On Tuesday, we had Rosie Torres with Burn Pits 360 Veterans Organization on a special American Grit Live. There, we talked about the NDAA 2020 getting approved and what it means for the fight against burn pits. Burn Pits 360 is currently working with Jon Stewart, several Veteran Service Organizations, and Grunt Style to come up with appropriate legislation that will allow affected veterans to get the true care and assistance they need.Burn Pits 360 is a non-profit organization that was co-founded by an Army Captain who served in Iraq in 2007-2008, when the burn pits were said to be at their worst. Anyone deployed with burn pits remembers the pitch black smoke that billowed and hung in the air over living quarters and many other areas around them. Not to mention those that had to work in the pits and were directly exposed to the many different, disease-causing toxins emitted from them.In 2013, Congress mandated The Department of Veterans Affairs to create and maintain a burn pit registry. This registry, however, has been found to not capture complete and accurate data. In addition, the registry does not allow family members to enter information on behalf of a loved one or someone who has passed away. The VA has also been known to essentially 'dismiss' issues that could be related to burn pits.In fact, if you go to the VA's website to obtain information about burn pits, you will find this article, here. The article is dated November 2014 and states "At this time, there is conflicting and insufficient research to show that long-term health problems have resulted from burn pit exposure. VA continues to study the health of exposed Veterans. The registry is just one of several research projects currently underway." Now, since 2014, the VA has established the Airborne Hazards and Burn Pits Center of Excellence (AHBPCE).When you go to their section of the VA's website, here, you see the following bullet points:
- Completed the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry (AHOBPR) online questionnaire,
- Indicated a desire for an in-person AHOBPR exam,
- Reported chronic respiratory symptoms, and
- Meet other eligibility criteria.
Now, this already presents an issue for many reasons. First, you have to 'indicate a desire for an in-person' means ultimately, you have to tell your VA doctor you want the exam. Second, 'chronic respiratory symptoms and meet other eligibility criteria' means the VA is only exploring lung and respiratory related illnesses, IF they deem it related to burn pits.What Burn Pits 360 has done is created their own registry. This registry allows anyone to enter symptoms and information for either themselves or a loved on affected. It requires you to enter where you were located, how many deployments, exactly how close you were to the burn pits, illnesses and side effects, and so much more.From there, Burn Pits 360 has a team of doctors and scientists who have been studying burn pit related illnesses for over a decade. They have even been able to diagnose PTSD-like symptoms to brain issues stemming from burn pits. They have also openly shared their research with those willing to listen. Burn Pits 360 has their headquarters in Robstown, Texas where they have "online and in person resources through training, peer support, case management services, referrals to community-based care, claims assistance, social activities and family programs," according to their website.The other notable thing about Burn Pits 360's registry is the fact that it is completely separate from the DoD and the VA. They have conducted their own research and collected their own information. You can check out their website and registry, here.In partnering with Burn Pits 360, Grunt Style hopes to generate enough backing and interest that the political sphere has no choice but to listen. Keep checking in because there will soon be more actions you can take to help. First things first, however, sign up with Burn Pits 360. They currently have less than 10,000 registrants compared to the 141,000 that have enrolled with the VA's registry.https://www.burnpits360.org/the-burn-pits-registry/[embed]https://www.facebook.com/gruntstyle/videos/3674889485862118/[/embed]