A Vermont soldier who was exposed to smoke from pits used to burn waste while serving in Afghanistan and Iraq has died of cancer, just months after reaching a settlement with the federal government over his diagnosis. Wesley Black, 36, of Hartford, died Sunday. Black, a Vermont National Guard veteran and local firefighter, had sued the White River Junction VA Medical Center for failing to diagnose him with colon cancer after he lost 75 pounds and suffered from severe intestinal issues, the Valley News reported.
While serving overseas, Black said he frequently breathed in smoke from pits used to incinerate human and medical waste, plastic water bottles, ammunition and chemicals on military bases. Doctors incorrectly diagnosed him with irritable bowel syndrome but when he later ended up being taken to the emergency room, a colonoscopy revealed he had stage 4 cancer, the lawsuit said. In his own words, June 2021: Afghanistan’s toxic burn pits left me staring down the barrel of a death sentence.
Source : Burlington Free Press