WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — A more than a $250 billion bill helping thousands of military veterans battling illnesses related to toxic exposure has bipartisan support. It’s spearheaded by Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran, who hopes to get it passed within the next week or two.
“It’s important for them to know that if they have a problem that arises from their service, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the American people are going to be supportive,” said Moran.
Retired Marine Sergeant Eric Johnson and retired Army Staff Sergeant Lyle Pearson live in the Wichita area and are left with the aftermath of their time around burn pits while serving in Iraq.
“There were burn pits all the time. You would be breathing in a lot of smoke, a lot of the time,” explained Pearson. “When I retired, I wound up being diagnosed with particulates in my lungs. I have to carry around an inhaler all the time.”
“I mean all that smoke was just like blowing right in there all day every day. It’s right inside the wire with you.” Johnson added. “I’ve been dealing with sinusitis and rhinitis since about 2007 when I got back.”