In April of 2003, James Gentry of the Indiana National Guard arrived in Southern Iraq to take command of more than 600 other guardsmen. Their job: protect KBR contractors working at a local water plant.
"We didn't question what we were doing, we just knew we had to provide a security service for the KBR," said Battalion Cmdr. Gentry.
Today James Gentry is dying from rare form of lung cancer. The result, he believes, of months of inhaling hexavalent chromium - an orange dust that's part of a toxic chemical found all over the plant.
At least one other Indiana guardsman has already died from lung cancer, and others are said to be suffering from tumors and rashes consistent with exposure to the deadly toxin.
In a statement, the company told CBS News: "We deny the assertion that KBR harmed troops and was responsible for an unsafe condition."
The company says it notified the Army as soon as it identified the toxin.
Still, some Indiana guardsmen say they only just learned of the risk.
"I didn’t know I was exposed to a deadly carcinogen until five years later when I received a letter," said Indiana National Guardsman Jody Aistrop.
This is far from the first time the multi-billion dollar contractor has been accused of questionable conduct at Iraq. In addition to convictions for bribery, it's alleged KBR provided contaminated water to troops. The company denies all charges.
Republicans make a big deal about flag pins and saying the pledge of allegiance and all the while they are sending our citizens off to die needlessly while their friends get rich. Is anybody ever going to fall for this again? I certainly hope not.