Showing posts with label burn pit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label burn pit. Show all posts

Thursday, April 28, 2022

VA added 9 more respiratory cancers as presumed disabilities

Nine new cancers added to the presumed service-connected list related to particulate matter

News Sections: #VetResources, Benefits, Top Stories
Published On: April 26th, 2022
Bryan Lett is a USMC Veteran and public affairs specialist for VBA’s Office of Strategic Engagement
Department of Veterans Affairs On April 26, VA announced the addition of nine rare respiratory cancers to the list of presumed service-connected disabilities due to exposure to fine particulate matter for Veterans who served any amount of time in

Afghanistan, Djibouti, Syria or Uzbekistan during the Persian Gulf War, from September 19, 2001, to the present, or The Southwest Asia theater of operations from August 2, 1990, to the present. VA is taking a new approach to making decisions on presumptives, one that takes all available science into account, with one goal in mind – getting today’s Veterans, and Vets in the decades ahead – the benefits they deserve, as fast as possible.

VA identified, through a focused review of scientific and medical evidence, a biological plausibility between airborne hazards, specifically particulate matter, and carcinogensis of the respiratory tract; the unique circumstances of these rare cancers warrant a presumption of service connection.

Veterans and survivors who had claims previously denied for any of the below respiratory cancers are encouraged to file a supplemental claim for benefits;
Squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx;
Squamous cell carcinoma of the trachea;
Adenocarcinoma of the trachea;
Salivary gland-type tumors of the trachea;
Adenosquamous carcinoma of the lung;
Large cell carcinoma of the lung;
Salivary gland-type tumors of the lung;
Sarcomatoid carcinoma of the lung and;
Typical and atypical carcinoid of the lung
VA will contact impacted Veterans and survivors to inform them about their eligibility and it will provide information on how to apply.

To apply for benefits, Veterans and survivors may visit VA.gov or call toll-free at 800-827-1000.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

More than 200,000 veterans and service members signed up for Burn Pit Registry

More than 200,000 veterans, troops sign up for VA burn pit, airborne hazard registry


Connecting Vets
Abbie Bennett
May 5, 2020

The Pentagon encouraged registry participation in a letter to more than 700,000 active-duty, National Guard and Reserve members, VA said.
More than 200,000 veterans and service members have signed on to the Department of Veterans Affairs Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry, VA announced Tuesday.

The registry was established in June 2014 and allows current and former service members to self-report toxic exposures and health concerns using an online questionnaire. That registry and their responses can be used to discuss health issues with doctors and other providers.

“Concerns about the long-term effects of exposure to burn pits remain a priority,” VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said in a statement. “By joining the registry, veterans, service members and the department will further understand the impact of deployment-related exposures on health.”

VA credited the Defense Department with an extra push to put participation beyond the 200,000 mark, which it called a "major milestone."
read it here

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Vermont National Guardsman "dead man walking" after burn pit and VA failure to test him

What's killing Staff Sergeant Wesley Black? The VA doesn't want to talk about it.


CNN
By Brianna Keilar and Catherine Valentine
March 6, 2020

"You're looking at a dead man walking!" Staff Sergeant Wesley Black


Washington (CNN) "I'm not bullshitting you when I say the conversation went like this: 'Hi Wesley, I just wanted to call and see how you're doing. Are you alone this weekend?'" retired Staff Sergeant Wesley Black said, describing the call he received three years ago from his doctor.

"'No, my wife is here,'" he answered.

"'Great,OK good, because we wanted to let you know you have stage four colon cancer, and we'll be in touch with you Monday, OK? Have a good weekend.'"

Black was 31 years old and had recently begun a new career as a firefighter. His wife had just given birth to their baby boy. Days before, they had signed the mortgage on their first home.

The colon cancer had spread to his liver and lungs and Black says doctors gave him three to five years to live. That was three years and one month ago.

