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Congressman Joaquin Castro

Representing the 20th District of Texas

Castro Introduces Bipartisan Legislation to Allow Family Members to Register Deceased Veterans on Burn Pits Registry

Jun 7, 2018
Press Release

Measure Allows Family to Document Loved Ones Experience, Help Government Track Long-Term Burn Pits Exposure Health Effects

WASHINGTON—Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, First Vice Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and representative for Military City USA, introduced the bipartisan Family Member Access to Burn Pit Registry Act. This measure would allow a family member to participate in the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry on behalf of a deceased veteran or service member which is currently prohibited by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), enabling family members to document the experience of their loved ones while also helping the government analyze long-term health effects of burn pits exposure.

“The military used over 250 burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan to discard military waste at sites, leaving lasting and sometimes fatal health effects to service members exposed,” said Congressman Castro. “The Family Member Access to Burn Pits Registry would allow family members to participate in the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry on behalf of a deceased veteran which is currently prohibited. This would help the VA analyze the long-term health effects of exposure while also helping family document the experience of their family. It’s our responsibility to ensure we provide service members and veterans with the care they need and this includes fully analyzing the long-term health effects that took their loved ones away.”

Full list of original co-signers includes Reps. Stevan Pearce (NM-02); Raul Ruiz (CA-36); and Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02).

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