BOSTON (CBS) – For the first time, a Defense Department worker has gone on the record about toxic materials which may have been making U.S. soldiers sick.
Over a 4-year period about 10,000 U.S. troops were stationed at a remote military base in Uzbekistan known as K2.
When Lt. Tim Brooks of Norwood deployed to Afghanistan shortly after the attacks of September 11, 2001, his wife Kim was of course worried.
“I worried about him coming home in a pine box. Then he came home safe. But he wasn’t,” she said.
Shortly after arriving in Afghanistan, Lt. Brooks and others in his unit were sent into Uzbekistan, to build an airbase at the site of an abandoned Soviet base. What they didn’t know was that the Soviets had left behind a toxic waste dump complete with depleted uranium.
“We kept that base open until 2005, so thousands of men and women were exposed to those toxins,” Kim Brooks said.
Soon after her husband returned home, he developed brain cancer. Lt. Tim Brooks died in 2004.
Now, Kim and others in a group called Stronghold Freedom Foundation are pushing for the VA to acknowledge, and help, those soldiers and families affected by the chemicals at the base they call K2.
“Entire Special Forces teams have been wiped out, due to cancer from K2. It’s profound,” said Kim.