Later, he learned burn pits used by the military to destroy trash in Iraq and Afghanistan, where Black had served in the Vermont National Guard, were to blame.
read it here

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

"For me, it was just about trying to turn the pain into purpose" after wife died serving near burn pits

Woodbury veteran's legacy lives on through Amie Muller Foundation


River Towns
Written By: Hannah Black
Jan 21st 2020
"For me, it was just about trying to turn the pain into purpose. When you think about ... what the military's done for us as a country, and then we're not taking care of our soldiers and our veterans the way we should, I think for us it's about raising awareness about how we can continue to help these veterans and to give back." Brian Muller

WOODBURY, Minn. — When Minnesota Air National Guard veteran and Woodbury resident Amie Muller died in 2017 after battling pancreatic cancer, her loved ones set out to carry on her legacy.
Amie Muller, 36, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2016 and died nine months later. Muller, who served two tours in Iraq, believed her cancer was caused by living next to a massive burn pit while stationed in Balad. Courtesy of Brian Muller


The resulting Amie Muller Foundation was formed to provide financial assistance to military families fighting pancreatic cancer. The foundation will host its second annual Family Fun Day fundraiser Sunday, Jan. 26, at Nickelodeon Universe at the Mall of America in Bloomington. One of two yearly fundraisers the foundation holds, Family Fun Day was started as tribute to Muller's love of family and as a way to include the children — hers, and those of her family and friends — she loved so much.

"Amie was very family-focused, and her kids were everything to her," said Julie Tomaska, Muller's best friend and fellow Minnesota Air National Guard veteran. Muller and Tomaska were in the same unit and did two tours in Iraq together in 2005 and 2007.

Amie Muller and Tomaska had been stationed at Balad Air Base near a giant open-air burn pit. Inside the pit was anything from Styrofoam to plastics and even human body parts, burning 24 hours a day in a fire stoked by jet fuel, the Star Tribune reported in 2016. The burn pit was just one of many used by the U.S. military throughout Iraq and Afghanistan.

Tomaska and Muller's husband, Brian, started planning the foundation shortly after Amie's death. Every couple of months, the foundation's leadership combs through the GoFundMe site in search of military families affected by a pancreatic cancer diagnosis, providing $2,500 to $5,000 in financial aid to each family.
Nearly 200,000 veterans have signed up for the VA's Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry. read it here

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Jennifer Kepner served as an Air Force Medic in Iraq in 2006, killed by cancer caused by burn pits

President Trump signs Rep. Ruiz’s burn pits, law enforcement mental health bill into law


News Channel 3
By Jesus Reyes
December 20, 2019
Kepner lost her battle to cancer on October 16, 2017. She was 39 years old and left behind a husband and two young children. After her passing, her husband continued her fight to end burn pits.
President Donald Trump signed three of local Congressman Raul Ruiz's bills into law, including legislation to stop burn pits and improve mental health services for local law enforcement.

On Friday, Trump signed the bipartisan, $738 billion National Defense Authorization Act into law. The NDAA included two pieces of Ruiz's legislation aiming to end the use of toxic military burn pits.

Burn pits were used as the main way to get rid of waste and garbage on American military bases during the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, hundreds of tons of waste were burned each day including plastics, Styrofoam, petroleum products, human waste, and other items.

Many service members and veterans exposed to burn pits ended up suffering from pulmonary issues, insomnia, cancer, and rare illnesses.

An independent registry by Burn Pits 360, a veteran organization whose goal it is to end burn pits, reveals that over 6,000 veterans have been exposed to toxic airborne chemicals and fumes generated by open air burn pits.

Ruiz's legislation calls on the Department of Defense to produce and implement a plan to phase out the use of burn pits and provide a comprehensive list of all locations where the toxic burn pits have been used.

One local veteran affected by burn pits was at the forefront of highlighting the dangers of the practice years ago.

Cathedral City resident Jennifer Kepner served as an Air Force Medic in Iraq in 2006. She told News Channel 3's John White in Sept. 2017, she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2016. read it here

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Those who serve...paying beyond what is acceptable

Supreme Court rejects appeal over military burn pits


By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: January 14, 2019

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court is rejecting appeals from military veterans who claim they suffer health problems because of open burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The justices on Monday left in place a federal appeals court ruling that more than 60 lawsuits over the burn pits could not go forward.

