PACT Act expands healthcare for veterans harmed by Agent Orange, burn pits

The PACT Act is a new law that expands health care and benefits for veterans exposed to burn pits, Agent Orange, and other toxins.  Many of our servicemen and women who’ve had health issues as a result of these toxic chemicals have found it hard to get the help they need, but the PACT Act is changing that.

"When I was in Vietnam I was in at an airfield that received Agent Orange," said Jerry Bolton. "I stored it. I loaded it on choppers."

Bolton was exposed to Agent Orange for 12 months straight, as it was also sprayed near him. In 2010, he was diagnosed with bladder cancer.

"I have no medical issues. No high blood pressure, no diabetes, no weight issues," he said. "There’s no other explanation for it. Yes, and that’s what the doctor said.

"It’s a recurring type of cancer. It’s come back 13 times, and so I get treated and surgery 13 separate times."

Sadly Bolton’s story isn’t unique and some people who bravely served our country have found it hard to get the help they need.

"Many of these veterans who were exposed to these toxins could not get the help that they needed," said Sen. Gary Peters (D-Michigan). "And as a result of that, have been suffering from some very debilitating diseases."

The PACT Act is supposed to change all of that. It’s a new law that expands VA health care and benefits for Veterans exposed to burn pits, Agent Orange, and other toxic substances.

"I’m very excited that finally there’s issues with veterans that have not been recognized," Bolton said. "We can receive treatment and benefits for them."

"This is about families," said Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan). "It’s about the veterans, about the widows, and those that come after."

Peters and Stabenow spoke Thursday about the need to get the word out. Veterans can reach out to see if they could qualify for compensation or benefits because of what happened while they were serving our country.

Find out if you qualify for compensation here.