USASOA Welcomes Jeremy Daniels, Wounded Burn Pit Veteran
A burn pit is an area devoted to open-air combustion of trash. Modern waste contains significant amounts of plastic and other material which may emit toxic aerial compounds and particulates when burned. In Iraq and Afghanistan the U.S. military, or its contractors such as KBR operated large burn pits for long periods of time burning many tons of assorted waste.
We are proud to welcome Jeremy Daniels to Team USASOA. Below, Jeremy has decided to share his story publically in the hope of raising awareness for his fellow veteran brothers and sisters who are enduring illnesses which have been related to toxin exposure from burn pits. Jeremy will be collaborating with our Legislative Affairs Program Associate, to collect and document data and information to present a concise construct for the USASOA Advocacy program.
Jeremy, thank you for your courage and bravery in the face of such hardship - we thank you for your service to our nation and for your incredible sacrifice. Your brothers and sister of USASOA are here to support and encourage you. We have your back!
My name is Jeremy E. Daniels, Staff Sergeant (Retired). I was promoted to E5 and became TM3 Section Chief, B Co. 563rd ASB at FT. Campbell KY in September 2005 at the age of 25. I was deployed to Balad Iraq in October 2005. Starting in November 2005 we were told we must have serviceable uniforms and due to a lack of supply we were told to search in the Camp Anaconda burn pit DRMO sorting site for more serviceable uniforms and did as directed. In March 2006 I was sent to TMC for an eye problem, rash and shaking hands. I was then sent to Ophthalmology and received a diagnosis of Fourth Nerve Palsy of the Left Eye; Ocular Mobility Migraines; Optic Neuritis while being treated for suspected contact dermatitis. By July 2006 the rash had escalated to Second Degree Chemical Burns covering the lower third of both legs with the rash covering 80 percent of my body, body shaking, instability and lack of strength. In October 2006 I was redeployed back to Fort Campbell, KY then to Fort Bragg SC and then back to Fort Campbell during which time steroid treatment continued. I was then PCS’d to Camp Humphreys, South Korea where steroid treatment continued. I was then given a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis and recommended for MEB resulting in Medical PCS to Fort Lewis, where I was then placed on TDRL September 25th 2008 at 28 years old. I was later placed on PDRL February 22nd 2013. I applied for Social Security Disability in mid 2008, was approved with back pay to March 2006 and received it within 13 days.
I started my intake with the VA in May of 2008 through Madigan Army Medical Center. I have received treatment through rural and major metropolitan VA centers in Washington St., Nevada and Texas. I have also been out sourced to multiple civilian medical facilities by the VA to deal with my Multiple Sclerosis including nine months of chemo therapy to combat spinal cord edema. I am currently receiving treatment through the Puget Sound VA Healthcare System in Washington St. 2018, I am 37, wheelchair bound and my treatment options have been exhausted pending exams and specialized testing through the VA W.R.I.I.S.C. program. The majority of the treatment I have received from the VA throughout the VA system has been inadequate and inappropriate due to the lack of correlation between my symptoms and effects of my known chemical exposures as listed by the CDC, EPA and military records.