We want to share a recent petition created by Jon Stewart (former host of the Daily Show) and John Feal (political activist & retired construction worker, known for his advocacy on behalf of first responders to the September 11 attacks), that resonates in our hearts. All of our veterans, battling the frontlines and holding down bases, deserve our endless gratitude and better treatment than getting sick from waste produced by toxic fumes from burn pits.
TO: House of Representatives, Senate, White House, Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense
Hundreds of tons of waste produced on military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan were doused with jet and diesel fuels and burned in massive burn pits—as American soldiers lived, worked, and slept next to the toxic fumes. Now that they are home, hundreds of thousands veterans are sick and dying from lung diseases, cancers, and respiratory illnesses.
The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense continue to ignore our veterans’ suffering and deaths caused by their neglect despite their own statistics which show burn pits as the source of these health problems.
Sign our petition to tell Congress it must pass a bipartisan bill so veterans will no longer be denied the care and benefits our government owes them for their service.
Why is this important?
There’s a reason it’s against the law to burn hazardous waste in your own backyard in America.
It’s common sense. Burning regular household waste releases carcinogens, neuro-disruptors, and heavy metals that can have devastating effects on the lungs, heart, brain, thyroid, and immune system.
It’s also a scientific fact. Federal and state government agencies compiled decades of research linking toxins from burn pits to diseases and birth defects.
But the US military paid private companies like Halliburton subsidiary KBR billions of dollars from taxpayer funds to burn human waste, aerosols, Styrofoam, medical waste, biohazardous materials, body parts, trucks, and explosives in Iraq and Afghanistan. Then troops got sick and started dying. It’s haunting and a reminder that these forever wars have long-lasting consequences.
For every soldier returning with horrific health defects, there are untold numbers of service members who continue to be subjected to burn pit sites and toxic smoke to this day. The DoD and VA must acknowledge the reality and gravity of the problems toxic chemicals from burn pits have caused and take immediate action to end the use of the active burn pits once and for all.
In addition, Congress must make health care and compensation available to veterans and service members who are suffering exposure-related health effects. And, we must pass legislation that grants surviving families of deceased veterans the benefits they deserve.
We have worked together to pressure Congress to acknowledge the bipartisan need to care for the 9/11 community suffering from cancers and other health problems after those deadly attacks nearly 20 years ago. Washington moves too slow for the families who need our government’s help. We only got that done last year, and it took all the help people like you were able to provide signing petitions, making phone calls, chipping in to cover costs, and organizing in your local communities.
We’re taking this fight about burn pits to Congress and want to work even more quickly. We want to work together with anyone willing to help those who served in the military and came home feeling abandoned after their government used them to fight wars and risk their lives.
Sign the petition as one step to help provide health care and compensation to those suffering from exposure to toxic burn pits. Let’s fix this and stick up for the families who are fighting for health care and accountability from the same government that sent them into harm’s way.
We will update you on the upcoming bill and other actions you can take as the campaign develops so please stay tuned.
Click here or the button below to add your name to this petition, and then pass it along to your friends, family, and anyone else you think will care about this issue.
Related Sources (from MoveOn.org):
- "Rep. Sherrill Hosts Jon Stewart, Freshmen Reps, Veterans Advocates for Burn Pits Discussion," U.S. Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill, March 26, 2019
"Congress Poised to Help Veterans Exposed to 'Burn Pits' Over Decades of War," The New York Times, February 12, 2019
"'They really don't want this out': The biggest Iraq War scandal that nobody's talking about," Salon, February 17, 2016