February 17, 2020
For Immediate Release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: FEBRUARY 16, 2021 Contact: Anela Lingg | 202-228-6519
Sen. Moran Calls on VA Secretary to Conduct Inter-Agency Collaboration to Provide Care for K2 Veterans
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) – ranking member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee (SVAC) – along with committee members Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) today urged Secretary Denis McDonough to work with Congress, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Defense (DoD) to find solutions for veterans who were exposed to toxic substances during their service.
During the 116th Congress, Sen. Sullivan’s legislation, the K2 Veterans Advocacy Act, and key provisions from Sen. Blackburn’s K2 Veterans Toxic Exposure Accountability Act included in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021, were signed into law to collect more research regarding the long-term health of servicemembers who were stationed at Camp Stronghold Freedom at Karshi-Khanabad Airbase (K2) in Uzbekistan. This research will help better determine how to provide proper care for these veterans, who are suffering from cancer and other health consequences related to toxic exposure.
“Each agency’s role in this research is crucial; plans to initiate studies and coordination across federal agencies need to start immediately,” the senators wrote. “Because these efforts all seek to address different aspects of the same problem, the VA, DOD, and CDC must work together to make certain that their work is complementary to one another and adds value to the overall effort. As the foremost senior government official tasked with caring for veterans, we will rely on you to be responsible for this coordination.”
As chairman of the committee, Sen. Moran hosted a roundtable discussion last June with the VA, DoD, CDC and several veteran service organizations regarding care for veterans exposed to toxic exposure.
The full letter can be found here.
The Stronghold Freedom Foundation is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization. Our mission is to utilize awareness and partnerships to serve those who were exposed to toxic conditions while deployed in the service of our country. We represent over 10,000 Veterans, family members (including Gold Star Families), civilian contractors, and federal employees that were deployed to or worked at Karshi Khanabad Air Base, Uzbekistan (K2) during Operation Enduring Freedom (2001-2005). Our Veterans were exposed to multiple forms of toxic chemicals and radiation hazards during their time at K2. We strive to keep the promise made by the government to care for them and their families.