Veterans in Burn Pit Registry helping fellow Vets

Helping researchers understand the effects of exposure to burn pits


(Note: The Burn Pits registry web site has experienced increased traffic from Veterans signing up and may be down for maintenance. Please try again when the site is back up. Thank You.)

An overall goal of scientific research on groups such as Veterans is generalizability—the measure of how well the research findings and conclusions from a sample population can be extended to the larger population.

It is always dependent on studying an ideal number of participants and the “correct” number of individuals representing relevant groups from the larger population such as race, gender or age.

In setting the eligibility criteria for the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry, VA researchers used generalizability as an important consideration.

Simply put, they want as many Veterans and active-duty service members who had deployed to specific locations to join the registry. Participants could have been exposed to burn pits or not. They could be experiencing symptoms or not.  Or, they could receive care from VA or not.

Helping to improve the care of your fellow Veterans

For researchers, everyone eligible to join the registry has a unique experience critical in establishing empirical evidence. By signing up and answering brief questions about their health, Veterans and active-duty service members are helping researchers understand the potential effects of exposure to burn pits and ultimately helping improve the care of their fellow Veterans.A man holding a tablet

It is estimated that 3 million Veterans and active-duty service members are eligible to join the registry. However, just over 173,000 have joined as of April 1, 2019, and 10 out of 100 have had the free, medical evaluation, which is important to confirm the self-reported data in the registry.

See what questions are asked

In hopes of encouraging more participation in the registry, VA is sharing a partial list of registry data collected from June 2014 through December 2018. This snapshot will give you a sense of the type of questions on the questionnaire as well as how the data is reported when shared with researchers and VA staff.

As a reminder, the registry is open to active-duty service members and most Veterans who deployed after 1990 to Southwest Asia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Djibouti and Africa, among other places.

Check your eligibility and sign up.


Dore Mobley

Dore Mobley is a communications specialist with Patient Care Services in the Veterans Health Administration.


  1. Ruth Neeley Cremin    

    I was in Long Binh in 1969. Trash, food scraps, wood having been sprayed with Round Up aka Agent Orange and human excitement were burned everyday. The smoke and horrid smell I can still remember.
    What about us?

    Ruth Cremin
    Ex WAC

  2. Dore Mobley    

    Thank you for your interest in the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry. Joining the registry is a two-step process: (1) submit a completed questionnaire and (2) participate in medical evaluation. You may join the registry and learn more by using the link in the blog labeled “Check your eligibility.”

  3. PO3 Kerns (FMF)    

    For Vietnam Veterans and previous veterans trying to figure out why only gulf, Iraq, Afghan veterans only. This will be our agent orange for our time frame. We will have to fight this fight ourselves just RVN Vets have done before us. Vietnam vets and previous vets will not be allowed on this one. I’m sorry but that is just the way it is. This is our generations agent orange. Give yourself time to think about it and let it soak in, it’ll make sense in time.

  4. william J. Avanzolini    

    I also would like to know why Viet Nam vets are not abel to put in for burn pits. I was over there for 15 months and had to burn every couple of weeks.

    William Avanzolini

  5. laura    

    I did breath in whatever I saw in Iraq and Kuwait. Burning oil and human beings that are dead burned. The VA can’t figure out why I have a neurological disorder.

  6. Geary Hussey    

    I was a contractor in Balad, Iraq from 2013 to about 2014 before being sent to Ashraf, Iraq. I had a lot of contact with service personal in those days, we were all trying to get things headed in the right direction, Sustainment was the word used. I had contact with service personnel in and around the burn pit, which no one can argue was done right. I personally do not believe I was injured by being around the burn pit for brief times, but the Air Force personnel had their living quarter down wind of it. I had new Air Force people, to Balad, ask me why their noise was bleeding for no reason. The stench from the burn pit was all over the Air Force Compound. I truly believe some, if not all of them were effected in some way. Some where around 2007 or 2008 the Mayor of then Joint Base Balad took the Burn Pit seriously and began cleaning it up. My hat was off to him then and still is today.

    I was also in VN as a serviceman from 1967 to 1968. When we burned the drums from the Latrines on Tuesday and Thursday they were doused with Diesel fuel, not some strange substance. Never understood why we spent millions on vacuum trucks in Iraq when we could have burned the stuff. times do change, don’t they. I wish everyone good luck with their claims, but it has all of the ear marks of the Agent Orange claims from my time

  7. Gregg Ramsdell    

    How do I check to see if I am on the registry.
    ? Thank you

    1. Dore Mobley    

      After submitting a completed questionnaire, participants receive a verification email.

  8. Danny East    

    Ever get tagged to go out to the section crapper and pull those half barrels out, pour some diesel fuel in them, set them on fire and then get your “stirring stick” out to stand there in the hot sun and stir that mess trying to avoid the smell of the shit, and the smoke from the diesel fuel. All you could do to keep from vomiting. Vietnam,Chu Lai, Mag12 Comm Section, Sept.’67-Jan.’69

  9. Lauren Price    

    Why is the VA suggesting that researchers have access to the data contained in the Registry? Why is the VA not including information that 90% of those requesting clinical evaluations are not granted? Why is the VA failing to disclose that in February 2017, the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine published their Congressionally mandated assessment of the Registry; to include 9 pages of recommendations to FIX the Registry and to date, not a single recommendation has been acted upon? Why is the VA continuing to deny burn pit related claims, despite the mandate issued April 26, 2010 that all burn pit related claims are to be taken on “the veteran’s lay evidence”? The VA has approved less than 2,500 burn pit claims in NINE years!

  10. mike yanchulis    

    I would like to ask why aren’t Nam Vet’s eligible for this.We had burn pits over there and I took part in quite a few of the burns at a pit

  11. Curtis Jones    

    Gulf war Veteran 2988 -1991 would like to have some more information please thank you.

    1. Dore Mobley    

      Gulf War Veterans may join the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry. To learn about the registry, please visit the VA website and search for “burn pit registry.” There are several fact sheets and some frequently asked questions that you will find.

  12. Chris Campana    

    I have a neurological disorder and my family does not. I did breath in whatever I saw in Iraq and Kuwait. Burning oil and human beings that are dead burned. The VA can’t figure out why I have a neurological disorder.

  13. Kevin Byrne    

    So the Vietnam Veterans and others who were before 1990 like from 1950’s 60’s etc just get screwed because the Army’s disposal of everything from shit to chemicals, agent orange etc ended up in burn pits or burn barrels where you breathed this during your years in service.

    1. Mickey James    

      Vietnam Veterans are the cause for all wars.. its always our fault .. The VA, Congress could care-LESS .. the people have been constantly lied to, consequently, they have lost interest… Therefore Vietnam Veterans are left to Suffer and die off due to cover-ups, and neglect… Thank you for honoring our Veterans

    2. Dore Mobley    

      The registry is designed for airborne hazards and burn pits at certain locations to support research; eligibility for the registry is set by law. The registry and the disability compensation processes are separate and not related. Veterans do not need to participate in the registry to submit a claim for disability compensation.

      1. Michael    

        Ms. Mobley,

        You said above, that “eligibility for the registry is set by law.” Could you kindly cite the source of the law, it’s titles as it was passed through Congress, and the author(s) of it. As I am sure you are seeing, numerous complaints have been aired about toxic exposures that were before this very narrow window of time.

        Vietnam and other countries, and also Stateside, have all had burn pit practices. George AFB in Victorville California, which is ranked as #38 on a list of over 1800 sites on the EPA’s National Priority List (NPL), had open burn pits that lacked scrubbers. PFOA and PFOS chemicals that are now emerging Contaminants Of Concern (COC’s) have been found by the Lahontan RWQCB that governs that region, which is part of San Bernardino County. There are many other substances that were toxic, hazardous, harmful in general, that were not properly disposed of.

        It is fair to say that we appreciate the ball moving downfield as it should. At the same time, there should be a full and robust hearing of ALL applicable concerns on this topic! To marginalize the majority is unjust, and I will contact those who authored this law, to remedy the situation.

        I would appreciate your full cooperation on these few minor details, and then, I will work to adjudicate this matter further for the benefit of so many other deserving Veterans. In case you have not heard it before, countless Veterans have voiced the mantra, “Lie, Deny and Delay Until You Die” as the unofficial mission statement of the VA.

        This is why you are hearing so many complaints in reply to your article, and so skepticism and some cynicism is being aired. If I was to collect all the anecdotal comments about burn pits in general, there should be ample material just on this page alone to warrant a closer look at the mission and intent of the VA sufficiently to modify the scope of this law.

        After all, it is the honor of every active duty or veteran service member to ensure that “No man (or woman) is left behind!” This is a sacred duty and trust we give freely to each other, the VA needs to exit the political arena, and focus on these honorable standards as equally as those of us who cherish these sacred concerns!


        Michael Severson

        Communication Verification and Accountability Note: The text and comments I have shared are being recorded in PDF and also in digital screen shots, to ensure that this message is preserved and properly acted upon/followed up with, and not disappear into the digital trash heap as “lost”, deleted, etc.

        1. Dore Mobley    

          Public Law 112-260 Section 201, enacted by President Obama on 10 January 2013, required Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to establish and maintain an “Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry (AHOBPR)” no later than one year from enactment. VA launched the AHOBPR in June 2014.

  14. Robert    

    What about Vietnam veterans? We also did a lot of burn barrels.

    1. Paula Minger    

      Agree. Why are all Veterans they now call PRE 9/11 left without help? The amount of toxic smoke they inhaled is many times more than a POST9/11 Vet. Not to mention Itaq/AFGAN POST 9/11 vets had KNOWLEDGE of the toxins and respirators protection.

  15. Ann Kovarik    

    I would like to register for burn pit, working flight line living and breathing jet fuel 24/7 for 4 years as well. I’ve had 9 blood clots in my lungs.

    1. Dore Mobley    

      Thank you for your interest in the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry. Joining the registry is a two-step process: (1) submit a completed questionnaire and (2) participate in medical evaluation. You may join the registry and learn more by using the link in the blog labeled “Check your eligibility.”

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