Friday, June 29, 2018

The opioid epedemic

Good news, in my opinion.  Nate Raymond (Reuters) reports:




The U.S. Justice Department on Thursday announced charges against 601 people including doctors for taking part in healthcare frauds that resulted in over $2 billion in losses and contributed to the nation’s opioid epidemic in some cases.



Good.  Doctors should be charged.  I got into an argument about this last winter.  Donna, this woman who thinks she knows everything, was insisting that the crisis was the result of patients and the drug companies.  I said, “And doctors too.”  And she nearly ripped my head off.  I was anti-science, I was some fringe conspiracy theorist.


She just tore into me.  I was like, “uh, doctors are part of the problem if they’re prescribing it.”


She thinks she’s that science queen even though she never took science classes.  She’ll toss out her degree but it’s art history.  And it’s a bachelor of arts.    But she listens to all these podcasts so that apparently makes her an expert on science.  Meanwhile, I’m an RN but, hey, whatever.


And to be clear, these aren’t science podcasts that she listens to.  They’re gaming podcasts.  But, hey, she knows everything.


If you’re wondering why I talk to her, she lives across the street.  And I did use her real name: Donna.  I don’t care if she reads it at this point.  (And, it’s Donna.  Not Dona of The Third Estate Sunday Review before someone e-mails mistakenly thinking I was writing about Dona.  I love Dona, nothing but good things to say about her.)



Patrick Martin (WSWS) offered a take on the candidate everyone’s talking about:


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, defeated the fourth-ranking member of the Democratic leadership of the House of Representatives, Congressman Joseph Crowley, in Tuesday’s primary election in the 14th Congressional District of New York.

There is no doubt that the vote for Ocasio-Cortez reflects the mounting opposition in the working class to the corporate-controlled politics of both the Democratic and Republican parties. There is a growing radicalization among working people, powerfully expressed in the wave of teachers’ strikes earlier this year and now seen in the broad opposition to the Trump administration’s persecution of immigrants.

The defeat of Crowley demonstrates the popular hostility towards the Democratic Party establishment. In a district with a population of more than 700,000, where the incumbent won 83 percent of the vote in 2016, a leader of the congressional Democrats received barely 11,000 votes. Given its outlay of $3.4 million (according to the Federal Election Commission), the Crowley campaign spent more than $300 for each vote.

Despite the repudiation of Crowley, however, the politics of Ocasio-Cortez and the DSA offer no way forward for the working class. There is not a hint of socialism in her program (the word itself does not appear on her web site), and both the candidate and the DSA have sought to downplay their connection. Anyone who suggests that her victory marks a shift to the left by the Democratic Party should be told, in no uncertain terms: Curb your enthusiasm!

The DSA is not fighting for socialism, but to strengthen the Democratic Party, one of the two main capitalist parties in the United States, which shares responsibility with the Republican Party for all the crimes committed by American imperialism around the world and against the working class at home.




This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Thursday:

Thursday, June 28, 2018.  A US helicopter has crashed in Iraq . . .


This AP report dated June 28, 2018 appears to be from March.  Apparently, there was no crash today.  My apologies.  Snapshot continues below as it appeared this morning.

Another helicopter crash in Iraq today.  Lolita C. Baldor (AP) reports that the US helicopter was carrying 7 service members and that "The helicopter is used by the Air Force for combat search and rescue, and was in transit from one location to another when it went down Thursday afternoon near the town of Qaim in Anbar Province."

At this point, the fate of the seven service members is not known.

Maybe it'll serve as a reminder to a real ugly subfaction?

Somehow, in the immigration dialogue taking place, service members were brought up, specifically, their separation from their families.  In response, some really pompous and stupid voices sprang up saying they were children whose parents had gone to Iraq and it was not the same thing because their parents returned.

How entitled and self-obsessed do you have to be?

Not every parent returned.

And while you may have hoped your parent would return, when someone ships off to war there is always the possibility that they will not return.

