Jen Burch, 35, a retired staff sergeant in the Air Force, looks strong and healthy from the outside. She says that inside, however, she’s suffering from ailments that she believes are related to her service during the Afghanistan war more than a decade ago.
While they were in Kandahar, Burch and her fellow service members were exposed to “burn pits, incinerators and poo ponds,” she said. When she left, she battled pneumonia and bronchitis. And in the years since then, she has been “in and out of ERs” and has struggled with intense migraine headaches and shortness of breath whenever she climbs a flight of stairs.