We would like the House leadership to bring H.R. 2510, the Helping Veterans Exposed to Toxic Chemicals Act, to the House floor for a vote as soon as possible.
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This bill was introduced back in June of 2013 and still does not have a date to come to the floor for a vote. On behalf of the men and women who served their country bravely and dutifully during the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, this is unacceptable.
There are countless veterans who are suffering the effects of toxins released into the air by the burn pits our military instructed them to operate. These veterans followed their orders, without question, and now have returned home with debilitating respiratory conditions as a result. There are veterans who are turning up with titanium and magnesium in their lungs as a result of these burn pit toxins who need lung transplants, and even more who are being diagnosed with constrictive bronchiolitis.
The current VA and DoD position is to deny any long term adverse health effects from the burn pits despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Additionally, the suffering of many of our veterans begs to differ with that fact.
There is a doctor in New York, Dr. Anthony Szema, who is doing research on the connection between returning veterans respiratory problems and burn pit toxins. His research is compelling – I urge you to look up his studies and read up on what he has found. Unfortunately, without DoD and VA support and funding, Dr Szema’s research is limited by a lack of resources, as is any doctor who attempts to dig into this horrible problem effecting our veterans.
This lack of resources can be addressed by bringing H.R. 2510 to the House floor allowing its passage. It instructs the DoD to create three burn pits centers of excellence to research, diagnose, and treat veterans who have been exposed to these toxins. I understand budgets are tight right now and funds are hard to come by, but we need to get these men and women the care that they need and the research to find treatments for them. Our veterans have already given enough, it’s time we gave them the support they so desperately need.
Please, Mr. Speaker, bring H.R. 2510 to the floor for a vote and help our Iraq and Afghanistan veterans get the treatment they deserve.
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