During my time serving in Afghanistan, burning trash and human waste in open air “burn pits” was a common way to dispose of trash. After years of burning this garbage, we’ve learned of the severe health complications and damages that “burn pits” exposure has caused among veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Unfortunately, this is history repeating itself. During the Vietnam War, Agent Orange was used to clear leaves and plants but was eventually linked to severe health complications for our service members.
Despite the scientific evidence, our government responded by sweeping the problem under the rug.
We cannot let the burn pit exposures become the Agent Orange of my generation.
To that end, the House recently passed my bill, the Burn Pits Transparency Act. If this bill were to become a law, it would keep track of all cases of burn pit exposure, so that the veterans who have been affected can get the care they need without having to prove that they were exposed. Not only does this make it easier on veterans who need treatment, but we can’t solve a problem unless we first identify the scope of the problem, and this bill would do just that.
This issue is personal to me. So many of those I served alongside with in Afghanistan have been impacted by these exposures, so I’ll keep fighting to ensure they get the care they have earned.