When I served in Iraq, we slept next to burn pits.
Now, if you don’t know what a burn pit is — it’s very much what it sounds like: a huge hole in the ground where waste is discarded and burned. Oftentimes, the waste is toxic: think about batteries, tires, plastics and more.
This was pretty common in Iraq and Afghanistan.
I have watched many I served with — and heard from countless others — who have had to deal with conditions resulting from spending time next to burn pits, from respiratory issues to cancer.
I have often wondered if I am a ticking time bomb and I fear that far worse may be around the corner. And I know I am not alone.
You may find it hard to believe that a lot of veterans who suffer as a result of time spent next to burn pits have been denied the care they deserve after returning home.
Now, there’s a bill in Congress that would expand healthcare to millions of veterans exposed to toxic substances during their service. It would mean they don’t have to prove their respiratory illness or cancer was directly caused by time spent next to burn pits.
I was proud to pass this legislation in the House. It’s why I came to Congress — to make a difference in the lives of the Marines I served with, and everyone else who has ever put themselves on the line for our country.
We need the Senate to act, and we need to pass more bills that support our veterans. It’s why I’m here and why I’m going to keep running for Congress.
Thank you. This one is personal for me.
Is there anything we can say to convince you to make a donation to Ruben Gallego’s re-election today? Our May fundraising drive ends soon and we’re short of our goals. Your help would mean A LOT to Ruben. Thank you.
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