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Disabled American Veterans, Jon Stewart call on Congress to support toxic exposure legislation

Stewart virtually attended
Congress Veterans Burn Pits
Posted at 3:41 PM, Apr 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-29 15:50:33-04

ERLANGER, Ky. — Disabled American Veterans held an event Friday in Northern Kentucky to encourage support of toxic exposure legislation by Congress.

Titled "Act On The Pact," the event — which was held at the DAV National Headquarters in Erlanger, Kentucky — saw veterans and speakers voice their support for legislation assisting the multiple generations of veterans exposed to toxic substances. The Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act (PACT) would allow healthcare for veterans, establish presumptive diseases and allow a new framework for those exposed to toxic materials while serving.

Currently, more than 60 veteran and military service organizations have voiced their own support for the bill.

Comedian and activist Jon Stewart also appeared virtually and rallied behind the legislation. Stewart has been a longtime supporter of veterans and legislation aimed at the treatment of those who have served in the military, and he was a major proponent in the support of the 9/11 First Responders bill.

Dan Clare, a veteran who served in Iraq in 2007 and 2008, handled burn pits as a member of the crisis communication team. Clare said he and his fellow service members immediately recognized the issues surrounding the open-air burning of waste from the military sites.

"The first thing when we landed you could almost taste the air. It was disgusting," Clare said. "We had days or an entire week where the weather forecast called for smoke and haze in the morning, so we knew that it was a bad situation. We knew that it wasn't a healthy environment."

Issues surrounding toxic air include difficulty breathing, cancer and even death. Other than substances from burn pits, the bill will also cover exposure to substances such as Agent Orange and contaminated water.

Comedian and activist Jon Stewart also appeared virtually and rallied behind the legislation. Stewart has been a longtime supporter of veterans and legislation aimed at the treatment of those who have served in the military, and he was a major proponent in the support of the 9/11 First Responders bill.

The House passed the bill on March 3, and now its up to the Senate to pass the legislation. On April 25, President Biden provided support for the bill.

"My Administration will continue to do everything in its power to support our nation's veterans, and I urge Congress to pass bipartisan legislation to comprehensively address toxic exposures and further deliver the vital benefits our veterans have earned," President Biden said. "I will sign it immediately."

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