G.I. Jobs Latest Issues

JUL 2018

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8 G.I. JOBS | JULY 2018 | GIJOBS.COM VETERANS VOICES ADVOCATING FOR YOU PROPOSED LAW ADDRESSES BURN PITS IF YOU SERVED IN IRAQ or Afghanistan, you may have breathed toxic airborne chemicals from open burn pits. Brian Mast, a Republican congressman from Florida, was exposed to burn pits in Afghanistan. That inspired him to introduce the Burn Pits Accountability Act (H.R. 5671) with Tulsi Gabbard, an Iraq veteran and congresswoman from Hawaii. "When I was serving in Afghanistan, trash and human waste were often burned in open air pits," Mast said. "I think it's quickly becoming clear that these burn pits are emerging as the Agent Orange of my generation. Service members that were exposed in Iraq and Afghanistan are seeing terrible health effects at a very young age. These men and women risked their lives for our country, and this bipartisan legislation will go a long way toward getting them the care they have earned." The legislation would require the Department of Defense to document whether a service member has been exposed to open burn pits or toxic airborne chemicals. Those who have would be enrolled in the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry, unless they opt out. More than 141,000 service members and veterans already have signed up. Photo Caption: Paul Rieckhoff, executive director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, discusses the Burn Pits Accountability Act at a Capitol Hill news conference on May 17, 2018. Also participating were Christina Thundathail, second from left, an Army veteran who was exposed to burn pits; Afghanistan veteran Rep. Brian Mast, third from left; Iraq veteran Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, fourth from left; and Col. Mike Barron, USA (Ret), MOAA's director of Currently Serving and Retired Affairs, Government, right. Veterans in Congress introduce bill to prevent recurrence of Agent Orange debacle.

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