Army Searching for Soldiers Exposed to Chemical Weapons

Posted by Vets National Advocates on April 30, 2015 in Veterans News

Iraq WarUnder Secretary of the Army Brad R. Carson has directed the military to find and offer medical exams to soldiers who may have been exposed to chemical warfare agents in Iraq, Military.com reported earlier this month.

Carson recently instructed the Army to locate soldiers from specific Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) units, the news website added.

The site also noted that these military teams destroyed chemical weapons caches in Iraq and had been at risk for exposure to chemical agents as a result.

The Army describes an EOD specialist as a soldier who destroys unexploded ordnance, improvised explosive devices, and weapons of mass destruction.

The Air Force, Navy, and Marines also use EOD technicians. So, the Army is trying to find soldiers from all four branches of the military who could have been exposed to chemical agents, Military.com noted in a recent article

Some American soldiers who were part of EOD teams in Iraq after 2003 were exposed to deadly chemicals such as sarin and sulfar mustard, The New York Times reported in an eight-part investigation published last year.

Two of these soldiers Staff Sgt. James F. Burns and Pfc. Michael S. Yandell were exposed to the nerve agent, sarin, from an artillery shell and were initially placed under a gag order after being given medical treatment for exposure symptoms, the Times wrote.

The newspaper reported that Under Secretary Carson apologized last month for the way the military had treated American soldiers who were exposed to chemical weapons in Iraq.

The website for the United States Army Public Health Command has published a notice with a hotline that these soldiers can call to get help.

If you think you were exposed to chemical warfare agents during your deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation New Dawn (2003-2011), call the hotline and provide your contact information, the notice states.

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