Thursday, February 25, 2010

Why did Sgt. Thomas die?

Omaha World Herald
Sgt. Klayton Thomas looked every bit the poster boy Marine as he strode into a military hospital last September to get his back checked.

He taught karate and earned his abs in the gym. He had survived a 2007 deployment to Iraq, even thrived during his prolonged stay in the middle of the then-treacherous Sunni Triangle. He rarely drank. He didn't smoke. Life seemed perfect on this mid-September Thursday, if only his back would stop aching. The 25-year-old Columbus, Neb., native thought he had wrenched it playing soccer. Three months and 10 days later, he died in hospice care.

This much is known: Thomas succumbed to an unstoppable lung cancer that crushed his vertebrae, blitzed his bones and invaded his brain, dumbfounding doctors who had spent their entire careers treating the disease.

His death leaves a medical mystery, one similar to those posed by hundreds of other American military personnel battling exotic cancers or struggling with rare respiratory problems.


This mystery begins in the unlikeliest of places: Iraqi “burn pits” — large, primitive landfills where contractors set trash aflame, causing ever-present black smoke to drift over dozens of U.S. military bases.

Health experts, a high-powered defense lawyer, Congress and even the president have taken notice, asking questions like Klayton Thomas' parents and doctors asked in the weeks after he fell ill.

Why would an otherwise healthy young nonsmoker contract a cancer that generally haunts older smokers? Why did this cancer spread like wildfire when experts say its normal path can take year.

Simply put: Why did Sgt. Klayton Thomas die?

Full Article


  1. I checked the AZ Daily Star for this story and didn't find a thing. Could it be that this story is NOT TRUE? Or, could it be that the AZ Daily Star is not concerned with such trifles? Readers seem so satisfied with stories about a pig in Omaha having a record sized litter....

    Anyway, thanks for adding to Americans' understanding of the threat we face from the imperial plutocracy and its minions.

  2. Thanks for commenting. seems to be relentlessly dogging the AZ Daily Star in their last few posts. Well deserved.