The ‘Burn Pit’ Is The New Agent Orange Of Our Era | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

The ‘Burn Pit’ Is The New Agent Orange Of Our Era

It’s a headline that should, by all appearances, be considered “good news.” But somehow the November 18 declaration, “VA announces plans to study military toxic exposures, connections to veteran illnesses,” just comes off as an Onion-esque parody.

That’s because the Veterans Affairs Department has been vowing to “study” the effects of the ubiquitous “burn pits” on soldiers for more than a decade—so has the Pentagon. In fact, there have been tons of studies already, big and small, in both the public and private sectors. But like everything in Washington, launching one more study or task force allows the bureaucracy to stall real action—in this case, practical help for thousands of men and women who say they’re suffering from war-related illnesses.

Once upon a time, the lag time between when Vietnam veterans reported getting sick from Agent Orange exposure in the late 1970s to when the government began officially recognizing their illnesses, including cancer (in 1991), was considered the height of institutional inertia and neglect. In fact, many Vietnam veterans who did not fit the original parameters of the 1991 policy that made Agent Orange exposure a service-connected illness, affording them access to VA health care and disability compensation, are still fighting for their due.

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