The idiots advancing that nonsense did no one any favors.

But maybe their smug attitudes made it clear why they cannot take to the streets over the ongoing wars?  They don't see death as a possibility and they don't care about the deaths of the Iraqi people.

Good morning. Americans are still dying in Afghanistan and Iraq after 17 years of war, with no real end in sight, because nobody wants to "lose" the war. The Supreme Court is about to be absolute s**t. Mitch McConnell is an utter rat. Nothing matters. Eat .

On the topic of dying, SPUTNIK notes, the US government has now admitted to "unintentionally killing 939 civilians since the start of the operations in Iraq and Syria" and that the "London-based NGO Airwars has estimated the US and its allies are responsible for at least 9,600 civilian deaths."

Staying with violence, the United Nation's has published their Annual Report of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict.  At least 717 children were killed in Iraq in 2017.  The report notes:

Over half of all incidents were the result of air strikes, shelling, sniper fire and rockets, resulting in 390 child casualties. Improvised explosive devices were the second leading cause (24 per cent), followed by targeted attacks on children (10 per cent), including three boys who were killed and two who were injured by unidentified parties for their alleged association with ISIL.

Deaths don't matter much to Kurt Eichenwald, nor do facts.  Kurt takes time off from talking to underage male porn performers to whine yet again.

Years democratic cry-baby protest voters came out/stayed home

2001: gave us bush, Iraq war.

2010: gave us tea party, first step toward blocking garland nomination years later.

2016: gave us trump and SCOTUS GOP majority for rest of my life.

Screw you narcissistic idiots.

Screw you, Kurt.  You should be in prison for you actions with boys.  Thank goodness that at least THE NEW YORK TIMES fired your ass when they found out you were paying one of these boys.  The useless Anthony Kennedy is retiring.  A right-winger.  And it's time to act really stupid apparently.  No one has to be confirmed to the Supreme Court.  The Democrats could block any nomination for a year or more.

That's today.  2010?  "First step toward blocking Garland nomination years later"?  He's so stupid.  And Garland was not a good nominee.  Whining about him?  Barack Obama should have nominated someone of substance.  Having decided to go with the corporatist Garland, it's on Barack.  He knew how to horse trade.  That's all he had to do.  But he didn't do that.  The failure of his nominee is on him.


Was Kurt trolling for young boys while he wrote that Tweet?  Who stayed home in 2001?  There wasn't a presidential election in 2001.  He may mean 2000.  Regardless, the Democrats own the Iraq War.  Not only because Barack Obama failed to end it, despite his promise to do so, they also own it because they voted for it.  Every Democratic Party presidential ticket since the start of the Iraq War has contained at least one person who voted for the Iraq War.

Kurt wants to spew and apparently couldn't find a photo of a young bow to aim his stub at so instead he tries to spew over the American people.

Kurt's big problem is that the American people didn't turn out for the Democratic Party.

Because he's a piece of crap, he slams the American people.  He doesn't take even one minute to ponder when the Democratic Party turned out for the American people.  They didn't stop the Iraq War, despite all the promises -- Nancy Pelosi in 2006, Barack Obama in 2008.

Kurt needs professional help.  He is not healthy, obviously.  You don't hunt around online for young boys if you're healthy.  You don't fork over thousands of dollars to them and 'forget' to inform your employer when asked about your relationship.

The Democrats in Congress could have stood for the American people at any point.  They didn't.  Give people a reason to turn out and they will.  Give them empty words that you never fight for and why should they bother?

Where is Medicare for all?  Where is the forgiveness of student debt?  Where are any of the things that Americans want?

These are the things that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ran on, as Bruce A. Dixon (BLACK AGENDA REPORT) reminds:

Ocasio-Cortez campaigned on single payer health care and free college tuition. She denounced the latest massacre in Gaza. She says ICE ought to be abolished, and the day before the election she was at a South Texas immigrant detention center. She’s a young working class Puerto Rican woman who reportedly refused corporate cash and was working a real job, waiting tables at the beginning of her campaign. 

On that platform, she won the primary this week.  Alistair Farrow (UK SOCIALIST WORKER) observes,  "The victory comes despite the Democratic Party repeatedly letting people down."

Whether she will win in November's general election (and whether, if she does, she will fight for what she believes) is not known at this point.  But what is clear?  That if you give people a reason to vote, they will show up.

Today is Post-Traumatic Stress Awareness Day:

Today is Awareness Day. It's not only veterans who suffer from it, but regular people and journalists. For me, it started in Iraq after I covered a multiple suicide bombing. As the death and destruction piled up over the months, it got harder to function outside a war zone

Of the estimated 2.7 million American Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans, an estimated 20 percent have PTSD and/or depression and about half never seek treatment. In order to bring greater awareness to the issue, the US Senate designated June 27th as .

The following community sites -- and a few non-community ones -- updated:

  • Thursday, June 28, 2018

    Diabetes, Green candidate Laura Wells

    I’m trying to note diabetes at least once a week, often with a diabetic friendly,  If you are pre-diabetic or concerned you might be, here are some foods from Yahoo that you can integrate into your diet to help your blood sugar:
    Non-starchy vegetables
    Make non-starchy vegetables the star of your plate, taking up half of it. 'For anybody at risk of diabetes, it's important to take your vegetable intake to the next level,' Wright says. 'Balancing your plate with half vegetables will fill you up without loading you down with tons of carbs.' Credit the fibre and water in the vegetables for helping keep you satisfied.
    Leafy greens
    All non-starchy vegetables are good, but leafy greens may pack a more powerful punch. In a review of six studies, researchers found that consuming 1.35 servings (about 1 1/3 cups raw or 2/3 cup cooked) of leafy greens daily was associated with a 14 percent reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to eating only 0.2 servings daily.
    Whole fruit
    'Whole fruit is nothing but good for people who have prediabetes,' Wright says. Just don't consume produce in the form of juice or smoothies. 'Though a smoothie does give one a concentrated source of nutrients, they are often packed with calories that don’t satisfy our hunger as there is little fibre in them,' Denison says. So rather than drinking your fruit, eat it, spacing it out over your day.
    Whole grains
    Eating whole grains has been shown to cause blood sugar levels to rise more slowly after a meal and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. The fibre in whole grains slows the digestion of carbs, reducing the demand for insulin. Whole grains also contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients that may also play a role in helping prevent diabetes.
    prevent diabetes.
    In a study published in the journal Clinical Nutrition, researchers followed the diets of more than 3,000 adults who didn't have type 2 diabetes for more than four years. They discovered that people with the highest consumption of legumes – especially lentils –had the lowest risk of diabetes. Replacing half a serving of eggs, bread, rice, or baked potato with legumes daily also was associated with lower risk of diabetes incidence. All legumes, which includes lentils and all types of beans, are high in fibre and a good source of protein.
    Healthy fats
    Like carbs, fats are about the issue of two Qs: quality and quantity, Wright says. Unsaturated fats have been linked to improved insulin resistance. Choose sources such as nuts, seeds, olive oil, canola oil, and avocado, but be mindful of portions since fats are calorically dense. Moderate amounts of fat at your meals also helps boost satiety.
    Lean protein
    Protein helps you feel fuller for longer. It also slows digestion so your blood sugar rises and also falls more gradually after a meal. Choose fish, plant-based proteins such as beans and legumes, poultry, and lean beef.
    Okay, Ann Garrison (BLACK AGENDA REPORT) has an interview with Laura Wells who is running for Congress -- she'll be challenging the incumbent Barbara Lee in the November election:

    AG:Barbara Lee has been a hero to many in District 13 and beyond ever since she voted against the Patriot Act and the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force in the “War on Terror,” right after 9/11. I know you’d have done the same, but you differ with her on many issues. Could you summarize those?

    LW: I support:
    - a real healthcare system, Medicare for All, nothing short of that;
    - the abolition of student debt, which is entirely doable;
    - public banks, not bailing out and strengthening Wall Street banks (Barbara Lee voted for the bank bailout);
    - vastly reducing military spending, including closing almost 1000 U.S. foreign military bases;
    - never voting for the bloated military budgets;
    - reversing the militarization, and stopping the impunity, of our police forces (Barbara Lee voted to transfer surplus military equipment to domestic police);
    - stopping the horrific treatment of immigrants and refugees;
    - supporting efforts to tax the rich;
    - the Green New Deal, the transformation of our economy from a war economy to a sustainable economy, as advanced by our Green Party presidential candidates in 2016;

    AG: California Senator Dianne Feinstein and District 12 Representative Nancy Pelosi have both refused to debate Green challengers, and in 2008 Nancy Pelosi said she "has a day job," so she couldn’t make time to debate independent candidate Cindy Sheehan. Barbara Lee, however, is much closer to her progressive, grassroots constituents. Do you think she’ll debate you?

    LW: Well, if she doesn’t, we’ll have to ask, why not? We need a real debate in California, not between the corporate Democratic and Republican Parties, but a debate between a Democratic Party team player and a Green Party no-corporate-money candidate. This will give people a chance to really dig into the issues, and the options that we have. There are solutions.

    As a Green, I would point out that there is no excuse for problems that we take for granted in the wealthiest country in the world. No excuse for the obscene disparity in wealth and income, or for the lack of real justice for all people. What has the two-party system done to ensure that people have the basics? BASICS, like housing, healthcare, meaningful work with a decent income, a good environment, and opportunities for our next generations. We need to put these things on the table in a debate. If they’re not on the table, then we are denied the possibility of even looking at solutions.

    This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Wednesday:

    Wednesday, June 27, 2018.  Is ISIS defeated is the bigger question before arguing over credit for it's alleged defeat.

    Starting with David DeGraw:

    Here's a 20 minute interview that I just did w/ Lee Camp. We discuss the latest news on the unaccounted for $21 Trillion & the insanity of dropping 121 bombs a day... (Watch Video)
    * I haven't been able to keep Changemaker.Media online without insanely long load times, another topic we discuss in this interview. You can watch the full interview via YouTube here.
    There are two short excerpts from the interview posted to Facebook...
    Here's the 5 Minute Version on my new YouTube channel.

    Staying with bombs being dropped, the US Defense Dept announced the following yesterday:

    On June 18, coalition military forces conducted two strikes consisting of two engagements against ISIS targets near Rutbah. The strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed an ISIS vehicle.
    On June 19, coalition military forces conducted two strikes consisting of three engagements against ISIS targets:
    -- Near Rutbah, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit.
    -- Near Kisik, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit.
    On June 20, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of three engagements against ISIS targets near Rutbah. The strike destroyed three ISIS caves.
    On June 21, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of one engagement against ISIS targets near Tal Afar. The strike destroyed an ISIS tunnel.
    There were no reported strikes in Iraq on June 22.
    On June 23, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of one engagement against ISIS targets near Basheer. The strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed an ISIS-held building.

    There were no reported strikes in Iraq on June 24.

    Now let's stop a minute for a claim that pops up in e-mails from time to time.  US President Donald Trump has not defeated ISIS.  ISIS remains.  Every now and then someone e-mails the public e-mail account insisting that we (this site) are not giving Donald credit for defeating ISIS and neither is the media.  ISIS has not been defeated.  Go back to the so-called 'liberation' (destruction) of Mosul.  We did not run with the lie that ISIS was defeated.  We noted that their original plan was never to seize cities.  That's not why they came into being.  Because Iraq was run so poorly (Nouri al-Maliki), ISIS was able to seize control of cities.

