DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) — We reported to you U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced he was in line to sign on to The Presumptive Benefits for War Fighters exposed to Burn Pits and Other Toxins Act of 2021.
Now, we’re sitting down with him to see where this bill lies in the courts. Senator Casey announces he is actively looking for any republican co-sponsor to help him sign on to the bill and get it moving.
Scott Laird, a fallen Mechanicsburg soldier’s story of colon cancer sparked the investigation into what these pits soldiers deployed to Iraq were exposed to.
What was being burned just feet away from the men and women fighting for our country?
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An NPR article said that “people said they saw things from batteries to unexploded ordinance to just the daily operations of the mess hall. There was tons of cooking oil and Styrofoam, plastic and, you know, the plastic utensils and that sort of thing.” NPR adding that human limbs, body parts were being burned there.
“Their medical incinerators would go out, and they would put amputated body parts from Iraqis or other civilians, not from the troops, in the burn pits,” Military Times reporter Kelly Kennedy said in the article.
Michelle Laird, widow to Scott said he did not like to talk about his time during deployment once he arrived home. What she does know is that these ‘burn pits’ should be called ‘burn fields.’
“He had a letter from a general describing the exposure conditions stating the smoke was constant and unavoidable,” Michelle said.
After five months of waiting, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs denied claims that his cancer was service-related. He died a month later, unable to appeal it. However, he has strong players in his corner, his wife and Senator Casey.
“The only way to get there the only way to create the kind of momentum is to have conversations like we’re having now. The least we could do is pass a bill,” Casey said.