Post-9/11 veterans sickened by toxic chemicals and radiation at an Uzbek airbase used for staging the war in Afghanistan are again absent from must-pass defense legislation, Senate aides told the Washington Examiner.
“There was no comparable amendment offered to the Senate NDAA by any senators,” a Senate Armed Services Committee aide told the Washington Examiner of the $740.5 billion legislation.
The House version of the National Defense Authorization Act included an amendment requiring the Department of Defense to study the effects of contaminants that were present at the airbase known as K2, where some 10,000 veterans served between 2001 and 2005.
“A study will show what we already know: People are dead, dying, and chronically ill at rates several factors higher than similar populations,” said K2 veteran and retired Army Staff Sgt. Mark Jackson, who has chronic thyroid and gastrointestinal problems. “It is a start.”
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The amendment was sponsored by Reps. Stephen Lynch, a Massachusetts Democrat, and Mark Green, a Tennessee Republican, himself a veteran of the contaminated Khanabad Air Base in Uzbekistan.
“The House-passed version would require the Department of Defense to conduct an epidemiological study of health effects and exposures at K2,” Lynch told the Washington Examiner.