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Posts Tagged ‘Dina McKenna’

Sgt Bill McKenna dies from Burn Pit Exposure

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on December 29, 2010

Earlier this year, after a News Channel 8-Tribune investigation, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs ruled McKenna’s cancer was directly related to the burn pits and awarded him 100 percent service-connected disability.

Soldier dies from exposure to burn pit fires

Sgt Bill McKenna Obituary and Guestbook

Army sergeant’s widow wants military to pay burial expenses

by Howard Altman at The Tampa Tribune

If Army Sgt. Bill McKenna had died in Iraq during his two tours of duty, his widow would have had no trouble fulfilling the Spring Hill resident’s wish to be buried in New York, where the couple were born and met.

The U.S. military offers a $100,000 tax-free death gratuity to meet the immediate needs of survivors and up to an additional $8,800 in burial benefits.

But McKenna was not killed by the enemy. And he did not die in Iraq.

The 41-year-old died at 10:50 p.m. Tuesday at the HPH Hospice in Spring Hill as the result of cancer he contracted from constant exposure to the thick, acrid smoke that wafted almost every hour of every day across Balad Air Base in Iraq, where McKenna was stationed for about 18 months.

In bases across Afghanistan and Iraq, amputated body parts, Humvee parts, human waste, plastic meal trays and other garbage are incinerated, using jet fuel, in large trenches called burn pits.

Earlier this year, after a News Channel 8-Tribune investigation, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs ruled McKenna’s cancer was directly related to the burn pits and awarded him 100 percent service-connected disability.

But because he died after he was discharged from the Army as the result of traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder he suffered after a mortar blast blew his helmet off, Dina McKenna will not get the military’s active-duty death benefits. Instead, she is entitled only to $2,000 allocated for the burial of veterans.

Please read the entire story here

Posted in Burn Pits, Iraq, PTSD and TBI, Toxic Exposures, Veterans Affairs | Tagged: , , , , , | 25 Comments »

 
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