This week’s Benefits Breakdown features Army Veterans Vincent Mitchell and Dr. Eric Shuping. They discussed the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry and how Veterans can sign up.

In 2014, Congress required the Department of Defense and VA find a way to record and offer help to service members and Veterans who have health concerns related to airborne hazards and open burn pits. The registry officially began in June 2014.

There are two main parts of the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry:

  • Online Survey
  • Appointment (Free Exam)

To be eligible for being a part of the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry, you must be a Veteran or service member who served in the following areas:

  • Iraq
  • Afghanistan
  • Kuwait
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Bahrain
  • Djibouti
  • Gulf of Aden
  • Gulf of Oman
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Waters of Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea, and Red Sea

For registry help, please call at 1-877-470-5947.

 #BtBattle Veteran of the Week:

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Michelle Cannon is a podcast intern with the VA’s Digital Media Engagement Team. She is currently a graduate student at Liberty University studying Professional Writing.

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By VAntage Point Contributor

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Published on Mar. 9, 2020

Estimated reading time is 1.3 min.

Views to date: 1,493


  1. James ( Jimmy) Hope March 15, 2020 at 3:03 pm

    I was in Mogadishu Somalia at the airport. We burned shtters and had burn pits also. I also had human contact with the Somali “ Skinny’s” Nationals. When we got back to the USA I remember some medical people telling us that we could not give blood any more cause we may be a host to some foreign disease. Surely this rates something???

  2. Peter Alan Skroback March 14, 2020 at 1:07 pm

    I listened to podcast 185. It informative as far as registering and getting the evaluation. I have done both. What I didn’t hear is what is being done to determine what exposure to burn pits does to the individual, When I asked that question at my VA exam, I was told that there were no studies being done. My question is, what is being done to fine out what burn pit exposure has done, can do or may do to the individual now or in the future.

  3. James Burton March 12, 2020 at 12:13 pm

    Everybody wants to get paid for getting old.
    We had the greatest generation
    The forgotten generation
    And now the entitlement generation.

    • Chris Thomason March 14, 2020 at 12:55 pm

      We’ve learned from the mistakes your generation didn’t address. Putting down others whose shoes you never walked in cowardly and weak.

    • Andre Ricardo Moore March 15, 2020 at 11:45 am

      Ok about the burn pit I was station Clausen Germany prior to 1992 with a chemical storage cite which was removed what is and what did I recieved during this time? Having problem sleeping and always tired.
      Andre Ricardo Moore

  4. Veronnica Williams March 12, 2020 at 10:59 am

    I was tasked for sht detail during Dessert Storm….I had direct contact with the bullsht. The pouring of the gasoline on top of all the piss, sht, period pads. Setting it all on fire and stirring it with a stick until it all turned to ashes….then transporting the crap to an undisclosed location, dumping it….and repeat. Shouldn’t this be presumptive or whatever? 30 years later and I’m still fcked up emotionally and physically. I’m not good.

  5. Greggory Pearson March 12, 2020 at 10:48 am

    I can NOT register on this site. don’t know some phone number you have on record for me… That said I was a GS12 deployed forward with the troops. twice. Kosovo 2000-2002 and Kuwait 2008-2012. both places I used FOIA to get US CHPPM to release health studies. all the studies had do not release on the top and bottom. Kosovo it was the lead. not from bullets, from living in contaminated soil, breathing heavy metals. CHPPM WARNED, several times in a couple studies. Women of child bearing age could and would have deformed babies. even if the guy was the one deployed. all those kids are 100% disabled and the VA MUST now provide care for life. In Kuwait it was the sand. one day exposure in any random sand storm, exceeded all levels of safe and the person should have been evacuated, really. My CO in Kuwait had to medically evac two XOs for lung FAUILURE. yes running around in formation is blinding sand storms the cause. Of course as a decoy assigned forward all my medical records never came home. bottom line, forget burn pits. Every Vet is now subject to crap far worse than Agent Orange in Nam and no one is telling anyone about the rick, or why their baby was born club foot… use FOIA, CHPPM don’t like to release the studies… they will be REDACTED. OH and in Kuwait that sand also contains fecal matter, they say in the report breathing $hit wont kill you…

  6. Paul Broadway March 12, 2020 at 10:41 am

    I was stationed at U.S. Naval Air Facility Atsugi Japan from 1989 to 1992. I was assigned quarters approximately 200 meters from the Shinkimpo Incinerator. I have been diagnosed with several chronic diseases. My spouse has endured breast cancer and various other ailments. The U.S. Navy’s environmental assessment determined that Dioxin, Furans, PCB, PAH, and many other chemical contaminants were spewed over our quarters for years, yet the VA says that this is not the cause of the chronic diseases that my spouse and I are suffering from now. This is why I am losing faith in my country.

  7. Tom O March 12, 2020 at 10:22 am

    Yes, Bosnia should be on the list, especially for the service members that lived and worked on the Bosnian economy, some of us for multiple tours.

  8. Dean Lee Mitchelll March 12, 2020 at 10:01 am

    I am a Vietnam veteran and worked in Iraq for 6 1/2 years and during that time I lived next to or in front these burn pits. During my time there I developed severe migraines that defined available treatment and unexplained chronic chest infections that lasted longer than usual. Even with this I am more concerned about metals in the dust around Baghdad that we were offered little or no protection from ( spent uranium and titanium).
    I was covered under the base act which only offered one year of protection after leaving employment, hardly adequate. I know more about why the incinerators sit for years and in many cases were left unassembled. I was qualified to assemble this equipment and when I offered I was told I was a troublemaker and layed off while working in Kirkuk.

