Burn Pits Get Recognized – Veterans Get Care for Respiratory Cancers

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You would think that in the 21st century, we would have enough sense not to burn trash. Who knows what toxins could be released, leaving us to breathe in unknown chemicals that will wreak havoc on our bodies for years to come?

Yet, that’s exactly what has happened on countless military bases – many of which were overseas as makeshift and temporary solutions to the trash that was piling up. Members of the military were instructed to set up a burn pit. And when you’re given a direct order from a commanding officer, you don’t argue.

For years, veterans have been arguing that their health has suffered because of the toxins inhaled near the burn pits of wherever they were deployed. And for years, the VA didn’t want to hear any of it. Claims were denied right and left.

Finally, burn pits and their detrimental health effects have been recognized. As such, nine respiratory cancers are being added to the list of health problems that the VA will provide benefits and treatment for.

Officials at Veteran Affairs will be working to ease the suffering of veterans across the U.S. It will give veterans a chance to increase their disability benefits and truly get healthcare services that will make a difference.

Veterans may have been exposed to burn pit smoke in Afghanistan, Iraq, or in any number of overseas locations over the past few decades. VA Secretary Denis McDonough explained, “Veterans who suffer from rare respiratory cancers associated with their service deserve the very best America ha to offer, but they’ve had to wait for the care and benefits they deserve for far too long. That ends now.”

Various cancers of the larynx, trachea, and lung have been added so that veterans can get the care that they need. The policy will apply to veterans who served in the Southwest Asia theater beginning in 1990 as well as those serving in Djibouti, Syria, Uzbekistan or Afghanistan beginning in 2001. Essentially, anyone serving in the Gulf War, the Iraq War, or the War in Afghanistan can make the claim if they have been diagnosed with one of the rare respiratory cancers.

As for how many affected individuals there are, there’s no saying. Even VA officials didn’t try to claim a specific number, as reported by Military Times.

It’s ridiculous that it has taken this long to take care of veterans. Any veteran who spent time overseas could attest to the fact that burn pits existed. However, the cries were ignored. Much of this has to do with the Democrats who would rather fund transgender research projects in foreign countries over taking care of our veterans.

Meanwhile, younger generations are watching. They’re watching how abused veterans are when they get back from serving the country. So, when the Army or the Air Force calls for new recruits, the younger generations don’t want anything to do with it all. It’s why the ranks are dwindling. No one wants to sign up only to be abused and in poor health for the rest of their lives.

Perhaps now, as the VA works to improve care for veterans, we can get back on track. We can prove to the younger generations that we do care about our service members, and we will continue to care about them for their entire lives. We thank our veterans for their service, and with every thanks, it may help to encourage more people to serve their country in the future.

We might actually become the best military in the world once again. At least, that is the hope.