The lawsuits said military contractor KBR dumped tires, batteries, medical waste and other materials into open burn pits. The suits claimed the resulting smoke caused neurological problems, cancers and other health issues in more than 800 servicemembers. The complaints said at least 12 servicemembers died. #ExposedAndBetrayed
read more here

Commandant tells Coast Guard families: ‘You have not, and will not, be forgotten’


By STARS AND STRIPES
Published: January 14, 2019

Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Karl Schultz drew attention to ongoing missions around the globe and expressed his support for Coast Guard families as the service prepared for about 41,000 members to go without paychecks on Tuesday as part of the ongoing partial government shutdown.
A Coast Guard Cutter Munro crewmember embraces his children after the cutter returned home to Alameda, Calif., Dec. 24, 2018. MATTHEW MASASCHI/U.S. COAST GUARD

"While our Coast Guard workforce is deployed, there are loved ones at home reviewing family finances, researching how to get support, and weighing childcare options—they are holding down the fort," Schultz wrote on Sunday. "Please know that we are doing everything we can to support and advocate for you while your loved one stands the watch. You have not, and will not, be forgotten."
read more here

And then there is the latest news that the Congress is once again thinking about the term permanent and totally disabled should be followed up with "just kidding." They managed to cut the taxes on their wealthy friends, but now they want to cut the budgets of the disabled veterans who cannot afford to lose their compensation. Gee, wonder how much the heads of all the corporations get for their compensation after that sweetheart deal?

In other words folks...mostly cutting Vietnam veterans off at the knees!

Background

In 2017, 4.5 million veterans with medical conditions or injuries that were incurred or that worsened during active-duty service received disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The amount of compensation such veterans receive depends on the severity of their disabilities (which are rated between zero and 100 percent in increments of 10), the number of their dependents, and other factors—but not on their income or civilian employment history.
In addition, VA may increase certain veterans' disability compensation to the 100 percent level, even though VA has not rated their service-connected disabilities at that level. To receive the supplement, termed an Individual Unemployability (IU) payment, disabled veterans must apply for the benefit and meet two criteria. First, veterans generally must be rated between 60 percent and 90 percent disabled. Second, VA must determine that veterans' disabilities prevent them from maintaining substantially gainful employment—for instance, if their employment earnings would keep them below the poverty threshold for one person. In 2017, for veterans who received the supplement, it boosted their monthly VA disability payment by an average of about $1,200. In September 2017, about 380,000 veterans received IU payments. Of those veterans, the Congressional Budget Office estimates, about 180,000 were age 67 or older. That age group has been the largest driver of growth in the program.
VA's regulations require that IU benefits be based on a veteran's inability to maintain substantially gainful employment because of the severity of a service-connected disability and not because of age, voluntary withdrawal from work, or other factors. About 48 percent of veterans receiving the IU supplement were 67 or older in September 2017, up from about 40 percent in September 2010. That rise is attributed largely to the aging of Vietnam War veterans.
But the tax cuts for the wealthy they managed to make permanent!

House passes GOP bill to make new tax cuts permanent

  • Republicans have sped legislation through the House to expand their massive new tax law, capping their session for the year as they rush out of town to face voters in the November elections.
  • The new bill would make permanent the individual and small-business tax cuts in the law.
  • It's the second tax-cut proposal that Republican leaders have pushed in less than a year.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Did Burn Pits Kill General?

Vt. Guard general’s death draws attention to burn pit dangers


Providence Journal
Donita Naylor
November 25, 2018

Flags in Vermont are flying at half-staff in honor of a former Rhode Islander, Vermont National Guard Brig. Gen. Michael T. Heston, 58, who died Nov. 14 from an aggressive cancer linked to his three tours of duty in Afghanistan, one with the Rhode Island National Guard.
Flags in Vermont are flying at half-staff in honor of a former Rhode Islander, Vermont National Guard Brig. Gen. Michael T. Heston, 58, who died Nov. 14 from an aggressive cancer linked to his three tours of duty in Afghanistan, one with the Rhode Island National Guard.

Heston was buried with full military honors at the Veterans Cemetery in Randolph, Vermont, on Saturday. An order from Vermont Gov. Philip B. Scott said flags would be flown at half-staff until sunset Monday.

Heston, the oldest son of Thomas and Dorothea Heston, grew up in Cumberland, graduating from Cumberland High School in 1978 and from Roger Williams College in 1982.

During his 34-year military career, he rose to the second-highest rank in the Vermont National Guard. He was also a trooper in the Vermont State Police for 26 years, retiring as a sergeant in 2010.
June Heston, his wife of 30 years, told Fox News that in 2016, four years after returning from his last deployment in Afghanistan, he began having back pain. He was diagnosed 10 months later with stage IV pancreatic cancer. No one had thought of testing for cancer.

