Army veteran John Marshall said that the Department of Veterans Affairs has turned a blind eye to his illness now that he’s fighting for his life against cancer.
Marshall, 31, said the cancer was likely caused by hours spent breathing in burn pit smoke in Iraq. During his tour, everything from medical waste to batteries were burned. Marshall believes the soft tissue sarcoma he has is also because of work with the Improvised Explosive Device Disposal units.
“During my second tour, we were providing security for the EOD [Explosive Ordnance Disposal] guys,” Marshall, a former sergeant, told Fox News. “We didn’t know what we were blowing up, so it’s possible that there we were exposed to something toxic.”
Marshall said the VA doesn’t believe his cancer was caused by his military service. He also reportedly missed mandatory appointments with the VA in 2015 because he was dealing with pneumonia and post-traumatic stress disorder.
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“They even told me that there was no service-connected reason for my illness,” Marshall said.
"It's all just a big slap in the face," he added. "I tried to be the perfect soldier. I did everything I was told, and now they just forced my claim through and denied coverage and my benefits."
Now, Marshall is raising money on GoFundMe to help pay his medical bills and provide for his family. He hopes the money will help support his wife, who is also a veteran, and their children when he passes on.
The GoFundMe page had raised over $40,000 as of Feb. 29.