Brown Discusses How PACT Act Passage Will Expand VA Benefits to Veterans Exposed to Toxins

Brown Has Long Fought for Benefits for Veterans Who Experienced Toxic Exposure; Will Discuss New PACT Act with Veterans and Advocates

OTTAWA, OH – October 19, 2022 – Today, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) hosted a roundtable with local veterans 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.

“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.”

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.

Brown was joined by veterans who have been exposed to, and affected by, burn pits during their military service. Local advocates also attended the roundtable discussion.

“I am excited that the PACT Act has become law and I appreciate the efforts of Senator Brown to help this come to fruition,” said Jon Balmer, an Iraq War Veteran and the Putnam County Veteran Service Officer. “This legislation will provide health care and benefits to so many generations of veterans who have been impacted by various types of toxic exposure during military service. We are glad that these veterans will have the best chances to be properly served by the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs.”

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 to find out more about these benefits.