Pentagon looking for soldiers exposed to chemicals in Iraq

Pentagon looking for soldiers exposed to chemicals in Iraq

The Department of Defense is contacting service members and veterans who may have been exposed to chemicals — warfare agents such as mustard agents or sarin — during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

This effort is in response to the recent reports in The New York Times, most notably an Oct. 14 article, “The Secret Casualties of Iraq’s Abandoned Chemical Weapons,” which detailed its investigation and the Pentagon’s acknowledgement that as many as 600 U.S. troops had reported chemical exposure, but it failed to realize the scope of the exposure or offer adequate treatment.

In the video above posted on YouTube from Taji, Iraq, in 2008, this is the description of the video (a similar video was used by the Times): “A cache of mustard rounds found buried in a peninsula near Taji, Iraq. Kept finding and blowing rounds. Each explosion uncovered more every time. Finally got all the rounds out of the peninsula and wrapped them up in this sexy 1015 lbs. controlled detonation. Started late morning one day, end earlier morning the next day.”

The Pentagon announced it would offer medical exams and long-term monitoring of the health of service members and veterans who were exposed during the operation, which lasted from March 19, 2003 through August 31, 2010.

If you were exposed and have not been contacted, call this hotline at 1-800-497-6261. Veterans who may have been exposed can get a free VA Gulf War Registry examination.

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