Tillis co-introduces bipartisan bill to aid veterans exposed to toxic burn pits

U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) co-introduced bipartisan legislation on Tuesday that would provide aid to veterans exposed to toxic burn pits in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Under the Helping Veterans Exposed to Burn Pits Act, S. 2679, a center of excellence would be established within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to help prevent, diagnose, mitigate, treat and rehabilitate health conditions resulting from exposure to burn pits.

“The smoke from burn pits in Afghanistan and Iraq exposed American service members to harmful substances, and we have a moral obligation to provide them with care for health complications that developed as a result,” Tillis said. “This bipartisan bill moves our nation closer to fulfilling that obligation by creating a center of excellence within the VA to assist in the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation for veterans exposed to toxic burn pits.”

Tillis co-offered the bill with U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).

“‎Veterans who fought on the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan are coming home with major health complications that could be linked to their exposure to toxic burn pits,” Klobuchar said. “Our bipartisan bill will help address the health needs of veterans who have fallen ill after being exposed to burn pits. It’s clear we need to do more to make sure that all veterans get the care and support they need when they return home from the battlefield.”

Tillis, a member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, has co-introduced seven bipartisan bills designed to improve VA health care services and to enhance educational opportunities for veterans and their family members.

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