WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) have announced that their bipartisan legislation to help veterans who have been exposed to toxic burn pits has passed the Senate as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018.
The Helping Veterans Exposed to Burn Pits Act would create a center of excellence within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to better understand the health effects associated with burn pits and treat veterans who become sick after exposure.
The Press did a story last March on a 36-year-old Air National Guard member, Amie Muller, who died of pancreatic cancer she and her family attributed to exposure to toxic burn pits during two tours in Iraq. Her mother-in-law, Sandy Muller, lives in Mahtomedi.
Klobuchar testified before the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee last year to discuss the need to dedicate staff and resources to exposure diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of health conditions stemming from exposure to burn pits.
“It took the government years after the Vietnam War to recognize that there was a link between Agent Orange and the devastating health effects on our soldiers. We can’t let history repeat itself — burn pits can’t become today’s Agent Orange,” Klobuchar said. “That’s why passing this bipartisan bill to support our nation’s heroes, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with their families, has remained one of my top priorities.”