Brown Celebrates Senate Pact Act Passage with Veterans and Families Affected by Burn Pit Exposure While Deployed
TOLEDO, OH – Today, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined veterans and families who have been harmed by exposure to toxic burn pits to discuss legislation that recently passed the Senate that aims to help these veterans and their families. The SFC Heath Robinson Honoring Our PACT Act of 2022 is expected to pass the House soon and be signed into law.
“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.”
Brown was joined at the event by several veterans and their families who have been affected by burn pit exposure, including Susan Zeier, the mother-in-law of 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 and Tim Hauser, an Air Force veteran who was impacted by burn pit exposure.
“Several generations of sick military veterans who were exposed to toxic substances will now be cared for because of the PACT ACT. It’s an honor for our loved one’s memory living on as this bill becomes law but this was never about just him,” said Zeier. “The Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our PACT Act fulfills Heath’s dying wish that his story enacts Congress to pass legislation ensuring his military brothers, sisters and their families never suffer the delays and denials from the VA like he and our family did. Heath can Rest In Peace now knowing that other families won’t have to go through what we went through.”
“I want to see this bill become law so my fellow veterans can finally get the health care we have been promised. Also this bill will help rebuild the trust veterans have lost in the DOD and the VA,” said Hauser.
Brown has long fought to secure access to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care for veterans who were exposed to toxic chemicals. He has worked with Ohio veterans and their families, including the Robinsons, for years to bring additional attention to the issues burn pit-exposed veterans face. Brown pushed the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee to hold a hearing to highlight the long-ignored or forgotten illnesses burn pit veterans suffer from, and the hurdles they face gaining access to VA benefits.
Charles Hiser, the Executive Director for Lucas County Veterans Service Commission also joined Brown at the event.
Lucas County veterans who would like more information on available resources can reach out to local and national resources listed below.
Lucas County Veterans Service Office
Veterans Crisis Line
1-800-273-8255 – Press 1
Or Text 838255
Ohio Veterans Find their County Veteran Service Office Here: