After being rejected twice, a Connecticut Army veteran has been awarded federal disability benefits for terminal brain cancer he contends was caused by exposure to open burn pits in Afghanistan. Peter Antioho, 33, of Berlin, had to walk daily through heavy smoke emanating from burn pits as he performed his job as second in command on his base in 2012. A variety of items, including human and animal waste, plastic, ammunition and batteries were burned with diesel fuel 24 hours a day in open pits. He was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme brain cancer two years ago. (The Conn.
The federal government would be required to pay for disabled veterans to live in assisted-living facilities, under a bill proposed by U.S. Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro. She said the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs has told disabled veterans living in Connecticut retirement homes that the department would no longer cover their living expenses. According to DeLauro, a Democrat who represents the 3rd District, the VA covered payment for such residential care for eligible veterans starting in 2000. But two years ago, veterans were told that the coverage would end. The congresswoman sought and received extensions of the benefits for affected Connecticut veterans who had asked for her help.