Rep. Mark Green Commends the President’s Executive Order for K2 Veterans

WASHINGTON—Tonight, Rep. Mark Green released a statement praising the Executive Order just issued by President Trump addressing the toxic exposure of veterans at Karshi-Khanabad (K2) Air Base in Uzbekistan.

The President’s Executive Order, modeled after Rep. Green’s bipartisan K2 Veterans Toxic Exposure Accountability Act with Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) introduced into Congress in February 2020, requests that the Secretary of Defense recognize Uzbekistan as a combat zone for purposes of medical care. This action represents a crucial step toward recognition of K2 veterans’ severe and deadly service-connected illnesses.

Green said, “Two decades have passed since American troops left K2 during Operation Enduring Freedom. And today, K2 veterans who faced devastating exposure to uranium, cyanide, and other toxins while serving their country are finally receiving justice. This Executive Order, modeled after my bipartisan legislation with Chairman Lynch, is a win for our K2 veterans who have been diagnosed with cancer, reproductive health issues, and neurological illnesses after serving at the base. These heroes fought for us, now we must fight for them and the care they need to survive.”

The Executive Order is another win in a recent string of successes for K2 veterans. Rep. Green’s legislation directing the Department of Defense to complete a study on toxic exposure at K2 was included in the FY2021 NDAA, and his initiative granting K2 veterans access to the burn pit registry recently passed Congress and was enacted into law.  

“After working throughout the year with Chairman Lynch on both bipartisan legislation and a Congressional investigation, I’m pleased that President Trump and Acting Defense Secretary Miller have seen the importance of this issue and taken action,” said Green. “K2 veterans will finally receive the answers they deserve.”