A sigh of relief for millions of veterans and their families as President Biden signs in to law the Pact Act.
The legislation expands health care benefits, to veterans exposed to toxic burn pits during their military service. Many of them now living with a variety of health conditions.
For Brielle Robinson and her family, the signing of the Pact Act is filled with emotion.
“That’s my grandson, his daddy lost to the same burn pits and he knows what you’re going through. But guess what? You’re gonna do this. You’re gonna be really, really strong And it’s a hard thing taking care of mommy and a grandma. But you got to do it.”
Robinson is the daughter of the law’s namesake Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson. He died from lung cancer at 39-years-old, but thanks to brielle his story isn’t forgotten.
“To have had Brielle in her father’s honor. Walk the hills of congress and drop off PACT Act messages in Crayola crayons in writing, you know by her own little colors that she had with her was just inspiring and amazing.”
The law could expand benefits for up to 3.5 million veterans by adding health conditions linked to toxic burn pits to the Department of Veterans Affairs list of illnesses.
Burn pits were used to burn waste including hazardous material at military sites throughout Iraq and Afghanistan until about 2010.
“My husband attempted to take his life a few years ago, where he lost his job and almost lost our home. So to know that 3.5 million people, you know, that’s that just to know that they’ll be helped and they won’t have to be begging for help. It just really gives my heart a lot of peace.”