    If there's some outlet you're watching or reading that's claimed ISIS has been defeated?  By all means, slam them for not giving Donald credit for that.  But we have never said ISIS was defeated -- and it's not defeated -- no matter how lazy some outlets are.

    Not only is the US still dropping bombs on Iraq, supposedly to target ISIS, but ISIS continues fighting on the ground in Iraq.  For example, Mohammed Ebraheem (IRAQI NEWS) reports:

    Six Iraqi pro-government fighters were killed and wounded Wednesday in an attack launched by Islamic State on a village in Kirkuk.
    A security source told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed newspaper that “IS militants stormed al-Bashir village in southern Kirkuk, and clashed with the security forces and al-Hashd al-Shaabi fighters deployed there for two hours.”

    “The fierce clashes between the two sides left a member of al-Hashd al-Shaabi dead and five others wounded,” according to the source.

    On the topic of the militias -- al-Hashd al-Shaabi -- let's again note this Tweet:

    2 weeks ago air jets targeted a group of Hashd Al-Shaabi Militants on the border of - near . Yesterday Head of Hashd Al-Shaabi Militia Al-Muhandis stated that the Militia will not stay silent and will target the Americans for targeting the .



    This is not the first time that the Hashd al Shaabi has publicly threatened US troops (most recently, they did so last November).  These threats are among the reasons that the US government designates Hashd al Shaabi as a terrorist organization.  Of course, Hashd al-Shaabi is also part of the PMU (militias) and they came in second in the May 12th national elections in Iraq.

    Bryant Harris (AL-MONITOR) reported earlier this month:

    The House of Representatives unanimously voted last week on legislation requiring President Donald Trump to sanction “persons that are officials, agents, affiliates of or owned and controlled by” two prominent Iran-backed militias that operate in Iraq and Syria. The amendment from Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, to a must-pass annual defense authorization bill targets Asaib Ahl al-Haq and Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba, both of which are part of the Shiite-led Popular Mobilization Units battling the Islamic State.
    Both militias joined with other Iran-backed military forces as part of the Fatah, or Conquest, political coalition, which came in second in the May 12 elections with 47 out of 329 parliamentary seats. Asaib Ahl al-Haq won 14 of those 47 seats, according to Iraq analyst Kirk Sowell, while Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba did not field any candidates.
    “The US Department of Treasury will ultimately determine if the political wing constitutes an affiliate or entity controlled by” Asaib Ahl al-Haq, a Poe aide told Al-Monitor. “Congressman Poe believes [Asaib Ahl al-Haq] will likely be subject to these penalties unless it completely breaks all ties with the armed wing, renounces violence and acts solely as [an] Iraqi political party with no backing from Iran.”

    Which makes for interesting relations between the governments of Iraq and the US.
    Shi'ite cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr came in first in the elections, followed by the militias, followed by current prime minister Hayder al-Abadi.  Moqtada and the head of the militias, Hadi al-Ameri, teamed up.  Now they have been joined by Hayder al-Abadi.  163 seats are needed to form a government -- seats in Parliament.  Those three represent 143 seats.  (That's a CORRECTION to my math on Monday.)  They are twenty seats shy of forming the government.  

    «May 12’s Iraqi parliamentary election led to a surprising result, with cleric Moqtada al-Sadr’s bloc winning a plurality. Sadr, a nationalist with long opposition to both US and...

    Although Abadi and the US were deeply disappointed by the result of the election, he could emerge as a compromise candidate for prime minister. Sadr cannot aspire to the post because he is not a member of parliament.

    Sadr, who led two violent uprisings against the US and whose followers killed hundreds of Sunnis during inter-sectarian warfare, has projected himself as an anti-sectarian man of the people. His electoral alliance, which included communists, secularists and Sunnis, rejected all foreign intervention and promised to fight corruption, build schools and hospitals and provide for the poor. 

