To all of our U.S. legislators: Please support SB 2950
COL. (Ret.) THOMAS J. MOTEL
As an Army Reserve service member who served during this period, was at the burn pit daily in Bagram, Afghanistan for 10 months, currently suffering from cancer, respiratory issues and cardiac issues (all have been associated with burn pits) and having been denied on all my claims to the Veterans Administration, I need you to support U.S. Senate Bill 2950 for my brothers and sisters who have answered the call of the nation, Congress and the President.
It is too late for me.
I am requesting that U.S. Sens. Pat Toomey and Bob Casey, U.S. Rep. Fred Keller, U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson and their colleagues in Congress to support Senate Bill 2950, the Veterans Burn Pits Exposure Recognition Act.
The number of burn pits operating in overseas conflict zones exceeded 230 at the height of operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere, exposing tens of thousands of troops and contractors to toxic contaminants.
While the sheer number of open burn pits has been reduced, it will be no consolation to troops adversely and permanently affected.
Reserve component servicemembers and their families wrestle with the overwhelming healthcare effects of open burn pits and they should be able to seek care from the Veterans Administration.
However, they have had difficulty showing service connection because their medical records were never kept, were lost, or were destroyed.
To further complicate the issue, National Guard and Reserve members have to prove they performed duty near burn pits, but their orders don’t provide exact locations of their duties for national security purposes.
By cosponsoring this bill, you will help your constituents, whether they are active duty or Reserve, have on record the location where they were exposed to toxins.
The bill will not remove the required medical documentation but at least the location of exposure will now be verified and documented by the U.S. Department of Defense.