Thursday, July 27, 2017

Congressional Briefing on Burn Pit Exposures

On July 27th, 2017 Burn Pits 360 and Amnesty International will host bipartisan congressional briefing on toxic exposures in Iraq and Afghanistan as a result of the military’s use of open-air burn pits.

The panel will discuss the health issues associated with burn pits exposures, and the obstacles that veterans face to acquiring specialized health care and benefits as a result of their exposures.

Representative Joaquin Castro (D-TX), Representative Mike Coffman (R-CO), and Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) are co-sponsoring the event.

To attend the panel discussion, please RSVP to Garrett Koelsch, SWHR2Team@aiusa.org. Guests must RSVP to attend. To arrange an interview with the moderators or panelists, please contact media@aiusa.org.

WHAT: Toxic Wounds of War: Protecting Veterans Exposed to Open Air Burn Pits

WHO: 
Moderated by Elizabeth Beavers, Senior Campaigner for Security With Human Rights at Amnesty International USA, and Rosie Torres, Executive Director of Burn Pits 360.

Featured Speakers: 
  • Will Thompson, U.S. Army Veteran, double lung transplant recipient 
  • Dr. Allyn Harris, Assistant Professor of medicine at the G.V. Sonny Montgomery VA Medical Center Dr. Robert Miller, Professor of Clinical Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center 
  • Dr. Richard Meehan, rheumatologist and professor of Medicine in the Division of Rheumatology at National Jewish Health 
  • Kerry Baker, VA appellate practitioner for Chisholm, Chisholm & Kilpatrick, representing disabled veterans and their dependents before the Veterans Benefits Administration and the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans’ Claims 
WHEN: Thursday, July 27 at 12:00 – 1:30 pm

WHERE: Capitol Visitor Center, Room SVC 203-02 First St NE, Washington, DC 20515 Veterans and Families of the fallen are meeting on the steps of Capitol Hill in Washington D.C.where they will meet with members of Congress demanding action and accountability on toxic exposures.

After years of delay and denial of specialized health care and benefits from the VA and DOD, service members and families of the fallen encountered yet more tragic news today. U.S. District Judge Roger Titus dismissed the class action law suit against KBR. Judge Titus wrote that due to this fact, it was inappropriate to ask the court to analyze the military’s decision-making during wartime.

This decision comes just days ahead of Burnpits 360’s Congressional Briefing scheduled for July 27th. Families called Burn Pits 360’s headquarters seeking consolation with hopes that the upcoming briefing will deliver accountability.

One service member said, “this is why so many service members suffering commit suicide because of all of the losses they endure”. “America’s service members and veterans some of who are reservists and first responders of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are dying and their families are being left without benefits, there has to be accountability,” Torres explained. “Many of these men and women went to war able to run marathons, but now their health has deteriorated so much that they are losing their careers, life savings and even their homes. They are misdiagnosed. We cannot afford to wait for another delayed medical study, we need the president and Congress to recognize this crisis is happening now.”

Anyone who suffers illness from their war service should have guaranteed specialized health care and compensation available to them and the families of anyone who becomes ill or dies. It is our moral obligation as Americans to care for those that defend our nation.

The Congressional briefing calls on members of Congress to establish a health and compensation fund and grant a Congressional Hearing.