    What's in it for Hayder?  Possibly he will remain prime minister.  IRAQI NEWS notes:

    Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has agreed to fulfill a condition set by Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr to retain his post as prime minister in the new government.
    According to Alkhaleej Online, Sadr his requested Abadi to withdraw from the Islamic Dawa Party to enter into an alliance and allow him to retain his prime minister’s post.

    The long-awaited alliance deal between Abadi’s Victory Alliance, which came third in a May parliamentary election, and Sadr’s Sairoon list, which won the largest number of seats, is expected to help in forming the new government after weeks of political tensions as a result of vote-ragging.

    Let's move over to the topic of burn pits:

    Amie Muller of Woodbury died of cancer at 36. She served in Iraq & was around toxic burn pits. I’ve worked with her husband Brian who's fighting to save others. Yesterday my bill to help treat these health issues passed the Senate. Time to get it thru the House & signed into law.

    And let's pair that with the latest from Burn Pits 360:

    June Newsletter
    House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee Held Hearing on Health Impacts of Burn Pits on Veterans
    On June 7, 2018, the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Health held its first hearing on how exposure to burn pits is impacting the health of veterans, and how VA plans to address the issue. Although we were not invited to testify, Burn Pits 360 attended the hearing and was on site lobbying lawmakers the day of the hearing as well as the days leading up to it.

    As many know, burn pits have caused severe health problems in many veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and VA has been slow to conduct research into the problem or provide exposed veterans the specialized care that they need. At the hearing, VA's chief consultant for post-deployment health, Ralph Erickson, told members of the committee that VA is currently working on six studies regarding the issue of burn pits and veterans' health, as well as working to expand the VA Burn Pits Registry to collect more data on veterans' post-deployment health.

    However, many advocates, veterans, and committee members expressed concern that the studies would not be finished soon enough to help veterans with grave health conditions. While veterans and advocates are pushing VA to recognize the link between burn pits and certain illnesses, VA has stated that they do not yet have sufficient evidence.

    For more information on burn pit claims and VA, watch this video by Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD with Burn Pit 360 Board Member Kerry Baker.

    Burn Pits 360 Holds Press Conference with Lawmakers

    Prior to the hearing on June 7th, Burn Pits 360 held a joint press conference with Representatives Raul Ruiz (D-CA), Joaquin Castro (D-TX), and Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) to discuss the issue of burn pits and how Congress can act to help veterans who were exposed. Burn Pits 360 Founder Le Roy Torres spoke of the health issues he experiences due to burn pit exposure and how they have impacted his life post-deployment.

    Army Staff Sergeant Will Thompson spoke during the press conference of the respiratory issues he has faced since his return from service. He was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis when he returned from his deployment in Iraq, and has since had two double-lung transplants.

    Susan Zeier also spoke at the press conference on her son-in-law's cancer diagnosis and how they believe it is due to his exposure to burn pits in service.

    Click here to read more on the press conference.

    Burn Pits Accountability Act Introduced to Congress

    Representatives Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and Brian Mast (R-FL) have introduced new legislation called the Burn Pits Accountability Act that would require VA to monitor service member's health in-depth, and require VA and DoD to share information about service members exposed to burn pits with each other.
    Burn Pits 360's Legislative Asks
    The Congressional hearing on June 7th was the first step in a long journey to getting our veterans the specialized care and recognition of their conditions caused by burn pits. Burn Pits 360 has four legislative asks in order to keep up the momentum on this issue:

