Thousands of American soldiers are returning from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan with severe wounds from chemical war. They are not the victims of ruthless enemy warfare, but of their own military commanders. These soldiers, afflicted with rare cancers and respiratory diseases, were sickened from the smoke and ash swirling out of the "burn pits" where military contractors incinerated mountains of trash, including old stockpiles of mustard and sarin gas, medical waste, and other toxic material. Based on thousands of government documents, over five hundred in-depth medical case studies, and interviews with more than one thousand veterans and active-duty GIs, The Burn Pits will shock the nation. The book is more than an explosive work of investigative journalism--it is the deeply moving chronicle of the many young men and women who signed up to serve their country in the wake of 9/11, only to return home permanently damaged, the victims of their own armed forces' criminal negligence.
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“[A]n incredibly powerful, painful book…[the] tragic saga is presented in a way that a reader can’t possibly come away either disbelieving or unmoved. This is a REAL service to our country and I commend Joseph Hickman for bringing the terrible story to light. [I] believe this will serve as a call-to-action for the veterans and all those who care about their plight.” –Dick Russell, New York Times bestselling author
“In The Burn Pits: The Poisoning of America’s Soldiers, Joseph Hickman, a former U.S. Marine and Army sergeant gives a stunning expose of the ongoing health disaster created by the open-air burn pits on military bases throughout Afghanistan and Iraq, calling them the Agent Orange scandal of our day.” –James Baumann, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America
“I thought the U.S. wrongly using chemicals and simultaneously poisoning its own soldiers ended with the Vietnam War. Unfortunately, I was wrong. Joseph Hickman, a former US Marine and Army Sergeant tells the poignant and shocking story of the chemical war practiced on GIs in Iraq and Afghanistan—by their own commanding officers.” –Liz Edorssom, Goodreads
“The first 10 pages of The Burn Pits: The Poisoning of America’s Soldiers will rip your heart out.” –Liam O’Donoghue, Salon
“Though the underlying cause of [Vice President Joe Bide’s son, Beau Biden]’s cancer cannot be confirmed, evidence gathered in a new book out Tuesday suggests a possible link between his illness and service.” –Lauren Walker, The Guardian
“We have tens of thousands of veterans right now that are sick or dying and no one is treating them right or taking care of them… I’ve donated my royalties to an organization called Burn Pits 360, so if you read the book, not only do you become aware of it, the money is actually going to a non-profit organization that will help these soldiers directly.” –author Joseph Hickman on Blue Funk Radio
“…KBR must provide compensation to sick veterans. It is what’s owed to the service members who selflessly went to war on behalf of the United States.” –author Joseph Hickman, Vice News
Joseph Hickman is a former US Marine and Army sergeant who has served in various sensitive operations around the world, including security duty at the prison complex in Guantanamo Bay. His revelations about the abuse of prisoners at Gitmo resulted in a National Magazine Award–winning story in Harper’s magazine and a 2015 book, Murder at Camp Delta.
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