Sunday, December 6, 2020

VA, Defense Department under new pressure to help ailing veterans who served at toxic Uzbek base


Hundreds of veterans have come forward after a CBS News investigation revealed new evidence of toxic materials at a remote base the U.S. military used after 9/11. 

More than 15,000 U.S troops passed through Karshi-Khanabad, or K2, a former Soviet air base in Uzbekistan that U.S. forces used to hunt Al Qaeda in nearby Afghanistan.

The investigation was cited at a recent House hearing that put new pressure on the Veterans Affairs and Defense Departments to address health concerns from sick service members. 

Although nearly 2,500 current and former service members have now reported rare cancers or other illnesses they believe are linked to their deployments, neither the Defense Department nor the VA acknowledges a link between K2 and illness.

CBS News' Catherine Herridge spoke to K2 veteran Mark Jackson, whose illnesses have baffled doctors for years. 

"I went from being able to run a marathon to not being able to walk up a flight of stairs," he said. "Turns out my thyroid simply did not function. I was 28 years old."


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