Veteran Thanks Dr. Ruiz for Championing Veterans Exposed to Burn Pits

July 16, 2018
Making Government Work for You

Richard Finn, an Iraq War veteran from Desert Hot Springs, was forced to inhale deadly chemicals and carcinogens from burn pits used to dispose of waste, chemicals, and trash from American military bases. It took Richard three years to grow his beard back after returning home, and he has since lived in fear of developing cancer or other deadly conditions as a consequence of burn pit exposure.

I have been a champion for veterans exposed to burn pits, holding hearings and introducing legislation to ensure they get the health care and information they deserve. Recently, Richard wrote a letter thanking me for my amendment requiring the Veterans Administration to conduct outreach and include veterans in the burn pits registry.

"I would like to thank Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz for successfully advocating for a burn pit exposure amendment for our veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan," Richard said. "I am very worried that I may develop cancer and that my later years will be filled with pain and tests. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for exposing and bringing to light this disservice: a crime of exposure that has put the health, welfare, quality of life, and the lives of those protecting our freedom in jeopardy."

If you, a loved one, or a friend has been exposed to burn pits and would like assistance, please don’t hesitate to call my office at 760-424-8888 and ask for Patrick or Blake, both wounded warrior veterans who can assist you with the process.