My brother, a Marine, died from toxic wounds associated with his service in the post-9/11 Iraq War. I know this because I have seen government agencies discuss the dangers of toxins that were emitted by burn pits, large trash burning facilities that exuded chemicals not fit for human for consumption. And I am by no means alone in this belief.

Burn pits devastated our troops

The burn pits emitted dioxins, similar to those we know as Agent Orange from the Vietnam War. These dioxins and volatile chemical compounds wreaked havoc in the bodily systems of those who sustained toxic wounds.

The wounded suffer from unusual cancers, brain lesions, lung ailments, and overall poor pulmonary function. They are the silent wounded, but their families are not silent. Not today. And never will we be quiet.

The burn pits emitted dioxins, similar to those we know as Agent Orange from the Vietnam War. These dioxins and volatile chemical compounds wrecked havoc in the systems of those who sustained toxic wounds. The wounded now suffer from unusual cancers, brain lesions, lung ailments, and overall poor pulmonary function. They are the silent wounded, but their families are not silent. Not today. And never again.

The families of the fallen stood up for our lost loved ones

The family of Sergeant Thomas Joseph Sullivan formed a nonprofit organization to fight for those who suffered like he did, without any recognition, for his sacrifice, from the military.

This is my family, and we stood tall in the face of government denials. I led the nonprofit organization and even got a piece published on the front page of the Washington Post on Memorial Day about my brother's suffering and death due to burn pits and toxic wounds.

My family, to this day, continues to fight for the recognition of those with toxic wounds who have not been recognized or compensated by the system that was supposed to be designed to protect them.

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Currently, we support The Sergeant Sullivan Fund at National Jewish Health, one of our nation's leading respiratory hospitals, to provide funds for care and research related to a phenomenon known as deployment-related lung disease, which may likely be caused by burn pit emissions.

What you can do to help

Write a letter to your members of Congress and ask them to publicly recognize the reality of toxic wounds, and the need to provide benefits to those who have sustained such wounds.

Through direct advocacy to our members of Congress, we can bring about a better world for our Service Members and Veterans who are suffering currently without the support of a grateful nation. Our responsibility this Memorial Day is to stand with these forgotten wounded, to fight for them, to either visit their grave sites or know that their grave sites are there. We can stand together, as a grateful nation, for burn pit victims, and we can do that which is right for these fallen. This was my own call to action when I spoke, only a year ago, with Erin Brockovich. I stand by my words, now and forever.