By Ellen Greene Bush

Each of us has a compelling reason—climate change, health care, immigration, tax reform, gun reform—for becoming involved with American Promise. For Susan Weber Zeier, advocacy in Burn Pits 360 led her to become an active member of the Port Clinton, OH, American Promise group.

In Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S. government contractors burned tons of hazardous waste in football-field size pits using jet fuel. Items burned included batteries, medical waste, amputated body parts, plastics, ammunition, human waste, animal carcasses, rubber, chemicals, and more. Exposure to these toxins has caused devastating health conditions for veterans such as neurological disorders, pulmonary diseases, and rare forms of cancer.

Susan works on a national level with Burn Pits 360, advocating with federal legislators for specialized health care, death benefits, and service compensation. She often has difficulty getting notice for her issue: “The groups that have money can get meetings. We are a small non-profit group that has to fight for access to meetings with legislators.”

Susan’s advocacy skills with Burn Pits 360 have transferred easily to the American Promise goal of getting money out of elections and policy-making with an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Her skills at meeting with legislators, writing letters and making phone calls, public speaking, and tabling at local events benefit the Port Clinton group.

For more information about Burn Pits 360, go to burnpits360.org.