Burn Pit Exposure Attorneys
For Civilians Injured on Military Bases
John Stewart Helps Activists Fight for Burn Pit Exposure Compensation
Popular comedian, talk show host, and political activist Jon Stewart has taken up the cause of service members exposed to toxins in the pits used to burn trash in Iraq and Afghanistan. Along with Army veteran and activist John Feal he believes he has a viable plan to push through legislation aimed at providing health care, research, and recognition for military burn pit victims.
While The Military Times first reported the dangers of toxic burn pit exposure in 2008, the government response has gone around in circles since then. To date, The War Horse reports that while 200,000 military personnel have signed up for the Veterans Affairs’ burn pit registry, just a little over 10,000 claims have been filed – and of those only about 2,000 have had their claims approved.
The Problem of Burn Pit Exposure
During the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the military burned up to 250 tons of trash a day in open pits that were proximate to both troops’ and military contractors living quarters. In addition to burning typical materials like paper and wood, the military also burned Styrofoam containers from the mess halls, medical waste, electronics, unexploded ordnance, tires, and anything else they wanted to dispose of. And, almost unbelievably, they set it all aflame with toxic jet fuel.
Just burning trash alone releases a chemical called dioxin – the same ingredient in Agent Orange that sickened Vietnam Vets. That’s why burning trash in open pits is not allowed in the United States, by waste facilities or by people in their own yards. Adding jet fuel, tires, medical waste and computers to the fire only increases the number and types of toxins releasing fumes in the burn pits.
Can a Comedian Make a Difference in Burn Pit Law?
The answer may surprise you. Many people are not aware that popular Comedy Central personality Stewart, along with Jonn Feal, were instrumental in getting Congress to pass legislation providing healthcare and research for the firefighters, police, health care workers and other volunteers who were exposed to similar toxins when working in the burning wreckage of the World Trade Center after 911.
In fact many people credit John Stewarts now viral chastising of Congressional representatives as being a turning point in public awareness of the 911 toxins. In videos of that Congressional hearing, Mr. Stewart calls Congress on the carpet in no uncertain terms for their hypocrisy in not following through on their 911 promises to first responders.
Now, Mr. Stewart and Mr. Feal are advocating for a bill that will give “presumptive benefit status” to service members deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan after Sept. 11, 2001. It This crucial bill was sponsored by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. A separate second bill, sponsored by Thom Tillis, R-N.C., would provide health care for all toxic exposures for veterans.
Hopefully, his platform will also help him draw attention to the urgent issue of burn pit exposure to military veterans. And while Stewart and Feal’s thrust is recompense for service men and women – any publicity, understanding or redress for troops also benefits military contractors who were also exposed.
Burn Pit Exposure Advocacy
Rosie Torres, co-founder of Burn Pits 360, originally enlisted Stewart and Feal in the burn pit cause, explaineing to them how incredibly similar the fate of the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans was to 911 first responders – both in terms of exposure, resulting illnesses and lack of government response.
Just as Stewart was accused of fabricating numbers, being a “leftist rabble-rouser” and a “publicity seeker” 15 years ago, Ms. Torres and other burn pit advocates’ concerns were originally tossed aside by a government that seemed not to care.
“But science caught up to us and gave us validity,” John Stewart is quoted as saying in The War Horse.
“In a functioning society, if you can’t take care of those who have taken care of you, what chance do the rest of us have?” he poignantly added. “It’s the injustice of a government that pays lip service to people’s sacrifice and patriotism, yet when those people need help, they’re abandoned.”
Burn Pit Exposure Attorneys for Civilian Workers Injured Overseas
It is a sad state of affairs when it takes a comedian-turned-activist to guilt and shame the government into accepting responsibility for their actions. But, perhaps, this new round of publicity will will help bring the tragic consequences of burn pit exposure to light.
As experienced attorneys who have represented injured workers for more than 40 years, the plight of civilians exposed to burn pits on overseas bases is at the top of our advocacy list. We are among very few attorneys in Long Beach, Los Angeles, or anywhere in California or across the United States who not only understand but specialize in burn pit cases for defense contractors who were exposed to toxins.
If you or a loved one was a civilian working on a military base for a defense contractor overseas, and you were made ill by toxic burn pit exposure, our attorneys are here to help you in any way we can.
Our highly specialized Defense Base Act attorneys have successfully filed hundreds of Defense Base Act applications and appeals – obtaining millions of dollars in DBA benefits in our four decades of legal service.
In our Defense Base Act Blog, our attorneys keep you updated on the latest news and information pertaining to issues affecting civilian contractor employees working overseas and abroad.
Read our articles, then fill out the short form below to schedule a FREE CONSULTATION with one of our skilled Defense Base Act Attorneys.
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