October 4, 2016
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear. Mr. President
America’s veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are dying. We
need you to act.
We, the undersigned, served our country in these wars or are
family members of fallen heroes. We write on behalf of the tens of thousands of
veterans who faced toxic exposure to the open-air burn pits that operated in Iraq
and Afghanistan to dispose of waste. We write because these veterans are
seriously ill, dying or have passed away – and more must be done.
Many of us went to war able to run marathons, but now our
health has deteriorated so much that we cannot hold down steady jobs. We are misdiagnosed.
We are not receiving the medical care we urgently need. We need you to act in
this, your final year in office.
Fulfill the promises you made to our military service
members and their family members.
In a 2009 White House roundtable, you promised that burn
pit exposure would not become another Agent Orange, with the government denying
the effects, stalling research and failing to provide treatment. You concluded, “Nobody
is served by denial or sweeping things under the rug.”
With your remaining time in office, we urge you to take
these actions to help impacted service members and veterans:
us care. Create a specialized health care benefits and compensation fund
modeled after the 9/11 James Zagroda Act for the World Trade Center 9/11
the secrecy. Direct agencies to declassify and make public every air sampling
ever conducted in both theatres.
Don’t let the Department of Defense and the
Veteran’s Administration sweep us under the rug. Commission an independent
research study research to better understand health conditions and deaths
related to the
effects of combustion burning.
4. Recognize the fallen heroes.
Mandate the Department of Defense and Department of Veteran Affairs Secretaries
to fulfill the intent of Public Law 112-260 by allowing the families of the
fallen to submit a death entry into the National Airborne Hazards Open Burn Pit
Registry. Until recently, soldiers were presented with a Purple Heart medal as
an acknowledgement of
physical wounds received in
action. We call on you to initiate
discussions to allow the granting a Purple Heart to those who suffer toxic
5. Use your voice. Use the power
and platform of your office to speak out and educate the American people about
this generation’s Agent Orange.
who suffered from Agent Orange during Vietnam, history proves that the
President failed at fulfilling President Lincoln’s promise: "To
care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his
orphan" by serving and honoring the men and women who are America's
Leave an honorable legacy by helping the service members,
Veterans, and families affected by this injustice.
You, and only you, can do this.
Burn Pit Families
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