Comedian Jon Stewart’s New Cause: Help for Veterans Sickened by Burn Pits

Comedian Jon Stewart's New Cause: Help for Veterans Sickened by Burn Pits

In this Jan. 9, 2016 file photo, comedian Jon Stewart, right, pats the shoulders of retired FDNY firefighter and Sept. 11 first responder Ray Pfeifer after Pfeifer was given the key to the city at New York’s City Hall. Stewart fought back tears Friday, June 2, 2017, during Pfeifer’s funeral, as he described his friendship with the retired New York City firefighter who worked in the rescue effort following the Sept. 11 terror attacks. (Craig Ruttle/AP) After using his considerable political clout on behalf of 9/11 first responders and victims to earn them lifetime benefits, comedian Jon Stewart has turned to advocating for veterans sickened by the burn pits used to destroy waste at overseas military installations. Stewart released a public service announcement Wednesday to raise awareness about the respiratory and pulmonary diseases, cancers and skin conditions that affect thousands of veterans who lived and worked near the burn pits. Many of the diseases seen in these personnel are the same as those found in 9/11 responders. “Now, more than ever, we need to focus on the post-9/11 war veterans who have been suffering from the devastating effects of the massive toxic burn pits they were exposed to overseas,” Stewart says in the PSA. “We’re long overdue in getting the medical and financial assistance they gravely need.” Stewart’s advertisement is part of a massive push this year by veterans organizations to draw attention to the plight of troops sickened by environmental exposures. In June, a dozen groups teamed up to represent the more than 175,000 veterans who have registered with the Department of Veterans Affairs Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry. Related: A member of the Toxic Exposures in the American Military Coalition, Burn Pits 360 , has been advocating for veterans since 2010, shortly after news stories […]

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