Throughout my deployments in remote Combat Out Posts (COPs) we always had a fire pit burning. The only time I didn’t see smoke coming out of it was, well never. You burn everything in it and in remote outposts I have a feeling what goes in there is a bit less managed than at a monstrous base like Victory mentioned in the article below. I say this because when you hear bullets detonating because some moron dumped some seized rounds or had some tucked in the pockets of some bloody uniforms he is burning, you tend to wonder what the hell they are throwing in these pits.
For those that have never been on a COP, let me describe the “burn pit” to you. A large front end loader tractor digs a very deep hole (inside your perimeter) and this is where all medical, logistical and daily trash goes to be burnt. It’s always burning and it usually has nasty black smokey soot coming out of it. Think of a land fill but on fire. The worst part, there is always a manned security tower less than 30 yards from these things which are manned 24/7 by gunfighters. On a good day you get to enjoy your meal (I use that term lightly) with a nice wofty stank blowing between you and your chow. You never get the smell out of your nose until you leave the damn COP.
It will be interesting to see how this ordeal plays out. My guess, it will be buried in bureaucracy because their argument will be that no one can prove what was in the pit to cause the warriors illness. The sad part is the ones that will suffer are those that went forward to fight. Time for a C-Gar
Read more about the hazards here