MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A bill sponsored by Sen. Amy Klobuchar to help veterans exposed to toxic fumes from burn pits has passed the U.S Senate.
At least 100,000 U.S. veterans were exposed to fumes from toxic burn pits during tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Those pits were used to burn chemicals, paint, aluminum cans, and other substances.
In February 2017, Amie Muller, a military photojournalist, died of pancreatic cancer. Her death was linked to exposure during her tours of duty.
Her husband, Brian Muller, and their three children, ages 5, 6 and 16, are still struggling.
“We continue to talk about mommy, and we continue to raise awareness in her name,” Muller said.
He says he is deeply grateful to Klobuchar, whose bill would create a center of excellence within the VA to better understand the health effects of exposure to burn pits.
“It would mean everything to our family knowing that her life meant something and that her death doesn’t go unnoticed,” Muller said.
Klobuchar, who has been working on the passage of the bill for several years, says she is optimistic that the U.S. House will pass the bill and that President Donald Trump will sign the measure.
“We believe the president is on board,” Klobuchar said. “And the house should pass it. We think they have every reason to want to pass that bill.”
Muller has established a foundation in his wife’s honor to help other military families diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.