She said Sunday night that Mike’s oncologist “did all the genetic and genomic testing” and found that his cancer “was not hereditary in any way.” The doctor wrote to the Veterans Administration with his conclusion that the cancer had an environmental cause.
read more here

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Burn Pits get studied today, forgotten about from all other wars

Wonder if any of these reporters are aware this is how they got rid of the same stuff in all other wars?
*******

Burn Pits Exposed: A Look at How Military Got Rid of 'Anything and Everything' on Overseas Bases


NBC 10 News
By NBC10 Investigators
Published Nov 16, 2018

They served. Now they're sick. Thousands of former soldiers claim they are suffering ill effects from the garbage disposal methods on overseas bases.
In the middle of the deserts of Iraq and Afghanistan, garbage disposal on American military bases was historically a simple thing.

"Anything and everything burned in a burn pit — from mail to dead animals to anything," Ryan Conklin, a former soldier, says.

Asbestos and other chemicals? Yes, retired Army Lt. Col. Dan Brewer, says.

Medical waste? Yes again, according to a doctor now researching the effects of burn pit dust. "It was always burning, always black smoke coming of there," another veteran, Michael Ray, says.

Several former soldiers and medical doctors spoke to NBC10 Investigators about their experiences with burn pits: large holes dug by crews who then filled the pits with trash and lit them on fire with jet fuel. For many soldiers deployed to the desert and living on bases adjacent to the debris disposal, the billowing black smoke was just part of their daily life.
read more here


Friday, May 18, 2018

Military’s burn pit problems ignored by Congress

Veterans fear Congress has forgotten about the military’s burn pit problems
Military Times
By: Leo Shane III
5 hours ago

Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Nathanial Fink, left, and Lance Cpl. Garrett Camacho dispose of trash in a burn pit in the Khan Neshin district of Afghanistan in March 2012. (Cpl. Alfred V. Lopez/Marine Corps)

WASHINGTON — For years, Veterans Affairs leaders and administration officials have promised they won’t let health issues surrounding burn pit exposure in Iraq and Afghanistan become another “Agent Orange” in the community.

Now, advocates and a handful of lawmakers are worried it already has.

“The level of awareness among members of Congress on the problems from burn pits is abysmally low,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii and an Army National Guard soldier who served in Iraq in 2004-2005. “Too few understand the urgency of the issue.”

Gabbard and Afghanistan war veteran Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., recently introduced new legislation dubbed the Burn Pits Accountability Act to require more in-depth monitoring of servicemembers’ health for signs of illnesses connected to toxic exposure in combat zones.
read more here

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Did Burn Pits Kill Joe Biden's Son?

Biden addresses possible link between son’s fatal brain cancer and toxic military burn pits
PBS
Dan Sagalyn
January 10, 2018
The issue appears to be personal for Biden, whose son, Beau Biden, a former Delaware attorney general, died at age 46 in May 2015 from glioblastoma multiforme, the most common form of brain cancer.

A U.S. Army soldier watches bottled water that had gone bad burn in a burn-pit at Forward Operating Base Azzizulah in Maiwand District, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, February 4, 2013. File Photo by REUTERS/Andrew Burton 
Former Vice President Joe Biden said he thinks toxins found in smoke from burning waste at U.S. military installations in Iraq and at other facilities abroad could “play a significant role” in causing veterans’ cancer.
“Science has recognized there are certain carcinogens when people are exposed to them,” Biden said in an interview with Judy Woodruff last week. “Depending on the quantities and the amount in the water and the air, [they] can have a carcinogenic impact on the body.”
Biden’s comments shed light on a debate that has roiled physicians, former service members and the Department of Veteran Affairs about whether the health of some U.S. military personnel was compromised by garbage disposal methods used by contractors and the military at overseas bases in Iraq and Afghanistan.
As a major in the Delaware Army National Guard, Beau Biden’s judge advocate general unit was activated in late 2008. He served in Iraq for much of 2009 at Camp Victory in Baghdad and Balad Air Force Base, 50 miles north of the Iraqi capital. Both bases used large burn pits. Earlier, he helped train local prosecutors and judges in Kosovo after the 1998-1999 war. read more here

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Has Florida Doctor found cure for burnpits

Vets exposed to burn pits falling ill, treatment invented in Tampa Bay
WTSP News
Liz Crawford
January 9, 2018

Dr. Harrell said he's cured all of the veterans he's treated so far. His goal now is to make his treatment easily accessible for all veterans suffering from burn pit exposure.

