Contact: Mokie Porter
(Washington, D.C.) – “Our service members who served after 9/11 have been exposed to a range of environmental and chemical hazards, some of which carry very real risks. Whether from burn pits, depleted uranium, toxic fragments, they are getting sick and dying young from uncommon illnesses and early onset disease. For Vietnam veterans, it’s déjà vu all over again, and we are heartened to join in partnership with the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) and Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) to share our lessons learned and advocate for our younger veterans and their families,” said John Rowan, VVA National President.
“While much anecdotal evidence exists to suggest veterans’ exposure to burn pits and toxins during deployment is related to a host of illnesses and ailments, conclusive evidence is lacking,” said René Bardorf, WWP senior vice president of government and community relations. “To better understand toxic exposure, Wounded Warrior Project is pleased to work collaboratively with Vietnam Veterans of America and Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors to gather research and data that will help us understand the risks and effects of toxic exposure so we may work to ensure service members, veterans, and survivors have access to the care and benefits they need.”
“Though our war ended more than 40 years ago, our battle for justice and answers for our veterans exposed to Agent Orange and other toxic substances and their families has never ceased,” said Rowan. “We are thankful for the support of the Wounded Warrior Project, which has allowed VVA and TAPS to come together in partnership to ensure that our Post-9/11veterans don’t wait a lifetime for government to make good on its promise to care for those injured in defense of the Constitution and their families.”
For Bonnie Carrol, president of TAPS, “the primary focus of the partnership will be to ensure that the families of military service members and veterans who have died as a result of illnesses related to toxic exposure are recognized, cared for, and are able to receive all benefits they are entitled.”