Hawaii congresswoman joins call for probe of war zone burn pits

Published: Sep. 21, 2018 at 5:03 PM EDT
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A WCAX News investigation revealed a possible link between war zone burn pits and illnesses, including cancer, in returning vets.

Now, a congresswoman from Hawaii is joining the call for more investigation and help for military members exposed to these pits.

They are open-air trash fires. In them, everything is burned: medical waste, human waste and toxic waste.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is also a veteran who did two tours in the Middle East and sits on the Armed Services Committee in the U.S. House.

"We recognize this is the Agent Orange of post-9/11 vets and heard from Vietnam vets standing shoulder to shoulder with us saying we cannot allow what happened to us as Vietnam vets, with many people dying of cancer because of exposure to Agent Orange. They don't want to allow that to happen to our generation of veterans," said Gabbard, D-Hawaii.

Gabbard co-sponsored legislation that would make it mandatory to document any military member who may have been exposed, instead of the voluntary registry that now exists. She says that will lead to more studies and get more care from the VA for our returning vets.