Far too often, this country’s heroes get overlooked. Military veterans often have to battle to receive the attention and respect they deserve, and getting the requisite care can be a problem, too.
That’s why a new piece of legislation has military families applauding: it finally gives injured vets some much-needed treatment. And it couldn’t come at a better time.
The Senate easily passed the “PACT” Act this week, which goes a long way toward helping millions of the nation’s veterans.
This is the culmination of a “decades-long” fight by military vets and their families. They’ve been petitioning the U.S. government for years; they’ve demanded proper treatment for those who were hurt on the job.
Specifically, this legislation helps all those exposed to toxic fumes in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.
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The law is named in honor of Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson, who was one of many to suffer the ill effects of exposure overseas. He was hardly the only victim, so this bill is absolutely necessary.
Robinson’s widow celebrated the passing of the bill and dedicated it to her late husband who unfortunately didn’t survive. But hopefully, this legislation will allow many others to keep on living.
From Fox News:
For the millions of veterans sickened from their exposure to burn pits, their time for relief has finally come with the approval of a new bill to provide much-needed treatment.
The Senate voted 84-14 on Thursday in favor of the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act of 2022.
The bill, which was passed with a majority vote, represents the most comprehensive veteran health care reform to date, establishing a presumptive service connection for veterans made gravely ill after inhaling toxic fumes that hung over their bases overseas, including in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Of course, there’s still some red tape in the way before the help officially arrives for these heroes.
Nothing moves especially quickly on Capitol Hill, even once a bill is passed. Comedian and activist Jon Stewart made mention of this in a statement:
You know, this is one of those days where you feel like all the hard work and the blood, sweat and tears that they all put in over all those years have finally paid off.
The real work of administrating this bill begins. This doesn’t solve anybody’s problem. This just removes the burden from their fight that should have been there in the first place.
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Stewart worked on behalf of veterans to get this through, as did Jon Feal, who pushed Washington to pass the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund.
Feal stated that the PACT Act is all about “never leaving anybody behind” and this $278 billion legislation will bring comfort to some 3.5 million veterans possibly affected by burn pits.
The lobbying efforts for the PACT Act began with Rosie Torres, who started the advocacy group Burn Pits 360 over 10 years ago. Her husband, LeRoy Torres, came back from Iraq with several serious health issues.
The burn pits in Iraq have since become notorious, and vets faced similar perils in Afghanistan. In regards to the new bill, Torres said:
Today, the Senate voted to pass one of the most historic and monumental pieces of legislation that we helped create. My family has lost 13 years away from our children. We’ve missed birthdays, movie nights, school field trips, and priceless moments we will never get back.
Today is not only about legislation being passed, it is about closure and honoring the living and the fallen.
The pits in question were used to burn over 1,000 various chemical compounds, and service members just couldn’t avoid those fumes.
It was just one of many terrible situations our heroes found themselves in, twenty-four hours a day. So when they come home, the least we can do is provide them with appropriate medical care.
For a patriotic statement that will lift your spirits, don’t forget former President Donald Trump’s Memorial Day message.