PALM HARBOR, Fla
You've likely heard many stories over the years of veterans dealing with PTSD or soldiers learning to live as an amputee but there's another lesser-known challenge tormenting our soldiers.
Exposure to toxic burn pits while in Iraq and Afghanistan could have devastating effects on the lungs. While tens of thousands of veterans have signed the VA's burn pit registry, nothing else is being done...until now.
Joe Hernandez served four tours in Iraq and Afghanistan with the US army. During that time he was exposed to toxic burn pits where the military burned waste like chemicals, ammunition, oil, anything they had to get rid of.
Hernandez explained that depending on which way the wind would shift, he would breathe in the burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan for extended periods of time.
“It’s war, it's not pretty. You got so many other things that are going to kill you on a daily basis so it’s like well what are you going to do?” Hernandez revealed.
When Hernandez came home in 2009, he struggled and had to adjust to becoming a regular civilian. Eventually, he found relief in fitness and started a new career in Florida as a personal trainer. However, Hernandez started to notice that although he was in great shape, he was lethargic and got winded way too easy, and even struggled to breathe.
read more here

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Hundreds Attended Funeral for Amie Muller After Iraq Burn Pits Battle

Hundreds say goodbye to Amie Muller, who sounded alarm over toxic risks for Iraq veterans
Star Tribune
By Mark Brunswick
FEBRUARY 24, 2017

Muller, who died of pancreatic cancer at age 36, worked and lived next to one of the most toxic military burn pits in all of Iraq.
National Guard veteran Amie Muller believed deployments to Iraq caused the cancer that killed her.

She worked and lived next to burn pits that billowed toxic smoke night and day at an air base in northern Iraq. After returning to Minnesota, she began experiencing health problems usually not seen in a woman in her 30s.

Muller died a week ago, nine months after being diagnosed with Stage III pancreatic cancer. On Friday, more than 800 of her friends and family gathered at a memorial service in Woodbury to remember the life of the 36-year-old mother of three. A pastor noted her loss was both painful and seemingly incomprehensible.

“I wish there was a simple way to explain what has happened to Amie. Why Amie is gone,” said Pastor Lisa Renlund. “Life truly isn’t that simple. It can get messy. It can feel complicated. It can seem unfair.”

But others also are remembering Muller’s battle to win recognition from the U.S. government for victims of the burn pits, which have the potential of becoming the Iraq and Afghanistan wars’ equivalent of the Vietnam War’s Agent Orange. It took nearly three decades for the U.S. government to eventually link the defoliant used in Vietnam to cancer.

Muller first told her story in the Star Tribune last year shortly after she was diagnosed.
In 2005 and in 2007, Muller was deployed to Balad, Iraq, with the Minnesota Air National Guard, embedded with a military intelligence squadron. The burn pit near her living quarters there was one of the most notorious of the more than 230 that were constructed at military bases across Iraq and Afghanistan before their use was restricted in 2009. Items ranging from Styrofoam to metals and plastics to electrical equipment to human body parts were incinerated, the flames stoked with jet fuel.
read more here

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Burn Pit Marine Abandoned After Burn Pit Exposure

Marine Dies, Family Blames Burn Pit for Terminal Illness
FOX 40 Sacramento
BY SONSEEAHRAY TONSALL
OCTOBER 7, 2016

SACRAMENTO -- What Agent Orange was to Vietnam veterans, some say toxic exposure from burn pits is to those who have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan.

One local family has been told their Marine son will probably not survive the weekend and they believe it's because of a toxic war injury that's turned into a killer here at home.


"He's a hero. He's a fighter," Marty Robinson said of his stepson. "What he has done for this country ... he loved the Marines."

"It just made him feel like he had a purpose and that he was doing something really positive with his life," said mother Karen Robinson.

But the Robinsons, Ricky Wasco's parents, say that positive has turned into the negative that will take him from them, his highschool sweet heart wife and their three little girls.

After a failed bone marrow transplant, the 27-year-old corporal's organs are failing as he faces his last days with acute lymphocytic leukemia.
read more here

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Burn Pits Killing OEF and OIF Veterans

Iraq, Afghan vets may have their own Agent Orange
Star Tribune
Mark Brunswick
June 18, 2016

“It makes me really mad,” said Muller, who monitored and edited video feeds from Air Force fighter jet missions while in Iraq. “I inhaled that stuff. It was all day, all night. Everything that they burned there, is illegal to burn in America. That tells you something.”

