DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown hosted a roundtable on Wednesday with local veterans, including those who have been harmed by exposure to toxic burn pits.
The event was held to discuss the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act of 2022 that was recently signed into law by President Biden.
“This bill is the most comprehensive expansion of benefits for veterans who faced toxic exposure in our country’s history,” said Brown.
“Providing health care and benefits for veterans who suffer from toxic exposure 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 at age 39 from lung cancer in 2020 after being exposed to burn pits during a one-year deployment in Iraq in 2006.
“Those of us who serve veterans every day, we are thankful to see the PACT act passed. This is another tool in our toolbox that allows us to advocate for the veterans who are suffering illnesses from hazardous toxins as a result of their service,” said Kim Frisco, the Executive Director of Montgomery County Veterans Services.
“I want to thank Senator Brown for making our veterans a priority. Those of us across the state are ready to assist these veterans free of charge to help them obtain the benefits they earned and deserve through their military service. Please reach out to your local county Veterans Service Office for more information.”
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 how they can now claim the benefits they have earned.