Leave it to Jon Stewart to tackle the tough topics and shed light on injustices. Just as he advocated for the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, even going so far as to lambast Congress in a 2019 impassioned testimony on Capitol Hill for a woeful response to health care for emergency personnel, he is now shining a light on the traumatic impact of Burn Pits.
Never heard of Burn Pits? Neither had I.
During Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) government contractors burned TONS of hazardous waste using jet fuel. Think about a micro-minute of annoying smoke when you’re roasting a marshmallow over a campfire and now multiple that irritation by an incalculatable number with acres of fires raging 24/7. Military personnel breathed contaminated air day and night as fires consumed the products of everyday life – plastics, rubber, human waste, all mixed in with war waste – amputated body parts, ammunition, and chemicals. The resulting exposure to this toxic cocktail has wounded thousands of veterans. But just as it took decades for our government to acknowledge the long term effects of Agent Orange, there is only minimal recognition that breathing this bad stuff is bad for your health.
In his new series, The Problem with Jon Stewart, Jon does what he is famous for – shares a hard truth encased in humor to make us think. We hear his opinion but, more importantly, we hear from people impacted by the problem. And, not just “Wendy Whiners” but people offering solutions to affect change. His first episode introduces the viewer to veterans and their families facing life threatening health challenges as a result of Burn Pit exposure.
As we celebrate Veterans Day and Richard’s 75th birthday, on this day commemorating the end of World War I on “the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month” and honoring all U.S. military veterans, we are making a contribution to Burn Pit 360, a 501(c)(3) “dedicated to improving post-deployment health outcomes.” Join us in supporting our troops and veterans – for real.