Comedian Jon Stewart has teamed up with veteran groups to ensure that service members infected with combustion pit toxins receive the medical care they need, according to the Military Officers Association of America.
“Frankly, this isn’t just about fire pits – it’s about the way we go to war as a country,” said Stewart when he visited Washington, DC on January 17. “We always have money to make war. We always have to.” Have money to care for what happens to people who are selfless and patriotic enough to wage these wars for us.
Stewart traveled to Capitol Hill to meet with MOAA and other veteran groups that make up the toxic exposures in the American military coalition, a MOAA press release said.
Formerly prevalent in the United States, cremation pits are believed to have led to cancer, skin and respiratory problems among veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. As of January 6, a total of 192,000 veterans and service members reported health issues that they believed to be related to their operations by participating in the Ministry of Veterans Airborne Hazard Register and Open Pit.
“We want to make sure we do it wisely,” said Stewart on January 17. “We won’t take a lot of pictures with that.” After all that you’ve given, you should do the last thing you should do is fight the country that you’ve given so much to. That makes no sense.”
Stewart has long been a lawyer for troops, police officers, firefighters, and others who have become ill as a result of exposure to toxic chemicals. Last year, he helped shame Congress to permanently re-authorize the Victims Compensation Fund on September 11th. He pays claims to first-aiders who have become ill or have died as a result of their work at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
At the January 17 meeting, Stewart thanked the Vietnam veterans present for the fighting to ensure that the troops exposed to Agent Orange were finally receiving related disease care.
“They were the pioneers of the idea that chemicals and toxicity … had a terrible impact on everyone who fought there,” said Stewart. “And you had to fight and keep fighting so that the next generations didn’t have to do that.”