U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) hosted a roundtable Thursday at American Legion Department of Ohio in Delaware with local veterans, including veterans who have been harmed by exposure to toxins while serving. They discussed 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 Joe 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 Sgt. 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, toxins during their military service. Local advocates also joined the roundtable discussion.
“It was great to share with Sen. Brown the ‘deck-plate’ progress to the PACT Act thus far. This legislation will assist and potentially change lives of many veterans that reside in Delaware County. The Delaware County Veteran Service Commission looks forward to continued collaboration with Senator Brown and his team as we outreach and assist veterans that this legislation is designed to help,” said Brian Gallagher, director of the Delaware County Veterans Service Office.
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.
Delaware County veterans who would like more information on available resources can reach out to the Delaware County Veterans Service Office by calling 740-833-2010 or the Veterans Crisis Line by calling 1-800-273-8255 (press 1).
Submitted by U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown’s Office.