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CVLC et al v. DOD
On April 3, 2023, Stronghold Freedom Foundation (SFF) and Connecticut Veterans Legal Center (CVLC) filed a federal lawsuit against the Department of Defense (DoD) under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The
suit seeks disclosure of records documenting toxic conditions at Karshi-Khanabad Air Base (K2) in Uzbekistan, a major staging ground for the war in Afghanistan.
Immediately following the September 11 attacks, many of the first boots on the ground in Afghanistan passed through K2. From 2001 to 2005, over 15,000 servicemembers deployed there. While deployed at K2 and in the
years that followed, these servicemembers became sick and died at high rates from rare and severe illnesses—and many are seriously ill today.
DoD conducted extensive testing of the toxic pollution at K2 but has refused to release its records in response to FOIA requests from SFF and CVLC. As a result, K2 veterans and their families are unable to describe their
exposures, and their doctors are frustrated treating them.
Stronghold Freedom Foundation began as a grassroots movement of K2 veterans who, after finding each other on social media, joined together as they navigate serious health issues they believe were caused by toxic
exposure there. Today, SFF is a nationwide nonprofit organization that serves to address the toxic exposures of veterans who were deployed to K2.
Connecticut Veterans Legal Center (CVLC) is a Connecticut-based nonprofit organization that advocates on behalf of veterans, including by providing legal assistance to veterans who have been denied critical health
and disability benefits by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Complaint (filed April 3, 2023)
Dave Collins, Lawsuit seeks records of toxic exposures at Uzbek air base, Associated Press (April 3, 2023)
Leo Shane III, Advocates sue DoD to find out what sickened troops at Uzbek air base, Military Times (April 3, 2023)
Quil Lawrence, K2 veterans demand answers from the Pentagon about the toxins they were exposed to, NPR News (April 5, 2023)
Catherine Herridge, Jessica Kegu, K2 veterans sue Defense Department for records on Uzbek base amid new evidence of toxic materials, CBS News (April 10, 2023)