"The day the soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you stopped leading them... they have either lost confidence that you can help them or concluded that you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership"

Burn Pits: The "Agent Orange" of the Iraq War

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June 2018 - Iraq War Veteran and Florida Congressman Brian Mast questions IAVA leadership about burn pit contents in front of the House of Representatives. Discussing his personal experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan including his personal combat exposures. 


Rep. Mast questions Dept of Veterans Affairs, Dr. Erickson who states "a little over 9,000" veterans have applied for burn pit compensation. When questioned about how many have been approved, Dr. Erickson didn't have an answer. With the help of our teammate, Patrick - we were able to find out how many burn pit claims have been approved: 2,110

H.R. 6582 - "Protection for Veterans' Burn Pit Exposure Act of 2018"

Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL-12) - introduced on 07/26/2018 under 115th Congress


Referred: Committee(s) on Veterans' Affairs and subcommittee on Disability Affairs and Memorial Affairs.


Co-Sponsors: (6) Ruiz, Welch, Young, Tipton, King, Bonamici


In short, the bill would establish presumptions of service connection for illnesses associated with open burn pits, to establish and direct the Comptroller of the United States to establish the Open Burn Pit Advisory Commission, and for other purposes. The bill would outline the manifest in a covered veteran shall be considered to have been incurred in or aggravated by covered service, notwithstanding that there is no record of evidence of such illness in the covered veteran during the period of covered service. The Secretary warrants a presumption of service connection by reason of having a positive association with exposure to toxic airborne chemicals and fumes caused by open burn pits; and shall be presumed to have been exposed to toxic airborne chemicals and fumes caused by open burn pits unless there is conclusive evidence to establish that the covered veteran was not exposed to toxic airborne chemicals and fumes caused by open burn pits in the course of covered service.


So the infamous "Burden of Proof" wouldn't fall on the veteran, they would fall under "more likely than not"

H.R. 5671 - "Burn Pits Accountability Act of 2018"

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI-2) and Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL-18) introduced on 05/01/2018


Referred: Committee(s) on Armed Services; Veterans' Affairs and subcommittee on Military Personnel


Co-Sponsors: (147) total, click HERE to see the full list.


This proposed bill is to direct the Secretary of Defense to include in periodic health assessments, separation history and physical examinations, and other assessments an evaluation of whether a member of the Armed Forces has been exposed to open burn pits or toxic airborne chemicals, and for other purposes. Assessment data related to whether veteran was based or stationed at a location where an open burn pit was used; or exposed to toxic airborne chemicals, including any information recorded as part of the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry.


I thought they did this in PDHA's, and give memorandums if you were exposed... this is good for the future, it is good for awareness... but if we just followed the LAW established in 2010...



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HELP SUPPORT VETERAN HEALTHCARE IN LEGISLATION

Click "Write My Rep Template" below and you'll be directed to a word document that has already been tailored to request support for veterans' healthcare and both burn pit related bills! Just fill in your information in the highlighted sections. Too easy!

Write My Rep

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Major Tulsi Gabbard (HI)

Maj. Gabbard is currently a member of the House of Representatives in Hawaii. She has served in the Army from 2004 to present as a Military Police Officer. She deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2004-2005 and again in 2008-2009 with the 29th Brigade.


Maj Gabbard recently introduced (on 5/1/2018) H.R. 5671 with Rep. Brian Mast, to enact VA acknowledgement, treatment, diagnostics and service-connection(s) for OIF/OEF veterans who have been exposed to burn pits while serving.

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LCdr. Ron DeSantis

LCdr DeSantis is a member of the House of Representatives in Florida. He grew up in Jacksonville, Florida, received his commission and began his career in the Navy in 2004, he is still currently serving (JAG). He deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom attached to Navy Seal Team 1 in 2007 where he was awarded the Bronze Star with "V" device, Navy Commendations and so on.


He is currently campaigning for Governor of Florida.

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Ssg. Brian Mast, Ret.

Ssg (Ret.) Mast currently serves in the house of Representatives in Florida and serves on the U.S. House of Foreign Affairs Committee  related to the Middle East. He served in the United States Army for 12 years as an EOD/Bomb Technician. After deploying under JSOC, Ssg. Mast was injured when an IED was triggered, losing both of his legs and parts of his hand.


He was awarded the Bronze Star with Valor and a Purple Heart. During his time off, he can be found at the West Palm Beach VAMC (Mondays 10:00-14:00) supporting veterans in need - his contact there is (561) 530-7778.


He also supports Maj. Gabbard's H.R. 5671 Bill, requiring the government to act on Burn Pits.

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BG Scott Perry

Army Brigider General Scott Perry serves in the House of Representatives for the state of Pennsylvania and still serves in the military.


BG Perry commissioned in 1980 and deployed with the 104th Aviation to Iraq from 2009 to 2010 under Task Force Diablo. Afterwards he served as Fort Indiantown Gap Training Center Commander.

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