America’s military is the most powerful in the world, the most technically advanced fighting machine in the history of the planet.
But for the last 17 years in Iraq and Afghanistan, the military disposed of its waste by dumping it into a hole, dousing it with jet fuel, then lighting it up in what are now known as burn pits.
Chemical, paint, plastics, medical and human waste and more were all burned.
“People are sick, people have died,” said Navy veteran Lauren Price.
Burn pits got rid of the waste, but made many American troops sick.
Price is one of them.
After returning from Iraq in 2008, doctors diagnosed Lauren with a terminal bronchial condition.
“Thousands have died from diseases they have contracted while serving over there,” explained Price.
Concerned about exposure to toxic smoke and fumes, more than 141,000 American service members signed on to the VA’s Burn Pit Registry.
Central Command regulations banned burn pits.
“They complete ignored that,” states Price.
Photos obtained by 8 On Your Side show evidence of a burn pit operating near where Americans are stationed in Taji, Iraq.
Price traveled to Washington D.C. this week to educate Congress about the damage caused by burn pits, which is a much different take than what the military contends.
“The typical spin that’s coming out is, we need more research, we have to research this longer,” said Price.
“If I go back in time to Vietnam veterans trying to get their benefits, we heard the exact same from the Department of Defense, that we needed more research.”
Price started an organization called Veteran Warriors Advocacy. It is writing legislation mandating that the VA care and provide benefits for veterans suffering from burn pit exposure.
“If anyone needs us, if anyone has issues with burn pit claims, if they feel like they were exposed, you can find us on our own website at VeteranWarriorsAdvocacy.com or on Facebook, just look for Veteran Warriors,” Price explained.
“I promise you that we have people across the nation who are fluent in what the regulations are and how to get your help, your medical care and your claim. You are not alone.”
If you have a problem that you think should be investigated call our 8 On Your Side helpline at 1-800-338-0808.
Contact Steve Andrews at email@example.com.