Comedian Jon Stewart Is Taking Fight for Veterans to Washington

by Jennifer Shea
Mark Wilson

Jon Stewart is going to Washington, this time to help veterans of wars overseas.

Roughly 200,000 veterans have reason to believe their health was damaged by exposure to burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan. And Stewart is taking up their cause, he said in an interview with the Fox News Investigative Unit.

“The veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan have been injured by the United States,” Stewart said. “We did this to ourselves. The smoke, the toxins, those pits were dug by contractors hired by the DOD. They knew about it. Their own reporting, internal reporting, shows the air quality, shows the variety of toxins” that surrounded the troops.

Stewart Lobbying in Washington

This week, Stewart is joining other veterans’ advocates in Washington. They’re there to lobby for a new bill that would presume burn pit exposure as a condition for service members who went to Iraq or Afghanistan. 

The bill is called the Presumptive Benefits for War Fighters Exposed to Burn Pits and Other Toxins Act of 2020. It covers healthcare treatment and disability services for medical conditions caused by the toxins in burn pits – such as asthma, cancer and pulmonary disease.

Further, on Tuesday, Stewart held a joint press conference with bill sponsors Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Representative Paul Ruiz (D-CA), The Hill reported. At the press conference, Stewart drew parallels to his lobbying on behalf of 9/11 first responders.

Similar fights

In recent years, Stewart became known for his efforts to establish a reliable compensation fund for 9/11 first responders who were exposed to the wreckage at Ground Zero. He helped ensure that the compensation fund will never run out of money. 

“It turns out that the warfighters that were sent to prosecute the battle based on the attack on 9/11 now suffer the same injuries and illnesses that the first responders suffer from, and they’re getting the same cold shoulder from Congress that they received,” Stewart said. “And so the fight starts again.”