  9. Donald Pace March 12, 2020 at 9:50 am

    My question was never answered !!!!

  10. Donald Pace March 12, 2020 at 9:27 am

    I just have one question. We the USA had civilians working for us all over the world. Why are they not considered? I know off one who at the age of approximately 35 +/- has had quadrupled bypass surgery. He has Diabetes, high blood pressure and a few other problems. Just asking why we forget others who served our country?

  11. RRonald Maceyko March 12, 2020 at 7:23 am

    I was deployed in Egypt and we burned toilet debris. Not on any list. WHY?

  12. Chris Loser March 12, 2020 at 6:59 am

    Why isn’t Bosnia on the list? Camp Colt had a large metal incinerator on the camp to burn garbage. Depending on wind direction, it would often blow in the direction of our tent city.

  13. James Benard March 12, 2020 at 6:54 am

    I have tried many times to register as my base had a pit. I drove through thick black smoke many days for a year and can never got on this site

  14. Charles Mills March 12, 2020 at 1:03 am

    Exactly what is a burn pit

  15. Terry Anderson March 12, 2020 at 12:34 am

    What about Vietnam? Do they think we had no trash? Burning was constant. Ask any RVN vet if he isn’t already dead from agent orange.

  16. Jan knippel March 12, 2020 at 12:01 am

    I was in Iraq 2008 to 2009 on K1 north of Fob Warrior. ISIS set he river behind our barracks on fire with oil a it burned until the day I left. I know we all had breathing issues from that black oil smoke. But I haven’t heard anything about that.
    I know it’s in my records and annotated when I was out processing

  17. Juan robledo March 11, 2020 at 10:52 pm

    What about troops stationed in Korea next door to the JSA, DMZ two tours up there, burn pits were used to get rid of human waste

  18. Thomas A. Weber March 11, 2020 at 10:24 pm

    Bruce – I also worked in Iraq Feb 2005 – November 2006 as a civilian (DAC) with the US Army Corps of Engineers. I saw plenty of burn pits during that time period and was awarded the Superior Civilian Service Medal for my contributions to the total US effort. I am a service connect disabled veteran from my much, much earlier service as an officer of Marines. So, covers our DAC service to the US Army in war zones?

    • Stephen Lockridge March 12, 2020 at 9:53 am

      I’m a prior service disabled veteran from the 70s, who receives treatment at my local VA Center. However, I’ve deployed 5 times to SWA as a DAC (Dept of the Army Civilian). After one deployment to Balad AB/Camp Anaconda in 2004 and enduring the burnpit smoke regularly drifting into our living spaces I brought this up during my redeployment physical stateside. I registered back in 2015 while stationed in Germany. Still have not heard if DACs are being considered alongside our active duty brothers? Will my VA Center be able to add this to my records?

  19. Richard Clark March 11, 2020 at 9:27 pm

    Can one file a service connected disability being exposed to burn pits in Desert Storm? Also, is it presumptive service connected? Lung fibrosis- Headaches-Heart palpitation- High blood/colersterol-etc.

  20. Alton Stone Bledsoe March 11, 2020 at 8:52 pm

    We had burn pits in Vietnam. Only way to dispose of all types of waste and debris.

    Thank you. Nam 67-68

  21. Hurt Patriot March 11, 2020 at 8:38 pm

    As for you Vietnam Vets, just keep your mouths shut and put on your civilian uniforms. They don’t want us seen.
    Burn this!

  22. Jeffrey J Brenneman March 11, 2020 at 7:07 pm

    We had burn pits in Vietnam too

  23. Bruce Yravis March 10, 2020 at 12:23 pm

    Why won’t they consider DAC? I volunteered to do environmental work at the MNF-I level during 2007. Was on military orders and embedded with US Forces. Conducted numerous environmental evaluations at different FOBs and COBs during my tour. Listed in the Tort request during the lawsuit, but not able to be on the register even after submitting in all the required documents. I am a disabled veteran already and always willing to help where I can. But as a DAC supporting our forces OCONUS, doesn’t count? Yes, I would do it again to support our troops.

  24. HOWARD H HEROLD March 9, 2020 at 6:32 pm

    We had a burn pit in Turkey, that is not on your list. We had to burn SIDPERS Papers because of Names and Social Security Numbers. Does, this fall under this category?



  25. joslyn Abram March 9, 2020 at 5:05 pm

    They want to know where you were I dont have that information. I was in middle of desert and was in several countries on a given day doing missions. I tried doing the registry but cant go on in it till I have that information. Have asked around noone can seem to help. To top it off I now have been diagnosed with cancer.

  26. karen Reyes Benzi March 9, 2020 at 10:20 am

    I have been pushing out this information for years, as my reserve units did missions out of industrial port Ash Shuaiba, Kuwait- I saw a lot of airway reactive disease, hives, etc- people had to be removed from the watch bill because of these illnesses. I am contacted almost weekly from troops who are sick now. Many had their records purged from the reserve centers – I personally documented exposures and signs/symptoms seen or at least an SF600 that documented that they served there. I saved all my files and training and have written buddy letters on behalf.
    Thank you so much for this blog.

    Karen Reyes Benzi, RN, BSN
    Senior Chief Petty Officer, Hospital Corps
    US Navy (Retired)
    Former Sailor of:
    Inshore Boat Unit 22- New Haven/Groton, CT
    Naval Coastal Warfare Squadron 21 (NCWRON21)- Newport, RI
    Maritime Security Squadron Eight (MSRON8) Newport RI

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