For Army combat engineer Sgt. Mike Geib, the symptoms of Gulf War illness were immediate.
Before he deployed, he was healthy and excelling on his physical fitness tests. But just 10 years later, he was medically discharged at 28 years old with a 10% disability rating for asthma.
“I couldn’t run. I was turning blue,” Geib said, describing how serious his respiratory issues had become. “I knew in my heart — I knew it was from exposure.”
Although veterans have been exposed to burn pits and environmental hazards distinct from their generational wars, they are united in their fight to receive care and benefits from the VA.
Read the story here: https://www.moaa.org/content/publications-and-media/news-articles/2021-news-articles/advocacy/servicemembers-exposed-to-toxins-fight-decades-long-battle-for-benefits/
TRICARE coverage for their young adult daughters cost the Brock family more than $13,000 over five years.
The steep costs meant carefully monitoring their budget and making sacrifices, but cutting off access to health care for their daughters by pulling them out of the TRICARE Young Adult (TYA) program was not a risk they were willing to take, said matriarch Annie Brock, who served in the Army for almost 10 years.
“Why wouldn’t we want to make sure they had good health insurance?” Brock said. “I think every parent wants to make sure their child is taken care of when they need health care, but not every parent is able to make it happen.”
Read the story here: https://www.moaa.org/content/publications-and-media/news-articles/2021-news-articles/advocacy/moaa-member-fights-to-shield-other-military-families-from-health-care-hardship/
MOAA is looking out for veterans’ access to health care – a topic increasingly important as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to stifle daily life across the country.
Cory Titus, MOAA’s director of government relations for veteran benefits and Guard/Reserve affairs, outlined the association’s legislative priorities for the VA during a joint Veterans Affairs Committee virtual session on Wednesday. MOAA is advocating for examining the department’s COVID-19 response, eliminating health disparities for women and minorities, and passing comprehensive toxic exposure reform, among other priorities.
Read the story here: https://www.moaa.org/content/publications-and-media/news-articles/2021-news-articles/advocacy/moaa-on-the-hill-testimony-outlines-legislative-priorities-for-veterans/
Jon Stewart, former Daily Show host and longtime advocate for 9/11 first responders, brought his trademark fiery spirit to a recent veterans event, asking the VA to grant presumption status to veterans exposed to toxins from burn pits before they die waiting on research to make the connection.
“If you can’t take care of those that are injured and face health issues, if we’re going to make them fight wars and then come home and fight for their lives, that has to change,” said Stewart, one of four speakers in an online discussion produced by The Washington Post. “That’s a model that has to change.”
Read the story here: https://www.moaa.org/content/publications-and-media/news-articles/2020-news-articles/jon-stewart-continues-advocacy-efforts-on-behalf-of-veterans-exposed-to-burn-pits/