After Denials, Army Veteran Exposed To Toxic Burn Pit Smoke Gets His Disability Benefits

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After being rejected twice, a Connecticut Army veteran has been awarded federal disability benefits for terminal brain cancer he contends was caused by exposure to open burn pits in Afghanistan.

Peter Antioho, 33, of Berlin, had to walk daily through heavy smoke emanating from burn pits as he performed his job as second in command on his base in 2012. A variety of items, including human and animal waste, plastic, ammunition and batteries were burned with diesel fuel 24 hours a day in open pits.

He was in the process of a third appeal to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) when he learned Thursday that he will receive full disability payments. Amy Antioho, Peter’s wife, said the news is “life changing in that now we don’t have to keep fighting the VA, we can fight the cancer.”

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A yearlong review of the 33,902 pathology results found 30 missed diagnoses posing serious health risks to patients, according to results released Friday by the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks.
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I want to call attention to several inaccuracies in a recent media “fact check” article that claimed the Trump administration is taking credit for progress made under the Obama administration.
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