One look at Brian Alvarado and you wonder how he can still be alive. Especially when you get a glimpse at his pre-deployment photograph—a soldier in Marine service uniform, full-faced and ready for whatever war would dish out—and think, “is this really the same person?”

Unfortunately, yes,  Alvarado served two tours 10 years ago, and for a time he patrolled “hell,” which is what the guys called the open air burn pits on major U.S. military installations like Air Base Balad in Iraq. When he got home, according to his wife, he was diagnosed with Squamous Cell Carcinoma (throat cancer) and began chemo and radiation in 2008. Today he can hardly speak and eats and drinks through a G-tube. His features are skeletal, his neck the size of man’s wrist. He is 5-foot-9 and weighs about 70 pounds.  Burn Pits’ Legacy: ‘Delay, Deny, Hope They Die’

Latest News for Vets

When George Geiger served in Vietnam, gunfire shot down his helicopter six times. He was wounded twice.

Using online satellite photos, Fred Wellman stalked this cluster of small buildings over the past few years, fearing what had befallen the Iraqis he’d befriended here after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

When Greg Stegall left the Navy at 30 years old, he found himself utterly adrift: a single dad with no degree, no clear plans for the future and a short résumé in a down job market. Struggling to find 

VA Secretary Shulkin and a group of six people, including his wife, traveled to London and Denmark in July, where Shulkin met with British and Danish officials to discuss veterans’ health issues

Surrounded by glistening military medals and framed photos of success, Charles Hall sank down in the office futon ready to drop out.

Just days after the FBI announced it would not prosecute Hillary Clinton for her mishandling of classified information, U.S. Navy Petty Officer Kristian Saucier was sentenced to a year in prison for mishandling classified information, despite his plea for leniency based on the government’s refusal to prosecute 

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