When reflecting on the sacrifices made by our military personnel, we often focus on the visible dangers they encounter on the battlefield. However, there are hidden hazards that can have long-lasting effects on the health of our brave servicemen and women. One such hazard is the burn pits that were used for trash disposal in military bases during deployments. In this blog post, we will share the story of an Air Force veteran who served in Iraq and unknowingly endured the consequences of exposure to burn pit emissions. Additionally, we will delve into the research surrounding burn pits and their associated health risks, shedding light on a critical issue that demands our attention and support.
An Air Force veteran, who served in Iraq as part of the security forces, which were essentially the military police, found himself stationed near a burn pit—a large pit used for waste disposal. Every morning, the veteran and fellow service members were exposed to the noxious fumes and smoke emitted by the burn pit. However, at the time, they were unaware of the potential health hazards linked to this exposure.
As time passed, the veteran began experiencing various health issues. Initially attributing them to the demanding workload, which entailed 12 to 14-hour workdays, the veteran dismissed the symptoms. However, their health further deteriorated, resulting in breathing difficulties, persistent chest pain, and sleep disturbances. Seeking medical attention, they were diagnosed with sleep apnea and tuberculosis. Over the next year, the veteran relied on constant medication to manage these conditions.
Upon returning home, the veteran filed official claims with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) seeking the rightful support and compensation for their health issues. However, their initial rating for these conditions was set at 0%, leaving them feeling frustrated and uncertain about the future. Recognizing the complexities of the VA system, the veteran sought legal assistance and engaged the services of the Berry Law.
Berry Law’s Support: Seeking legal representation proved to be a turning point for the veteran. Berry Law, armed with experienced lawyers, guided them through the intricate VA system, understanding the challenges and obstacles veterans face when pursuing their claims. The firm’s expertise and unwavering commitment proved invaluable as they fought for the veteran’s rights and advocated for their case.
A Transformative Moment: Thanks to the relentless efforts of the Berry Law, the veteran’s case gained momentum. Armed with a comprehensive understanding of the complexities of burn pit-related health issues and the legal system, the lawyers presented a compelling case on behalf of the veteran. Eventually, the veteran’s disability rating underwent a significant change. They were awarded a 100% permanent total rating, recognizing the full extent of their service-connected disabilities.
The impact of this change was profound for the veteran and their family. With a 100% rating, they gained access to critical benefits that not only provided much-needed financial support but also ensured the future well-being of their loved ones. The relief and stability offered by this rating allowed the veteran to focus on rebuilding their life, pursuing new career opportunities, and securing their family’s future.
Conclusion: The veteran’s story represents just one example among countless individuals who have been affected by the health hazards associated with burn pits. Exposure to burn pit emissions can have severe consequences, resulting in chronic health conditions that can persist throughout a lifetime. It is crucial for us, as a society, to raise awareness about this issue and demand action to support and protect our veterans.
Research has demonstrated that burn pits release toxic substances into the air, including dioxins, particulate matter, and volatile organic compounds, which can lead to respiratory problems, cancers,
The attorneys at Berry Law are dedicated to helping injured Veterans. With extensive experience working with VA disability claims, Berry Law can help you with your disability appeals.
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