MOSCOW, April 24 (RIA Novosti) – The family of US Marine Sean Terry, who died of esophageal cancer over the weekend, believes the disease was caused by his service near military burn pits in the Iraqi city of Fallujah, the 9News service reported Wednesday.
"We had plans. Our plans were to grow old together and raise our kids together. We can't do that now. I want his story heard. I mean, I know we can't help him now, but we know if we can help another family it would be like helping him," the marine’s wife Robyn Terry told 9News.
Sean Terry served in Fallujah in 2005. After the US Army occupation, the city has seen an unprecedented public health crisis. A dramatic increase in birth defects and cancers has been attributed by Iraqi and European doctors to the war's legacy of incendiary and chemical weapons.
Dr. Chris Busby, one of the scientists who conducted research in Fallujah, previously revealed to the Guardian a correlation between the use of weapons and the rates of disease in Iraq, adding that the findings revealed "the highest rate of genetic damage in any population ever studied.”
In addition, Fallujah has been infamous for open-air burn pits the US army had been using to burn waste for years until Congress banned the practice, triggering a number of lawsuits filed by former officers.
US military officials deny the allegations that exposure to dangerous toxins could have caused health problems.
Terry’s doctor, however, believes "there is more than a 50 percent likelihood that this cancer was caused by exposures during his military service," according to 9News.
Sean Terry died at the age of 33, leaving a wife and three daughters.