ELIZABETH FLORES – STAR TRIBUNE
Amie Muller received a chemotherapy treatment at Mayo Clinic, Thursday, June 16, 2016.
While it took nearly three decades for the U.S. government to eventually link Agent Orange, the defoliant used in Vietnam, to cancer, President Obama has pledged quick action to make determinations about the effect of the burn pits on perhaps as many as 60,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.
ROCHESTER – They are known as the Agent Orange of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars: Massive open-air burn pits at U.S. military bases that billowed the toxic smoke and ash of everything from Styrofoam, metals and plastics to electrical equipment and even human body parts.

The flames were stoked with jet fuel.

One of the most notorious was in Balad, site of the largest and busiest air base operated by the military in Iraq. More than 10 acres in size, the pit burned at all hours and consumed an estimated 100 to 200 tons of waste a day. It was hastily constructed upwind from the base, and its plumes consistently drifted toward the 25,000 troops stationed there.

During two deployments to Balad with the Minnesota Air National Guard, Amie Muller worked and lived next to the pits. And now, she believes, she is paying the price.

Diagnosed last month with Stage III pancreatic cancer, the 36-year-old mother of three from Woodbury has just completed her third round of ­chemotherapy at the Mayo Clinic here. As she undergoes treatment, she struggles with anger and awaits a VA determination on whether a host of ailments from migraines to fibromyalgia is connected to her military service at Balad.
read more here

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Combat Did Not Kill Iraq Veteran But Burn Pits May

Cancer forces veteran to fight for his life
Daily Times
Hannah Grover
April 16, 2016

Retired New Mexico National Guard Master Sgt. David Montoya hopes a clinical trial in Texas can help save his life

"I knew it was the burn pits," he said. Montoya is among dozens of veterans throughout the country who have sued Halliburton and KBR Inc., companies that were contracted by the military to dispose of waste in Iraq and Afghanistan.
FARMINGTON — After two combat tours in Iraq, a local veteran is now fighting a battle against cancer.
David Montoya, a retired master sergeant with the New Mexico Army National Guard, is battling lung cancer. He talks about the experience on Thursday at the home of his girlfriend, Summer Martinez. (Photo: Steve Lewis/The Daily Times)
And his friends and family are trying to raise the money necessary to help David Montoya, a retired master sergeant with the New Mexico National Guard, receive treatment in Houston.

Montoya, 44, was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2012 while serving at the National Guard Armory in Farmington.

"It happened so fast I had to have emergency surgery," Montoya recalled last week.

He said the tumor in his colon nearly caused the organ to burst. At the time, his prognosis was good. Doctors removed the tumor, and chemotherapy destroyed cancerous cells in his lymph nodes.

But at a cancer screening in February 2014, Montoya learned that the cancer was back, and, this time, it was in his lungs.
read more here

Monday, April 4, 2016

Iraq Veteran Died After Burn Pit Exposure Before Justice Was Granted

Soldier who fought VA, blamed cancer on Iraq 'burn pits,' dies
FOX News
By Perry Chiaramonte
Published April 04, 2016
Ashely and John Marshall met while serving in the Army. John died last week, leaving behind his wife and two young children.
A decorated Army veteran who battled the VA over treatment for cancer he claimed to have gotten from working over burn pits in Iraq has died, his family said Monday.

Former Army Sgt. John Marshall, who went to his grave believing his cancer was caused by standing over burn pits where the military disposed of everything from disabled IEDs to lithium batteries, died at his home in Surprise, Ariz., March 29. He was 31, and left behind a wife and two young children.

"John was the type of guy who touched people even if he didn't know them that long," said Marshall's wife and fellow veteran, Ashley. "The amount of people that have come from all over to offer condolences has been amazing and overwhelming. I knew John was a great person, but it shouldn't have amazed me as it did that so many other people thought so, too."
read more here


Here's the link to rules for a case like this. His claim does not have to die and they can fight to finally have his service honored.

