Lt. Col. Jim Gentry, exposed to sodium dichromate while protecting Halliburton war contractors, dies of cancer

See the earlier post, including the CBS News story and interview, here.

Indiana National Guardsman Lt. Col. Jim Gentry died a week ago Wednesday, November 25th. He was 52 years old.

A retired Indiana National Guard lieutenant colonel, Gentry was the commander of the 1st Battalion, 152nd Infantry, which, at about 600 soldiers strong, was in Iraq from February 2003 to February 2004.

This Indiana National Guard unit was responsible for protecting US civilians working for KBR at the Qarmat Ali water plant in Southern Iraq. Returning this water plant to full operation was essential to restoring Iraqi oil production and KBR had the contract to do that.

Unfortunately, upon retreat, Saddam loyalists sabotaged the plant by cutting open bags of sodium dichromate, a yellow-orange powered rust inhibitor, and spread it everywhere. Not being informed by KBR management what this powder was, soldiers and civilians alike took few precautions to protect themselves. People started experiencing symptoms of chronic nose bleeds, headaches, skins lesions. Even after countless complaints KBR did not test the substance and inform anyone as to the hazards. Click HERE for five short (18 min total) deposition testimony videos of KBR management putting their spin on why soldiers and civilians weren’t informed of the inherent health risks of this “yellow-orange” powder.

Gentry, even after being retired and diagnosed with cancer, led his soldiers with strength and dignity. He became an outspoken advocate demanding investigations and VA coverage for illnesses believed to have been caused by the toxic exposure…

A sombrero-sized h/t to for all their hard work…