ST. LOUIS, MO. (KPLR) - A newly released government memo seems to indicate the military has been lying to soldiers about health risks. FOX2 first exposed this dirty military secret two years ago. Investigator Chris Hayes explains the flip flop and what it means for our military men and women.
Tim and Shanna Wymore were one of the first military families to expose toxic burn pits. A burn pit is a landfill on a military base that`s burned to keep it contained.
Air Force veteran Tim Wymore is convinced the toxic smoke he inhaled during his tour in Balad, Iraq led to black outs and brain lesions.
He said, "If I went out here and burned Styrofoam and plastic bottles and computer parts, nuclear waste, I`d go to jail."
Yet the Department of Defense, D.O.D., not only burned toxic waste on military bases, D.O.D. denied any health risks. That is until a military memo was recently declassified. It addresses air quality tests on Bagram Airfield Afghanistan and it finally confirms what everyone else already seems to understand - that a 'burn pit' is 'unhealthy' and poses a 'long term health risk.'
Wymore responded, "D.O.D. did lie and we`re not going to stop until we get to the bottom of it."
Congressman Todd Akin also wants answers. Akin said, "The military just wasn`t shooting straight with them. The military had information, they knew the information related to that particular case, and they decided to withhold that information."
Akin said military reps twice told him burn pits posed no health risks. He said this happened as he's fought for a registry to track soldiers` exposures to possible toxins.
Congressman Akin added, "I think trying to obscure problems, hide problems, pretend like they don`t exist, problems get bigger.'
Consider Agent Orange, a Vietnam warfare chemical the military denied was a health problem for two decades. The V.A. will now treat many symptoms believed to be tied to Agent Orange. Now with this recent acknowledgment of burn pit hazards, Iraq and Afghanistan war vets may finally get the health care they're due.
The Department of Defense did not respond to requests for a comment on this report.