The fight continues to help soldiers exposed to toxins while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. A Robstown-based veterans group is now lobbying congress to fund a research program. It would determine how burn pits and toxins affect war veterans.
If Congress supports the program, it would be the first of its kind.
“This is very important to us,” said Le Roy Torres. “Because there’s thousands of veterans that have been affected.”
One of them is Torres, who is the founder of Burn Pits 360. He was enlisted in the army in 2007 and was diagnosed with a lung condition that doctors say is related to his service in Iraq.
“It’s been a long battle, and it’s exhausting,” said Torres.
Last Friday, Torres returned from a three-week long trip to North Texas for specialized treatment. But now, he and his wife Rosie Torres are pushing to take care of veterans like himself. They’re hoping for help with medical bills and specialized healthcare as a result of exposure to burn pits.
“People are dying every day,” said Rosie Torres. “We owe it to our veterans to make sure they’re receiving the care and benefits they need.”
In 2017, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs released their own research, and found no evidence that exposure to burn pits triggered health problems.
But many veterans and Burn Pits 360 strongly disagree with those findings. Now, the veterans group hopes Congress will be on their side to fund new research.
“We are the voice of the fallen, those that are no longer here, and those that are still in the fight,” said Le Roy Torres.
And it was the fight that followed these veterans home.
Proponents of new research have until noon on Thursday to show their support.
Burn Pits 360 says all you have to do is pick up the phone, and call your member of congress.