Brown Has Long Fought for Benefits for Veterans Who Experienced Toxic Exposure; Discussed New PACT Act with Veterans and Advocates
MEDINA, OH – October 7, 2022 – Today, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) hosted a roundtable with local veterans, including veterans who have been harmed by exposure to toxic burn pits, to discuss the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act of 2022 that was recently signed into law by President Biden.
The legislation is named after Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson, a Central Ohio veteran who passed away in 2020 at age 39 from lung cancer after exposure to burn pits during a one-year deployment in Iraq in 2006.
“This law is the most comprehensive expansion of benefits for veterans who faced toxic exposure in our country’s history,” said Brown. “This is a cost of going to war. If you were exposed to toxins while serving our country, you deserve the benefits you earned. Period. No exceptions.”
Brown was joined by veterans who have been exposed to, and affected by, burn pits and toxins during their military service. Local advocates also joined the roundtable discussion.
“We here at the Medina County Veterans Service Office are pleased to see this landmark piece of legislation finally get passed,” said Edward Zachary, director/service officer of the Medina County VSO. “It will impact the lives of not only today’s veterans who served in the Middle East but also those that served during the Vietnam War in various parts of the world. It also will benefit future veterans as well. We’re eager to get to work assisting our veterans who are impacted by the PACT Act.”
The PACT Act is the result of a years-long fight by Brown, veterans and advocates to secure access to Department of Veterans Affairs health care and disability benefits for veterans who were exposed to toxic chemicals. He now is working with Ohio veterans, their families and advocates to bring additional attention to provisions in the PACT Act so veterans can get the care they’ve earned and deserve.
All Ohio veterans and family members can go to va.gov/pact to find out more about these benefits.