Federal Benefits for Veterans, Dependents and Survivors
Chapter 13 Dependents and Survivors Benefits

And this as well
Compensation for Dependents
Evidence Required
Listed below are the evidence requirements for this benefit:
The Servicemember died while on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training, OR
The Veteran died from an injury or disease deemed to be related to military service, OR
The Veteran died from a non service-related injury or disease, but was receiving, OR was entitled to receive, VA Compensation for service-connected disability that was rated as totally disabling
For at least 10 years immediately before death, OR
Since the Veteran's release from active duty and for at least five years immediately preceding death, OR For at least one year before death if the Veteran was a former prisoner of war who died after September 30, 1999

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Iraq Veteran Warns Others About Lung Cancer After Burn Pits

Iraq war veteran warns other vets to get their lungs checked
FOX2 News St. Louis
BY PAUL SCHANKMAN
MARCH 16, 2016

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO (KTVI) - An Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran from South St. Louis County is warning fellow veterans to have their lungs checked by a doctor.


His name is Tim Smith. He`s 37-years-old, and even though he says he has never been a smoker, doctors recently discovered he has lung cancer.

Now he's wondering if it might have been caused by a different kind of smoke.

'We`d see black smoke all the time, we`d see some weird colored smoke clouds up in the air that would turn different colors at times. We really didn`t know what it was,' said Smith.

He owns Patriot Contract Commercial Cleaning, which hires veterans to tidy up offices and schools.

But he says when he served in Iraq, there was no one hauling off trash.
read more here

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Terminal Burn Pit-Iraq Veteran Claim Denied by VA?

Report: VA Abandoned Terminally Ill Army Combat Veteran
Free Beacon 
BY: Morgan Chalfant 
February 24, 2016
Marshall missed mandatory meetings with the VA last year during which he would have had the opportunity to offer evidence connecting his cancer to his service in Iraq because he was hospitalized with pneumonia. While Marshall said he could still present such evidence, the VA will not listen to him.
A decorated Army combat veteran says that the Department of Veterans Affairs abandoned him in his fight against terminal cancer following his service in Iraq.

Pvt. John Marshall told Fox News that the VA has denied his claims that his service in Iraq, particularly his close proximity to burn pits, precipitated his cancer.

“It’s all just a big slap in the face. I tried to be the perfect soldier,” Marshall said. “I did everything I was told, and now they just forced my claim through and denied coverage and my benefits.”

Marshall, who now lives in a suburb of Phoenix, Arizona, was diagnosed with scar tissue sarcoma a little over a year ago. He attributes his illness to his time spent working over open burn pits, which a 2013 report from the Government Accountability Office designated as a likely cause of chronic health problems for veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
read more here

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Beau Biden's Death May Save Lives After Burn Pit Exposures

Link Found Between Burn Pits and Cancers MSN
Joe Biden's eldest son Beau Biden returned home from his deployment to Iraq after serving two years in the U.S. military's occupation of the country. In a few months' time following his return, he began to experience an onset of illnesses, including a stroke that lead to brain cancer, which killed him in less than two years from that point. Beau Biden's case is not unlike many other veterans who have served overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan, as a recent study has linked service in those countries to various cancers and bronchial illnesses. The common trait between the two is believed to lie within the open air burn pits, of which their are over 250 between the two countries, set up atop Saddam Hussein's chemical weapons program.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Congress cut funding for more research on burn pit exposures for 2016

News5 Investigates: Vets and contractors believed to be sickened by war time burn pits
KOAA 5 News
By Maddie Garrett
February 5, 2016
"We have no idea what these veterans were exposed to day to day," said Daniel Warvi, Public Affairs Officer, VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System.
COLORADO SPRINGS - A News5 investigation into so-called burn pits looks into how toxic fumes our service members and civilian contractors were exposed to in war zones in Afghanistan and Iraq on a daily basis are now believed to be causing serious health problems.

As thousands of veterans came home from war, doctors started noticing a common health problem, they reported having a cough and/or trouble breathing. Some cases developed into rare lung diseases, and few even ended in death. But just as more vets and civilians are being diagnosed as having respiratory problems, Congress cut funding for more research on burn pit exposures for 2016.

The burn pits were used to destroy all types of waste during wars in the Middle East, burning everything from trash and food waste, to vehicle parts, ammunition, tires, batteries, medical waste, animal carcasses, chemicals, plastic and in some cases even body parts.

The Department of Veterans Affairs said one of the challenges in understanding the risks of burn pits is that each one could contain varying kinds of waste and that could differ on a day-to-day basis.
read more here
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