Family of Marine blame burn pit for his leukemia, says VA won’t help


    A California family says toxic exposure from burn pits while he served in Iraq and Afghanistan are to blame for his terminal illness, likening it to this generation’s Agent Orange.

    “He had purpose. He was doing something really positive with his life,” says Karen Robinson, the mother of Marine Ricky Wasco.

    But Ricky Wasco’s parents say that positive has turned into the negative that will take him them from them, his high-school sweetheart wife, and their three baby girls. After a failed bone marrow transplant, this 27-year-old corporal’s organs are failing as he faces his last days with acute lymphatic leukemia.

    Wasco’s parents say he had about 6 episodes while still active-duty while finishing his service in Afghanistan, all addressed with antibiotics and rest, but tied to no real answer.

    Dozens came after he was discharged in 2014, leading to his leukemia diagnosis just 7 months ago. They believe his condition is linked to the fumes from burn pits he and thousands of others were exposed to in theater as they exposed the waste of war.

    Karen Robinson, like almost 90,000 others have registered with the government. They’re calling it this generation’s Agent Orange.

    Part of Robinson’s pain is caused by what she says is the Veteran Affairs denial of health benefits for Ricky based on any link to burn pits; that means no benefits for his girl and stay-at-home wife when he is gone.

    Advocates at Burn Pits 360 sent a letter to the President demanding change, but it won’t come in time for this family.

    “It’s not right,” says Robinson.

    You can register for the burn pit registry here.

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