Our veterans served honorably overseas, taking the fight to those set on doing us harm. Now, many of our vets are returning home sick with rare cancers and lung disorders. The cause? Open burn pits operated on our military bases.
Instead of properly incinerating our military waste, toxic materials were doused in fuel and set ablaze in open burn pits. Dangerous chemicals were aerosolized and transported deep into our service members' lungs as the toxic plumes washed over our bases each day. This threat is the new Agent Orange.
With over 1.6 million veterans, Texas has the second-highest total population in the country. Creating a comprehensive registry of those affected by toxic burn pit exposure helps get our veterans the benefits they and their families desperately need. Last legislative session, a registry was created, but now it needs funding to operate. Two bills by Rep. Abel Herrero fix this problem. HB 3953 allows you to voluntarily contribute to the registry fund when you apply for a handgun license. HB 3957 creates specialty Texas license plates to honor burn pit victims. These actions will raise awareness about this important issue and fund the registry.
Texas doesn't abandon its warriors. They took care of us. Now it's our turn to take care of them.
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