Filed Bill Could Help Nation's Veterans
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Republican Todd Akin filed a bill Thursday that would help rehabilitate military veterans. The bill would have The Department of Veterans Affairs create a registry to keep track of veterans who might have been exposed to smoke and or toxins while serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Veterans and lawmakers agree that troops were exposed to smoke and toxins from burn pits used to get rid of trash and human waste. A few veterans attended the conference in Washington D.C., testifying that they have health problems, including respiratory problems because of the burn pits.
The department of veterans affairs maintains a database right now of 594 veterans who say they have health problems because of the pits but the organization believes many more were affected when deployed.
Akin estimates the registry would cost about $2 million to establish and maintain. If approved, it would require veterans affairs to establish the database within six months and publicize it.