On this *bonus* episode of TSQ, Matt invites on his friend Brent (@VetArchistOG) to discuss a recent article detailing the extreme soil and water contamination at Karshi-Khanabad Air Base in Uzbekistan, also known as K2. This base was constructed on a site the DOD knew to be heavily contaminated in early 2001, as the US was searching for a staging area for special operations missions into Afghanistan. It was closed in 2009, but at least 61 veterans who deployed there ended up with cancer.
The DOD claims that there is no environmental hazards at this air base, but documents revealed by FOIA requests by McClatchy News Service indicate DOD was aware of environmental hazards and took half-ass steps to mitigate them. Many veterans have died from cancer and others, unable to conclusively prove to VA bureaucrats that their cancer was a result of working in living in this toxic waste dump, were forced to go bankrupt paying out of pocket for medical care.
This whole episode is not just about K2-it’s indicative of a massive problem that is DOD-wide. Troops are exposed to all sorts of dangerous environments as a matter of course, the Army often does not provide proper PPE or condones contractor practices that place Soldiers in danger of exposure to hazardous chemicals, i.e. burn pits. When they get sick after returning home they often have to fight an uphill battle to get the state to keep the promises it made when they enlisted. This is what single payer looks like, without all the socialist propaganda.
Thanks for listening!