(Stars and Stripes)

In the last episode of Military Matters, co-host Rod Rodriguez spoke with Dr. Richard Meehan, co-director of the Post-Deployment Lung Health Center at Jewish National Health, about toxic burn pits and why veterans who served in the Middle East should get a checkup with the VA even if they’re feeling fine.

Rodriguez and co-host Jack Murphy talk about their own experiences with burn pits and how the issue has become the Global War on Terror generation’s version of Agent Orange in this week’s Fast Take.

“(It’s) funny how many of those things that, like, at the time we didn't think twice about (were) actually super bad for you,” Murphy said. “And combine that with just everything else that soldiers do: high-altitude operations, subsurface operations, just leading a sort of active lifestyle, doing PT in a hundred percent humidity and all that other stuff. I mean, it all kind of adds up.”

Murphy and Rodriguez also discussed the Chinese surveillance balloon that was shot down off the coast of South Carolina on Feb. 4.

“Like everything with Chinese espionage, it's very serious and it should be taken seriously,” Murphy said. “But it's also important that we don't go into a freaking panic and think this is like some existential thing that's gonna wipe us out. … It’s unfortunate that American culture really has a hard time grasping slowly escalating threats.”

You can find Military Matters on Twitter @stripesmmpod.

Follow Jack Murphy on Twitter @jackmurphyrgr and Rod Rodriguez @rodpodrod.

A transcript of the episode can be found here.

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