Mary Alice Reporting –
The New Philadelphia Veterans of Foreign Wars Post hosted Senator Sherrod Brown for a roundtable discussion.
The Wednesday event drew a small crowd at Post 1445 with attendees including veterans, a representative from the Tuscarawas Sheriff’s Office, New Philadelphia Police, the Tuscarawas Veterans Service Office, and individuals from the city health department.
The Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act was signed into law in 2022 and Brown has been visiting all Ohio counties to hear from locals and educate about the legislation.
“Not enough veterans know about this service. Veterans often don’t want to be a burden, they don’t want to ask for too much but they’ve earned these benefits. This is one of the best community based clinics here in New Phila. [Roundtable speakers noted] mostly the same problems. People are generally happy with the VA but there’s a frustration with wait times.”
The PACT Act relates to health care and disability benefits for veterans exposed to Agent Orange, burn pit toxins, or contaminated water.
Jim Thornton, a Tuscarawas County Veterans Service Officer, says the important thing is to spread the information about the legislations to veterans.
“Things change throughout the year of benefits overall but as far as the PACT Act goes, we are trying everything we can to get the information out, going around to different places; as well as, having veterans over to the events that we hold.”
According to Brown, as many as 3.5 million services members, in the United States, were potentially exposed to toxic chemicals while deployed.
Ohio veterans and family members can visit www.va.gov/pact to find out more about how to claim benefits or contact the Tuscarawas VA at 330-339-1163.
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