The New Agent Orange?
The VA resists a public registry for vets exposed to toxic open-air burn pits.
Rosie Torres sent her 35-year-old husband off to war and watched him return a year later an old man. The handsome Army Reserve captain looked the same on the outside, but he was so brittle on the inside that he was forced out of his full-time job as a Texas state trooper four years after his tour in Iraq.
“Last week we turned in his gun and holster,” Torres told TAC in September. “He’s letting go of his lifelong, childhood dream.”
LeRoy Torres, now 39, is one of a growing number of vets – no one knows yet how many – suffering from unexplained, chronic respiratory and cardiopulmonary illnesses believed to be associated with exposure to the noxious open-air pits that burned trash, hazardous materials, and waste on U.S bases and installations for years.
TAC has followed this issue since October 2009. Today, Rosie heads Burn Pits 360, an advocacy organization for these sick veterans and their families as well as loved ones representing veterans who have died from cancer and other serious ailments post-deployment.
LeRoy Torres was stationed in Iraq at Joint Base Balad, which hosted the biggest pit in the theater, incinerating an estimated 147 tons of waste a day as of 2008. “He described to me the stench, the smell, the smoke, the plume, the residue that it would leave in their quarters — like white ash. He didn’t know why, but something even then told him to stop doing PT
Think about all the Iraqi and Afghan people have had to deal with this ”new agent orange.” Where is the outrage over what this/our government does under the war on terrorism – to its own people and the people they’re at war in? This is another grim disaster that will follow America for decades…