As reported in The Oregonian, the Pentagon’s inspector general announced yesterday an investigation into U.S. troops exposures to sodium dichromate in Iraq in 2003. Reprint here at the Oregonlive website. Kudos and appreciation to Julie Sullivan of The Oregonian. She grabbed this story early and hasn’t let go. It’s nice to be reminded of the importance of old-school journalists.
As noted in the linked article, I’m appreciative of our elected officials’ commitment to these issues. It’s a long road ahead for our vets. I’m betting that they will stay engaged.
Here’s why I say that. It’s pure supposition on my part, but I imagine that Senator Wyden, Senator Merkley, Representative Schrader and state Sen. Shields share my motivation.
I can’t sit quietly and watch another generation of soldiers face the ravages of toxic exposures. The Agent Orange stain of our Vietnam-era vets taught many of us that we must advocate for our soldiers. This is especially true of those–like me–who did not serve in the armed forces.
So this is a positive step. We’ll watch and see and hope that the inspector general digs in to this horror. For the present, we’ll simply continue the efforts toward finding justice and protection for our vets and their families. They served and sacrificed. How we respond is a story that is still unfolding. I hope that when the story is written, all of us–the politicians, the lawyers, the journalists, and the citizens–can look back and say that we did our parts for our soldiers.