Burn pit exposure legislation named after Ohio veteran, family reacts to bill’s passage
SANDUSKY, Ohio (WTVG) - The PACT Act, named after an Ohio veteran who died from cancer linked to burn pits, passed in the Senate this week and is now on its way to be signed by President Biden.
Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson served in the Ohio Army National Guard in Kosovo and Iraq as a combat medic. He was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2017 and later died in 2020.
Robinson’s doctors believed that his cancer was linked to toxic burn pit exposure during his deployment to Iraq where he was stationed just yards from pits the size of football fields.
Because of this, Robinson’s wife, alongside his mother-in-law, Susan Zeier, decided they wanted to fight for new legislation that would provide healthcare to veterans who have been exposed to situations similar to Robinson’s. This legislation would soon become the PACT Act.
Robinson’s wife, Zeier and other veterans have spent years trying to get the PACT Act passed in his honor, even before his death. Zeier spent the past week in Washington waiting for the bill to pass.
“He would be so happy and so proud that his death wasn’t in vain,” said Zeier. “I know we fulfilled our promise to Heath. We don’t want to see any other families suffer like ours has.”
Through the PACT Act, veterans will be able to get toxic exposure screenings at medical appointments with the VA.
You can watch 13abc’s full interview with Zeier in the video below.
Click here to apply for VA health care.
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