WILMINGTON — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) hosted a roundtable with local veterans — including veterans who were injured by exposure to toxic combustion fireplaces during their military service — at VFW Post 6710 in Wilmington on Tuesday afternoon.
The event was held to discuss the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our Promise to Treat Toxic Substances (PACT) Act of 2022 recently signed into law by President Biden, according to the senator’s office.
The legislation is named after Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson, a Central Ohio veteran who died in 2020 at age 39 of lung cancer after being exposed to burn sites while deployed from a year in Iraq in 2006.
The PACT Act is the result “of a years-long fight by Brown, veterans and advocates to ensure access to health care and Veterans Affairs disability benefits for veterans who have been exposed to toxic chemicals.
He is now working with Ohio veterans, their families and advocates “to bring more attention to the provisions of the PACT Act so veterans can get the care they have earned and deserve. “.
“This law helps us provide generations of veterans – and their survivors – with the care and benefits they have earned and deserve,” according to the Veterans Administration.
The VA states, “The PACT Act is perhaps the largest health care and benefits expansion in VA history,” and it makes these changes:
• Expands and expands VA health care eligibility for veterans exposed to toxic substances and veterans of Vietnam, Gulf War, and post-9/11 eras
• Adds over 20 new presumptive conditions for fire pits and other toxic exposures
• Adds more suspected exposure locations for Agent Orange and Radiation
• Requires VA to provide toxic exposure screening to every veteran enrolled in VA healthcare
• Helps improve research, staff training and treatment related to toxic exposures
Veterans looking for more information about the PACT Act can visit https://www.va.gov/resources/the-pact-act-and-your-va-benefits/ or call 800-698-2411 (TTY : 711). You can file a PACT disability compensation claim or apply for VA health care now.
US Senator Sherrod Brown (rear, middle) speaks during the roundtable with veterans.
US Senator Sherrod Brown, right, shakes hands with VSC Commissioner Anthony Green.
VSC Commissioner Jeff Rollins, left, shakes hands with U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown.
Senator Sherrod Brown speaks with and listens to veterans.