[Source: Fox News Exclusive by Perry Chiaramonte, Lea Gabrielle]
The hazardous effects resulting in terminal illnesses and the loss of life of American service members, veterans and contractors exposed to the burn pits on bases where they were stationed during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation New Dawn is a discussion that has long been covered up.
Those who have not died are gravely ill from exposure to thick clouds of black smoke and toxic waste burned at military sites “not limited to: chemicals, paint, medical and human waste, metal/aluminum cans, munitions and other unexploded ordnance, petroleum and lubricant products, plastics, rubber, wood, and discarded food.”
For the record, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has established its Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry to which 141,246 Veterans and service members have registered.
The casualties of the burn pits is reminiscent of the diseases contracted by our veterans associated with Agent Orange and the Gulf War Syndrome. The difference being that diseases related to burn pits are allegedly killing our veterans at a much higher rate…and at a younger age as compared to the ages of veterans who died from Agent Orange, according to BurnPits360.org.
(So as not to offend, age should not matter. All served with duty, honor and made the ultimate sacrifice for their country, some sooner than later. None deserved to be exposed to toxins, chemicals and waste that would result in their becoming chronically and terminally ill.)
According to the VA’s website:
Toxins in burn pit smoke may affect the skin, eyes, respiratory and cardiovascular systems, gastrointestinal tract and internal organs.
Veterans who were closer to burn pit smoke or exposed for longer periods may be at greater risk. Health effects depend on a number of other factors, such as the kind of waste being burned and wind direction.
Most of the irritation is temporary and resolves once the exposure is gone. This includes eye irritation and burning, coughing and throat irritation, breathing difficulties, and skin itching and rashes….
“Most of the irritation is temporary and resolves once the exposure is gone?” WRONG! Members of the U. S. Military who served on these bases are dying from terminal illnesses contracted as a result of these burn pits and many others are chronically and/or terminally ill.
Below are excerpts from a 2016 article also written by Perry Chiaramonte:
…“The clouds of smoke would just hang throughout the base,” Army Sgt. Daniel Diaz, who was stationed at Joint Base Balad, in Iraq’s Sunni Triangle from 2004-2005, told FoxNews.com. “No one ever gave it any thought. You are just so focused on the mission at hand. In my mind, I was just getting ready for the fight.”
Diaz returned from duty in 2008. A year later, he started developing health problems including cancer, chronic fatigue and weakness, neuropathy and hypothyroidism. Nearly every base he was stationed at during his four tours in Iraq and Afghanistan had burn pits nearby – and pungent smoke everywhere.
“When I was stationed at Camp Wright, there was one 20-30 feet from our rooms,” he says. “No one ever questioned whether it was dangerous having it so close. Not even once…”
As often left out of the conversation is the bureaucratic red tape our veterans, their families and loved ones are forced to deal with which continues long after terminally ill veterans are no longer around.
…“I haven’t got diddly squat,” Diaz tells Foxnews.com. “The VA is refusing to admit that my cancers are service-related. It’s frustrating. I have $100,000 in medical bills because I have no coverage.
“It’s breaking my family,” he said. “I’m just trying to fight to stay alive long enough get my claim settled so my family has something when I am gone.”
Once dead, servicemembers cannot retroactively be placed on the list, which advocates say leaves family members of the fallen in the lurch and often bankrupt[…]
Finally what do all of the illnesses mentioned above have in common besides exposure to chemicals, toxins, waste, etc.? Denial and coverups!
If unable to view above 2016 Congressional Report, you can view it in pdf format here.
Credits: *U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Robert B. Brown, with Combat Camera Unit, Regimental Combat Team 6, watches over the civilian firefighters at the burn pit as smoke and flames rise into the night sky behind him in Camp Fallujah, Iraq. U.S. Marine Corps [United States Forces Iraq-Flickr] photo by Cpl. Samuel D. Corum (2007).
**Master Sgt. Darryl Sterling, 332nd Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron equipment manager, tosses unserviceable uniform items into a burn pit here, March 10. The 332 ELRS has a central collection point that can be used by service members and Department of Defense civilians; unserviceable uniform items are burned. Sergeant Sterling is deployed from Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. Photo by Senior Airman Julianne Showalter (03/10/2008).
Cross-posted on Veterans’ Tales.org.
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