VA to create a "burn pit" registry

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VA to create a "burn pit" registry

Good news from the Navy Times today:

President Obama signed legislation Thursday requiring the Veterans Affairs Department to establish a registry for troops and veterans who lived and worked near open-air burn pits used to dispose waste in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere overseas.

In addition to including new requirements for providing a casket or urn for veterans with no known next of kin and establishing care for a military cemetery in the Philippines, the Dignified Burial and Other Veterans Benefits Improvement Act, S. 3202, aims to pinpoint the number of veterans who may have been exposed to burn-pit smoke so VA can track their medical histories and keep them apprised of new treatments for associated conditions.

Troops deployed in support of contingency operations and stationed at a location where an open burn pit was used will be eligible to register.

Veterans advocacy groups and families of service members who have become ill since their deployments hailed passage of the law as a “victory.”

“It validates the truth behind every death, every illness associated with exposure,” said Rosie Lopez-Torres, co-founder of Burn Pits 360 and wife of former Army Capt. LeRoy Torres, who developed a rare lung disorder known as constrictive bronchiolitis after serving in Iraq.

This comes on the heals of a 2011 study where the DoD said that they found the science wasn't settled:

The long-term health effects of exposure to military burn pits used for trash disposal are still uncertain, according to a new study commissioned by the Defense Department.

The Institute of Medicine says "insufficient data" on service members' exposures to open-air pit emissions is one reason the results were inconclusive. High background levels of pollution in the surrounding area, along with a lack of information about the amount and makeup of the waste burned, also made it difficult to analyze the data.

The emissions have been the source of controversy as troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have blamed health problems such as cancerous tumors and respiratory issues on exposure to burn pit emissions.

I've been fairly skeptical of that study for a while now, and it appears Congress and the President were as well.  I have a close friend who had to leave the military at 19 years because of Sarcoidosis, which is a lung impairment.  He's always maintained it was from stuff we were breathing in while stationed in Bosnia, and while I am not a doctor (medical anyway) that always struck me as the most likely culprit.

I'll have more on how to register when the VA sets up the website.

Posted in the burner | 25 comments
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My husband passed in 2006. The doctors found a mass in his lung. He was in the Gulf War. He has never smoked , and has 3 brothers and a sister, and his parents who all are living and have no issues with lunv cancer. I have been appealling the VA denials for 7 years now.

My husband passed in 2006. The doctors found a mass in his lung. He was in the Gulf War. He has never smoked , and has 3 brothers and a sister, and his parents who all are living and have no issues with lunv cancer. I have been appealling the VA denials for 7 years now.

I severed with the Marines as a Detention Operations NCOIC of RDF Al Asad, Iraq during 2008-2009. There was a large burn pit approximately 200 yards from the RDF and I inhaled smoke, in different consistencies, every day for 7 months. I now have a hard time keeping my breath and have been given an early retirement, because I can not pass my Physical Fitness test. The VA has rated me with Asthma, but most of their tests are inconclusive and I don't know what to do any more. My complaints are questioned by the VA doctors and they make it seem as if I'm lying and wasting their time.

where is it

I am so looking for help I am now assigned a primary care provider I suffer from skin lesions, chronic bronchitis, asthma, neuropathy, and have now developed involuntary twitching in my wrists. I went to the Veterans Affairs in Jackson Mississippi and was told on January 3rd of 2014 that there is no such thing as a burn pit registry which brought me to tears when I read that there was, I was tasked in Balad Iraq as an Air Force member to clean the Burn pits of chemicals that did not belong and deliver them to Halliburton's "newly" established Hazardous Waste Yard for proper disposal and incineration. I was also Tasked with Bird Aircraft Strike Hazards and if anyone remembers there were seagulls all over the place in the beginning and they died and or disappeared probably due to the losses in there flock because of the chemical damages they obtained. However the birds were all over the burn pit which posed threat to the helo pad. Anyway I hate to do this but I will place my Primary Care Providers Number on here and please use this to assist her not to harass her as we do need hel[p on this issue.

Have been suffering from "episodes" where I can not get a breath of air, my muscles seize up and my throat closes. I get an instant headache and the mucus is dry in my throat and sinuses. I have neuropathy and rapid cycling hot and cold episodes with shakes and feeling like I am burning up. I have been to every specialist you can name and no one can figure out what is wrong with me. I lived and breathed the smoke from the burns pits in the Gulf War for months. I want to find out what is wrong with me as I am getting worse. These symptoms have been going on for over 2 years.

I did burning while I was in the navy. it was classified materal. just wanted to find out if i'm qualified. my service dates were from july 1958 to july 1064. appreciate any info on this matter. service # 5239572

Why is there not a registry for the burn pits in Bosnia? We burned trash and human waste there for the first couple of months while in country until it was contracted through the local community to have it all removed. Not to mention the dust in the tents and then we had tons of rats running about. Seems like everyone forgot about our presence in the Balkans.

