Mesa veteran talks expansion of federal health care services for military
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5 & AP) - President Biden signed legislation called “Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics” or PACT on Wednesday that expanded potentially life-saving health services for military veterans who served at bases where they experienced toxic exposure to various substances.
“So many of you here today remind us that we have fought for this for so many years,” Biden said during an emotional White House ceremony that reflected the struggles of military families — and the president’s personal experience after losing his oldest son to cancer after he served in Iraq.
Included in these veterans are former Marines who trained at Camp LeJeune in North Carolina. Mesa veteran Lawrence Davidson, 71, was stationed at the camp and said that the water there was contaminated with toxic chemicals. Years later, he was diagnosed with an aggressive, rare form of cancer due to his exposure. The Veteran’s Administration said that from the 1950s until the 1980s, people who lived and worked at Camp LeJeune were exposed to that same contaminated water, leading many to suffer severe health issues.
Davidson’s attorney said that the PACT act will allow impacted veterans to sue the government for compensation. Since the Valley is a big retirement location, many living in the area are beginning to reach out to him to learn their rights. The VA says that veterans can file a claim for the PACT Act-related disability compensation or can start the process of applying for healthcare now.
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