FORT WORTH, Texas – In the days leading up to President Joe Biden’s visit to Fort Worth, Gary Whitfield couldn’t help but tune in to the news and delve deeper into the issues the president was discussing.
As a retired Air Force chief sergeant, Whitfield said a presidential visit to his hometown is an opportunity to pay more attention to him because the focus of the visit is on him.
President Biden is discussing expanding military health care, especially for veterans who have experienced toxic environmental exposures during their service. In the State of the Union address this month, the president cited that the death of his late son Beau in 2015 was potentially related to exposure to toxic burns.
“We don’t know for sure if a burn was the cause of his brain cancer or the diseases of so many of our troops, but I’m committed to finding out all we can,” Biden said during the State of the Union.
Burns have been used in conflicts in the Middle East to get rid of various elements and are related to various diseases.
Whitfield began his service during the Vietnam War. He said possible toxic exposures were a concern even during his time. He recalled taking special care with certain ammunition while helping to train members of the Air Force in the use of weapons and entering areas in other missions that required special equipment for security in the face of exposures.
“He had to be careful and he had to have his face covered in certain areas of the things he was playing with,” Whitfield said.
Biden’s efforts to expand health care benefits for those exposures could move forward quickly as the Senate has already passed a bill on the issue this year and calls for change appear to find support on both sides of the political corridor.
While those benefits would be aimed primarily at those widespread burn exposures, Whitfield said the action would be promising for him and many of the veterans he spends time with regularly, as he continues to show support for the country’s growing veteran population.
“That’s great, that’s what it takes,” he said.
Action on toxic exposures could help veterans of all ages
Source link Action on toxic exposures could help veterans of all ages