Posted: Jan 9, 2013 9:22 PM by Melissa Schroeder - email@example.com
Updated: Jan 9, 2013 11:48 PM
ROBSTOWN -- There's new information about a Robstown couple's efforts to establish a national registry.
It's for veterans exposed to chemicals while serving overseas.
That registry is about to become a reality and help thousands of vets across the country.
Life will never be the same for LeRoy Torres.
He says he suffers from a lung disease caused by exposure to burn-pits in Iraq.
He said, "There's some days where I'm just with these flare ups, I have to be in bed or I have these massive headaches where I can't function. I'm laid out. Sometimes it'll be a day or two straight."
When he first felt the symptoms in 2010, LeRoy felt hopeless.
So, he and his wife Rosie began a battle of their own.
They researched LeRoy's symptoms and found other Iraq vets with similar conditions.
The couple started the organization BurnPits 360 and lobbied on Capitol Hill to get help.
Rosie said, "It was a full time job. There were nights where I wouldn't go to bed sometimes until 3 or 4 in the morning and then go to work."
Their efforts paid off.
A couple of weeks ago, the senate passed a bill requiring the V-A to form a registry for soldiers exposed to burn-pits.
It's now awaiting the president's signature.
The reporter asked the couple, "Can you recreate the emotions and the feelings that happened when you found out after all this time and effort this was finally going to happen?"
Rosie answered, "I think it's still not sunk in so it's something that we knew it was a task God gave us to do and we're carrying it out."
LeRoy added, "I just thought it was worth the fight and there were times we wanted to give up especially when I'm having a bad day and flare ups. But, I would always think when I would hear of someone diagnosed with cancer or passed away that motivated me more just to keep fighting."
Soldiers will sign up on the registry to learn about their conditions and where to get specialized help.
The service is priceless...possibly even life saving thanks -- in part -- to the Torres' commitment to the men and women who served our country.
Once this bill goes into effect in a couple of weeks, the V-A will have one year to establish the burn-pits registry.
For more information click here. www.burnpits360.org
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