Biden on Burn Pit Failures: “We are going to do better”
March 2, 2022

President Joe Biden, in his first State of the Union Address last night, labeled burn pits as a clear cause of veteran health issues.

Biden’s late son, Army Major Beau Biden, passed away in 2016 from brain cancer, presumably from inhaling carcinogens from burn pits in Iraq. Biden made it clear that veteran health problems related to burn pits was not just a national issue, but a personal matter as well.

In attendance last night was Dannielle Robinson, veteran advocate and Gold Star widow of Army SFC Heath Robinson. SFC Robinson died in 2020 from a rare form of cancer attributed to burn pit inhalation. Robinson’s dying wish was for veterans to have access to better health care upon returning home from combat.

In his address, Biden pushed for proposed bill, H.R. 3967 – the Honoring our PACT Act. The bill, if passed, would “Address health care, presumption of service-connection, research, resources, and other matters related to veterans who were exposed to toxic substances during military service.”

Biden imposed on the nation the importance of the current administration to do better when dealing with veteran health issues. Biden, speaking directly to Danielle Robinson, said, “Tonight, Danielle, we are going to do better.”

Veterans making a difference

After the SOTU, Tim Jensen, Co-Owner and Chief Strategy Officer of Grunt Style, met with Speaker Nancy Pelosi to implore congress to act to help veterans. Afterwards, Jensen told us, “This has been a long battle, but we still have a lot more to do. We have the attention of Congress and the country, let’s get this done.”

He went on to say, “Call, email, text..send letters to your representatives, Senators and to the VA. Our time is now and we won’t accept anything less than the dignity and respect that our warfighters have earned defending our country.”

Over the past 20 years, the military used burn pits to dispose of all solid waste on almost all military installations in the Middle Eastern Theater. This waste included “plastics, batteries, appliances, medicine, dead animals and even human waste.” The solid waste being burned was usually doused in JP8 or diesel fuel before being ignited.

Service members assigned to “man” the burn pit were rarely, if ever, issued any safety gear to protect them from inhalation. The Veterans Administration and the US military do not currently recognize these burn pits as a cause for many of the major unexplained illnesses from which many OIF/OEF veterans suffer.

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