Bethany was featured in an article this morning on the burn pits that have been standard operating procedure for getting rid of waste in war zones by the U.S. military for the last decade. Soldiers who have been in the vicinity of these burn pits have come down with all sorts of illnesses, including leukemia.
The comparison is made for these “burn pits” as being something like the “Agent Orange” of this generation of soldiers. There is in fact an extensive class action lawsuit being filed not against the military (whose standard policy this is), but against Kellogg, Brown, & Root and Halliburton, the government contractors which became responsible for operating the burn pits. (I don’t believe my wife will be eligible to be part of the lawsuit; she was in Iraq from April-October 2003, which was prior to Halliburton’s arrival there). But as the article notes:
The Department of Veterans Affairs has commissioned the Institute of Medicine to conduct a study for release this fall to determine whether Bugay’s cancer and the illnesses of perhaps thousands of other veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan are linked to exposure to the burn pits. If so, that would make them eligible for disability benefits from the VA. About 2.2 million members of the military have served in Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11.
There are more photos here showing showing some of Bethany’s service, and her exposure to the burn pits; I’ve outlined her illness and treatment in recent blog posts.