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I won’t pretend to be a scientist or a doctor. However, not being one does not make one stupid or unable to practice critical thinking.

The U.S. government and Department of Defense must assume Americans are all dumb. Right now they must think we are all ignorant in regard to the effects of toxic smoke, especially from burn pits ("Burning question," article, Nov. 6).

The government and DOD tell us smoking is bad because of the toxins in the smoke, but burn pit smoke is OK. Secondhand smoke is bad because of toxins in the smoke, but burn pit smoke is OK. Agricultural field burning is bad because of toxins in the smoke, but burn pit smoke is OK. Smoke from industrial areas and manufacturing is bad because of the toxins in the smoke, but burn pit smoke is OK. What gives?

There are few ways to dispose of the waste created by the massive machine that is the U.S. military, and I understand burning is most likely the easiest and cheapest means of doing it. That doesn’t mean I or my fellow servicemembers appreciate or understand being lied to regarding potential effects of burn pit smoke.

Tell us the truth, regardless of the politics. We will respect you more and still accomplish our mission with the outstanding performance the American people expect.

Tech. Sgt. Walter WeberKandahar Airfield, Afghanistan


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