|Joshua Casteel, speaking at the Truth Commission on Conscience in War|
The following story was carried by The NPR radio program, The Texas Standard this week. When we caution students that the US military is the biggest single institutional polluter in the world, this is among the reasons why. And when we caution students that veterans have become ill from exposure to the toxins produced by the military and often have suffered further from inadequate medical care, this is another example.
I especially remember Joshua Casteel, an Iraq War veteran who died at the age of 32 in 2012 of cancer attributed to exposure to US military burn pits in Iraq. Joshua became a Conscientious Objector to war after his experiences as an interrogator in Iraq. He was one of the veterans featured in the film, "Soldiers of Conscience," and he spoke widely on the issues of moral injury and conscience, including an audience with the Pope. Joshua was a beautiful person, and he, along with every person who died too soon because of the effects of war, should have lived.
Here is the story that aired this week:
Closed Doors and Toxic Fumes: Veterans Affected by Military Burn Pits Grow Desperate
by Carson Frame
For years, veterans say they’ve been getting sick. They believe the culprit is open burn pits used in Iraq and Afghanistan. A class-action lawsuit against Houston-based military contractor Kellogg Brown and Root was thrown out this summer, and many of those affected don’t know where to turn.