I was stationed in Bosnia in 95 -96 I use to have black sut in my nose all the time. I have developed very bad sinus issues and have sleep apnea

yeah.. I remember the burn pits in Bosnia.
I noticed for some odd reason they continue to push this deployment to the side for claims and recognition. smh..

Was stationed in Kuwait in 2010. Have been having breathing problems since 2011. No one knows how to help me. Getting Worse.

Everything was throwed into this Burn Pit from oils grease stuff out of the old buildings it's how you got rid of rubbish. It stinks from all the different material,and the Black smoke would take your breath plus sent your clothes.

I was in Bosnia in 2003 at Eagle Base. I continually expressed concerns about all the trash and debris being burned daily. Because Eagle Base was situated below the hillsides (what they called a fishbowl) where they burned massive amounts of trash and debris, the ashes would fall and it looked like it was snowing. I had to travel from Eagle Base to Butmir at least monthly and the smell from the burning trash, and debris along the route was unbearable. I have had unexplained problems with my breathing during my physical fitness test since I got back.

I was in Bosnia in 2003 and developed a skin condition called eczema on various parts of my body. I have frequent outbreaks and was awarded a 10% disability. Also, we were exposed to the burning of lignite coal in nearby Tuzla.

I was stationed at Eagle Base near Tusla where they burned trash, vehicles, tires every single day. I have eczema, asthma, allergies, skin issues and difficulty breathing. Most of my issues started shortly after being stationed there. The smell was unbearable at times. There was always a dark cloud in the air. Why isn’t there a registry for Bosnia. We may have to submit that information to the VA.

Was stationed in Kuwait in 2009 at the Rock. We were in charge burning trash at the burn pit behind the fire station. I used to run 7 miles around the base each day . Before I left back for the States had an exit interview with base Doctors. They asked me about any problems, I told them that I was attached to the burn pits and was having breathing issues. Also that I was not sure what we were burning and how that would affect me. A year after getting back, I finally went the VA for breathing issues. The VA said that nothing was the matter me even though I had breathing issues and could not run that far.

I am a 100 percent disabled veteran who was deployed to the middle east for an extended period of time, whom also was assigned to a battalion with 101st airborne infantry assigned to perform a MFO mission during the 1980,s we were ordered to dispose of our trash, human waste among other materials I would appreciate it if someone could assist me with the regisistry as well as filing a compensation claim through VA. My current address is 117 Nyoka Circle Lafayette, LA 70507, my last four of my ssn# is 0507. so if someone could assist me it would be greatly appreciated Thanks US Army Veterans

They have a long way to go; just filed a month or two back my paperwork for my agent orange exposure. They sent it back saying that there was no problem to look at. They never looked into my file, a dermatologist; has cut two growths of of me,I get bumps coming up and don on me. The one on my arm has never gone down 3/4 to an inch to the size of about two fifty cent pieces long. It seems to me that some of the older associates that have been working fora number of years need retraining, or replacing. You can lead a horse to water and he might not drink it.Have Premier Account with the them.

I was in Bosnia (Camp McGovern - Brcko) from 96-97. Since then I have had several issues I have learned to "deal with". Is there any resource for those who were in Bosnia?

My question is the same, Charles.
There were open burn pits all over the Balkans.
The VA conveniently does not recognize it because there will many more veterans like myself that like to get compensated.


Deployed to Kosovo June 2000, assigned to NATO HQ, Film City, Pristina, with frequent trips to Camp Bondsteel. Everything was burned, both on and off base. Got a cold that turned into a permanent cough, was so bad the NATO Medics tested me for active tuberculosis (negative). Deployed as a DOD civ to Bosnia 2003, not as bad but still some burning. To this day I get frequent and enduring coughs and hypersensitivity to smells that lead to crazy coughing fits. Never satisfactorily explained or diagnosed. Balkan vets NEED to be on the list of eligible locations for the VA burn list!

Same, was deployed to Bondsteel from 07/2003 - 03/2004. Patrolled 6 days a week, not just the burn pits on base but they burned everything everywhere.

There were burn pits in vietnam - made of 55 gallon barrels cut in half, left over from spraying of defoliants...1966-1967

If they make the troops that were there for a limited time, sick, and they do, then what happens to the citizens of the area who live in the area, and what happens to their kids, who grow up in the area? Do they thank the Americans who left the mess to them? Lousy PR!

If they make the troops that were there for a limited time, sick, and they do, then what happens to the citizens of the area who live in the area, and what happens to their kids, who grow up in the area? Do they thank the Americans who left the mess to them? Lousy PR!

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.