The Problem with War

How to help burn pit victims get care

2 MINUTES READ

Push for legislation

The good news is there are a number of ways to help American veterans who were exposed to toxic burn pits during their service. You can keep tabs on the Honoring Our PACT Act’s progress here — you can even sign up for email alerts.

You can also sign the petition that Jon started to show your support for this issue. Tell everyone you know about this issue, and please don’t be shy about contacting your representatives. Follow Burn Pits 360 for ways you can help. You can also sign the petition that Jon started to show your support for this issue.

Burn Pits 360

Sign the petition

Helping veterans more directly

1) Register eligible veterans

Getting veterans who served near burn pits signed up for the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry is a great first step — even if they aren’t currently experiencing any health issues. This is separate from applying for VA benefits, and it allows the VA’s Burn Pits Center of Excellence to better track and understand the effects of toxic exposure.

Visit the registry

2) Donate your time

If you’ve ever tried to get a health insurance company to pay for something they don’t want to, you’ve gotten a taste of what it’s like to file a VA claim. You can volunteer with groups that help people navigate this process. That might mean literally filling out paperwork with vets or making calls, but every organization has different needs. So if you’ve got special skills (anything from house painting to fundraising), offer them up. Find local groups by searching in your area or join a national grassroots organization like the Stronghold Freedom Foundation, which advocates for vets who were poisoned by chemical waste at the K2 base in Uzbekistan.

3) Other issues facing vets

Burn pit exposure is far from the only issue our vets are confronting. They struggle with unemployment and homelessness. They’re also at higher risk for substance abuse, mental health conditions and suicide. (If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.) There are a number of VSOs (Veterans Service Organizations) that help vets navigate their lives and health after service. Here are a few to start with:

The American Legion

Veterans of Foreign Wars

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America