    1. That VA grant a presumptive category for constrictive bronchiolitits.
    2. That veterans exposed to burn pits get specialized care and compensation.
    3. That the Department of Defense (DoD) recognize constrictive bronchiolitis as a disability based on an injury or disease received in the line of duty as a direct result of armed conflict or caused by an instrumentality of war and incurred in the line of duty during a war period as defined by law.
    4. We request that a hearing be scheduled to include the participation of medical experts and veterans.
    Take Action to Prove the Connection Between Burn Pit Exposure and Illness by Participating in the Burn Pits 360 Registry Research Study
    The Burn Pits 360 Registry is a research study, collecting data on burn pit exposures and related illnesses.  The goal is to prove the connection between burn pit exposure and illness.  Before now, this information was only available to the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.  So far, over 5,000 individuals have participated.  Your data will enable Burn Pits 360 to advocate and lobby on behalf of the veteran community for VA benefits, policy change, and specialized health care. To participate, visit us on our website here.
    Burn Pits 360 Welcomes Dr. Daniel Brewer and SFC Geoff Dardia to Advisory Board
    Burn Pits 360 welcomed two new members to the Advisory Board this month: Dr. Daniel Brewer and Sergeant First Class Geoff Dardia.

    Dr. Daniel Brewer is a retired Lieutenant Colonel with 34 years of military service. Among his military awards are the Bronze Star, Ranger Tab, Senior Army Aviator Wings, and Combat Actionbadge among many others. While in the military, he worked to recover Desert Storm era military equipment in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, including depleted uranium munitions and debris. He also worked on environmental guidance and practice management for US bases.

    SFC Geoff Dardia served in the United States Navy, US Army Reserves, and the US Army. He served over 10 years on a Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA) as a Senior Weapons Sergeant, then later as a Special Forces Intelligence Sergeant, Static Line Jumpmaster, and DiveSupervisor. He had four combat deployments to Afghanistan and two overseas deployments to Jordan and Chad. After his military service, SFC Dardia created the Special Operations Forces Health Initiatives Program (SHIP) for the Task Force Dagger Foundation in 2012.
    Burn Pits 360 Honors a Soldier
    Each month, Burn Pits 360 honors a fallen solider.  Staff Sergeant Jennifer Kepner served in the US Air Force as a medic from 2001 to 2007.  At age 39, she lost her life to pancreatic cancer as a result of exposure to burn pits during her service in Balad, Iraq.
    Legal Help for Veterans

    Disability Benefits:  If VA has denied your disability compensation claim, assigned you the wrong impairment rating, or if you are entitled to an earlier effective date, contact Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick for assistance.  CCK is also experienced at helping eligible veterans get VA benefits for special monthly compensation (SMC) or total disability rating based on individual unemployability (TDIU).  Contact CCK toll free at 844-291-8569 or visit CCK online at
    Donate to Burn Pits 360

    Burn Pits 360 Needs You!  The success of our mission depends on the generosity of individuals like you.  We ask you to consider a monthly donation to help us advocate for our community and its needs.
    Connect with us on Facebook

    Burn Pits 360 is community of veterans with burn pit-related illness, their families, and advocates with the common goal of exposing the harms of toxic burn pit exposure and obtaining benefits and policy change. Join us. Like us on Facebook!
    Meet the Burn Pits 360 Team

    Founder: CPT (Ret.) Le Roy Torres
    Executive Director: Rosie Torres
    Secretary: Tammy McCracken
    Program Manager: Will Wisner
    Legislative Liaison: Cindy Aman
    Director of Development:Daniella Molina

    Advocates Advisory Board
    Diane Slape (Texas)
    Rocio Alvarado (California)

    Advisory Board
    Ret. Colonel David Sutherland
    Dr. Steven Coughlin
    Ret. Lt. Col. Gregg Deeb
    Dr. Robert Miller
    Ret. Lt. Col. Brian Lawler
    Kerry Baker
    Solomon Ortiz Jr., former Texas House of Representatives, District 33
    Solomon Ortiz Sr., former Congressman for the 27th District of Texas
    SFC Geoffrey Dardia
    Dr. Daniel Brewer

    Copyright © 2018, Burn Pits 360 Veterans Organization, All rights reserved.

    Our mailing address is:
    Burn Pits 360 Veterans Organization
    201 N. 4th Street
    Robstown, TX 78380

    The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley and PACIFICA EVENING NEWS -- updated: