U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown: Taking action to honor all of those who served

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Every year, on Veterans Day we come together as Americans to remember with deep respect and gratitude the sacrifice our veterans made for our country.

So often, veterans don’t speak about their service. They don’t brag. They don’t ask for recognition. But they have earned it.

As we pay tribute to all who have served in our nation’s military, we must remember that we owe veterans and their families more than just our gratitude.

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They deserve the health care, the benefits, and the educational opportunities that they’ve earned. Taking care of our veterans is the cost of going to war.

This year we took a long overdue step by passing the PACT Act.

We secured the most comprehensive expansion of benefits for veterans who faced toxic exposure, in our country’s history. If you were exposed to toxins while serving our country, you deserve the benefits you earned, period. No exceptions.

We expanded presumptions for veterans exposed to Agent Orange and we added 23 burn pit and toxic exposure-related illnesses to the VA’s presumptive conditions list. For the first time in history, veterans who suffer because of toxic exposure have the care they earned.

I encourage all veterans who were exposed to toxins during their service to go to va.gov/pact to find out more about the law and apply for VA health care and file a disability claim.

This is just the start.

Earlier this month, VA and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, announced an 11 percent drop in veterans homelessness from 2020 to 2022, based on the most recent count. This is progress, but we still have more work to do to ensure that everyone who served our country has a roof over their heads and a safe place to call home.

I’ve traveled throughout Ohio to sit down with veterans to hear about the issues that matter most to them, and I’ll continue to do so. With my colleagues in the Senate and on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, we’ll continue fighting so that all veterans have the benefits they deserve and the support they need to transition back to a civilian life, especially when it comes to mental health and employment.

We will never forget the debt we owe our veterans, and we’re humbled by their commitment to service. On behalf of a grateful state, thank you for your service.

Sherrod Brown is a Democrat and the senior U.S. senator representing Ohio