Archive for September, 2009

Pentagon inspector general to review Army’s handling of troops sodium dichromate exposures

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.

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Oregon National Guard vs KBR update: amended complaint

For those keeping track, we filed our amended complaint yesterday in Bixby, et al. v. KBR, Inc., et al., U.S.  District Court Case No. 3:09-CV-632-PK (D. Or.).  Here is a pdf of the amended complaint: plaintiffs-amended-complaint

The case arises out of exposure to sodium dichromate in Iraq in 2003. Oregon National Guard soldiers and others from Indiana, West Virginia, and the U.S. Army were exposed to toxic chemicals at the site while providing security for KBR workers.Sodium dichromate contains hexavalent chromium. It is extremely toxic.

In the meantime, we continue to receive calls and emails from current or former member of the Oregon National Guard who provided security at the Qarmat Ali facility. If you served there and are having health problems, feel free to contact me for more information about the lawsuit. It’s important that you understand that there are time limits on filing claims. If you qaulify to join the case and if you would like to pursue a claim, you must act to protect your rights.

Feel free to conatct me if I can be of further service or answer your questions.

Updated: 9 Oct 2009

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