Burn pits behind Fred Slape's living quarters at Forward Operating Base Ramrod, Afghanistan, in 2009. The pit burned all day every day unless a general or the Secretary of Defense was visiting. It was 50 feet from his living and working area.
“I have known one family so far where the husband died of appendiceal cancer at age 27 — a cancer so rare there are only six known cases of appendiceal cancer in the world right now,” she said. “Another family, he died at the age of 35. These cancers are taking them at 20, 30, 40 years old. We should be giving them the specialized care they need beforehand, not paying their widows after they’re dead.”