencers with the intent to gain awareness and mobilize support proposed legislation.
During deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, military personnel from every state deployed to bases that used open air burn pits to dispose of refuse by burning it endured exposure to toxins that have recognized deadly and disabling health impacts. Toxins detected in burn pit smoke by DoD sampling are known to cause an array of illnesses including autoimmune disorders, cancers, and respiratory disease.
Just like in 9/11, hundreds of thousands possibly millions of brave men and women breathed in toxic chemicals. They live in every state and in congressional districts nationwide.
Burn Pits 360 has identified more than 50 types of cancers and thousands have died. This health crisis continues to be ignored by Congress.
Deployment related toxic exposure is devastating our veteran community and families while governmental agencies with an obligation to reform have failed. Reform to the Veteran Administration specifically disability screening and presumptions required to address the needs of the suffering veteran.
In the last twenty years, more veterans have died from Toxic Exposure than have at the hands of our enemy’s. Over 200 thousand of our brothers and sisters have died from Burn Pits and other related toxic exposures while thousands still fight for claims of the Vietnam war 60 years later. We have relied upon a failed system in hopes that things would change. In hopes that veterans care would become a priority. However, we have seen the opposite, The DoD and the VA refuse to recognize toxic exposure, denying thousands of claims every year.
We must change, for the sake of the lives of so many who have died and those who are currently suffering with no relief in sight. This is our responsibility this is our mission. Join us in supporting legislation that addresses these issues with a real outcome that will provide medical relief and recognition.
Intent: To inform veteran business and community leaders of the legislation being proposed that will reform VA policies regarding Toxic Exposure. To establish a coalition of veteran leaders and influencers to rally behind the bi-partisan legislation and bring national attention through their platforms on the issues and to engage with their local and national legislative representative.
Participants are encouraged to share the symposium on all of their social media platforms and join our coalition.