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'Our Agent Orange': Veterans who served at toxic Uzbekistan base want help from Congress

As he flew on the first special operations aircraft to Afghanistan on Oct. 19, 2001, Air Force Master Sgt. PJ Widener knew that hunting down the terrorists responsible for 9/11 would involve risk.  He did not know the greatest risk he faced could be from radiologic and toxic chemical exposure at his Department of Defense air base in Karshi-Khanabad, Uzbekistan.  “I’ve been to 124 countries, and I’ve never really smelled someplace where when I stepped off the plane I said, ‘This is really not good,’” said the former MC-130E transport pilot, who flew dozens of support missions between October 2001 and 2005 from the base known as K2.  “There were just weird things that were happening there, and things that did not seem right,” Widener told the Washington Examiner ahead of a House Oversight and Reform hearing this afternoon. The Air Force veteran will testify alongside another K2 veteran and a widow who plan to describe the ailments, diseases, and cancers predominant in those deployed to the northern staging point for Afghanistan operations.  Read more....

 

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