This summer, we passed the Heath Robinson Honoring Our PACT Act, named for Ohioan Heath Robinson. This is the most comprehensive expansion of benefits for veterans who have been exposed to toxic substances in the history of our country. And we couldn’t have done it without veterans and their families.
I remember Susan Zeier, Heath Robinson’s mother-in-law, coming to us in 2017 and asking our office to help her in this fight.
I’ve heard of Ohio veterans like Tim Hauser and Andrea Neutzling who were exposed to poisonous combustion fireplaces while serving their country.
And I hosted roundtables across the state where veterans and families shared their stories about the importance of the PACT Act.
It is thanks to their advocacy, their perseverance and their insistence that the PACT law has the force of law today.
During the signing of the bill, the president announced that the 23 presumptive conditions described in this bill would take effect immediately.
It means no more excuses. No more delays. The veterans have waited long enough.
This is the cost of going to war. If you have been exposed to toxins while serving our country, you deserve the benefits you have earned. Period. No exceptions.
All Ohio veterans and their family members can go to va.gov/pact to learn more about how they can now claim those benefits they have earned. Next week, the AV will host its PACT Act Action Week to continue raising awareness about how veterans can access their PACT Act benefits.
I encourage all veterans who have been exposed to fireplaces to register with the VA so that if they begin to experience symptoms, their benefits will automatically kick in.
Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) represents the state in the US Senate.