Editor, Gettysburg Times,
Earlier this spring the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee offered to fix part of a problem by proposing the “Comprehensive and Overdue Support for Troops (COST) of War Act, S 810” The House Veterans Affairs Committee has a similar bill to “Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act, HR 1972.” Both are sweeping proposals to address the fact that “Toxic Exposure is a Cost of war.” In 1991 the congress addressed the problem in part by granting presumptive disability Benefits for certain illnesses to all troops who served in Vietnam because of the widespread use of Agent Orange. Similarly. the PACT Act includes presumptive status to all who served in Iraq and Afghanistan likely suffered from some level of poisoning from burns pits used throughout the country. Included is a list of 23 cancers and respiratory illnesses believed to linked to the toxic smoke.