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Mon Nov 25, 2019, 05:58 AM

Should service in Iraq and Afghanistan be a recognized health hazard for vets applying for benefits?

https://www.militarytimes.com/news/pentagon-congress/2019/11/22/proposed-legislation-would-name-service-in-iraq-afghanistan-a-health-hazard-to-us-troops/

Should service in Iraq and Afghanistan be a recognized health hazard for vets applying for benefits?

By: Patricia Kime    2 days ago

Lawmakers introduced a bill Thursday that would recognize the health hazards posed by oil well fires, burn pits and other pollution sources in Afghanistan and much of the Middle East — an effort they say would help ill veterans who apply for VA benefits.

The “Veterans Burn Pit Exposure Recognition” bill, S. 2950, would declare that service members who deployed to the Middle East in the 1990-1991 Persian Gulf War and after, to Afghanistan and Djibouti following Sept. 11, 2001, and to Iraq beginning in 2003 were exposed to toxins.

The bill stops short of establishing service connection for specific diseases and does not guarantee disability benefits for ill veterans.
But it would require the Department of Veterans Affairs to concede that veterans were exposed to pollutants if they served in the named locations during the specified time frames, effectively eliminating a need for them to prove that they were in close proximity to a pollution source.

Sponsors Sens. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., say the legislation is needed because currently, VA requires veterans to show evidence of their exposure to support benefits claims and frequently rejects claims on the lack of evidence on exposure.

But since “the locations of burn pits … and possible health effects associated by their use, may never be completely known,” the proposed legislation states it would eliminate the requirement that they prove proximity.
(snip)

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Reply Should service in Iraq and Afghanistan be a recognized health hazard for vets applying for benefits? (Original post)
nitpicker Nov 2019 OP
AnnaLee Nov 2019 #1
Silver Gaia Nov 2019 #2

Response to nitpicker (Original post)

Mon Nov 25, 2019, 07:34 AM

1. Health care for life

Health care for life should be part of the bargain made with young soldiers in return for serving this country. I have watched as the country has tried it's darnest to avoid providing health care to Vietnam and Gulf War soldiers claiming health consequences of war zone activities. As we argue about whether this or that was caused by military service, I just don't get it. A person's life or health is a high cost; something ought to make the country absorb the cost. Health care for life should be automatic. End the debate on whether a person's service affected their health. Of course it did.

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Response to AnnaLee (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 25, 2019, 09:35 AM

2. Yes!

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