A team of veterans who served at Karshi-Khanabad Air Foundation in Uzbekistan during the Afghan War say they won’t be able to get the Pentagon to declassify facts about the harmful toxins they may have been exposed to.
ADRIAN FLORIDO, HOST:
In the early yrs of the war in Afghanistan, the U.S. navy relied closely on an airbase in Uzbekistan that was regarded as K2. K2 is now regarded for another purpose – harmful publicity. Veterans who served there have reported uncommon ailments or cancers, and quite a few have died. Now they’re demanding responses from the Pentagon, as NPR’s Quil Lawrence reports.
QUIL LAWRENCE, BYLINE: For 20 several years now, Kim Brooks has been combating a war she under no circumstances signed up for.
KIM BROOKS: My spouse, Lieutenant Colonel Timothy Brooks, was a 1989 West Issue graduate.
LAWRENCE: They married the future year and had 4 small children by the time 9/11 occurred. Tim deployed to a foundation known as Karshi-Khanabad – K2 – in Uzbekistan near the Afghan border. Troops there described annoying dust and bizarre chemicals seeping up via the floor. Tim arrived residence, and shortly just after, he started hearing rumors about uranium and other toxic compounds. A year later, he experienced a seizure at a command ceremony as he was preparing to deploy to Iraq. At the hospital, the information wasn’t good – brain cancer.
BROOKS: The physician tells us that Tim has a phase 3 astrocytoma, and it really is intense, and he has almost certainly 11 months max to dwell. You know, we make it out to the parking large amount, and Tim collapses on the floor in tears, sobbing. So he’s 6-foot-5. He’s on the ground, and he is sobbing.
LAWRENCE: Tim conquer the prediction by a thirty day period. He died a 12 months later, however on lively responsibility with the Military. Of their four small children, 1 went to West Position and later on Iraq. A further is now a law firm at the Yale Veterans Legal Solutions Clinic, which served file a lawsuit this 7 days.
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STEVE NELSON: I am the director of governing administration affairs and a board member for the Stronghold Flexibility Foundation. I would like to thank Senator Blumenthal for your continued aid and currently being right here now. I would also like to thank the CVLC for internet hosting us these days and helping us in our journey.
LAWRENCE: Steve Nelson, with the Stronghold Freedom Foundation, spoke at a push conference announcing the fit introduced for the reason that the Pentagon has not answered a freedom of information request, a FOIA.
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NELSON: This FOIA litigation seeks to drive the authorities to offer a checklist of the harmful toxins it found and documented at K2. This data is currently being inexplicably and shamefully withheld.
LAWRENCE: The Pentagon referred NPR’s query to the Office of Justice, which declined to remark on why this information is just not remaining released. Fifteen thousand vets served at K2. Hundreds of them say they are unwell, but they won’t be able to even inform medical professionals what to take care of them for right until they know what was contaminating the base.
MARK JACKSON: When I was there, some dudes arrived off a C-17 wearing moon fits, carrying Geiger counters, and I was in running shorts and a T-shirt.
LAWRENCE: Mark Jackson served four battle tours. He spoke to me past week, and then he rushed himself to the emergency area when the sepsis in just one of his elbows burst. He is got critical osteoporosis, anemia, and his thyroid failed and was eradicated.
JACKSON: I have had medical procedures 4 occasions in the past 6 months, and I take into account myself fortunate due to the fact it really is not cancer.
LAWRENCE: Jackson’s services was recognized with a Bronze Star medal pinned on by Lloyd Austin, then a typical, now Secretary of Protection. Jackson now desires Secretary Austin to identify him yet again and all of the other K2 veterans by releasing the data they want to endure.
Quil Lawrence, NPR Information.
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