EXCLUSIVE: Wife of Midstate fallen soldier Scott Laird discusses cancer diagnosis, death


CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) – Scott Laird, of Mechanicsburg, was diagnosed with colon cancer on May 10, 2021. Six months later he died on Monday, Nov. 1, 2021.

Scott’s wife, Michelle, says she, their doctor, and Scott believe the diagnosis is due to exposure to toxic burn pits while deployed in Iraq during 2008.

“When he first told me about the burn pits I didn’t understand what he was talking about I was like imagining like a barrel and you just put it in there and just set it on fire…..that is NOT the case,” Michelle said. She described sizes of football fields, huge piles of human waste, toxic trash.

“I served in 2003 and 2005, these burn pits were prevalent on military bases and they burned everything from trash to plastic, to metals and even human waste,” Pennsylvania Senator Devlin Robinson (R-37) said.

6 months after receiving his diagnosis and 5 months after filing a cancer claim with the VA, Scott found out that they denied his cancer but accepted a sprained ankle. He is no longer here to appeal the claim.

Michelle says it doesn’t end here. She wants to see the Presumptive Benefits For War Fighters Exposed To Burn Pits and Other Toxins Act of 2021 pass. 

abc27 reached out to both Senator Bob Casey (D) and Pat Toomey (R) on this.

“Stories like retired National Guard officer Scott Laird’s show us our work is far from done. That is why I am in the process of signing onto the Presumptive Benefits for War Fighters Exposed to Burn Pits and Other Toxins Act of 2021, which would make it easier for veterans exposed to burn pits to get the benefits and treatment they need from the VA,” Senator Casey in a statement.

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