Photo Gallery: Celebrating the PACT Act’s Passage

Photo Gallery: Celebrating the PACT Act’s Passage
Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif), chair of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, and Cory Titus, MOAA's Director of Government Relations for Veteran Benefits and Guard and Reserve Affairs, speak during a Sept. 14 event at the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., marking the passage of the Honoring Our PACT Act. (Photo by Mike Morones/MOAA)

By MOAA Staff. Photos by Mike Morones/MOAA


Representatives from MOAA joined military family members, fellow advocates, and lawmakers Sept. 14 in Washington, D.C. to mark the passage of the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act of 2022, which became law Aug. 10.


The act will open VA care to millions of Post-9/11 servicemembers, allow more veterans to receive care for Agent Orange and similar herbicide exposures, add to the list of conditions presumed connected to burn pits and other toxic exposures, and expand VA’s physical and staff infrastructure.

Veterans from across the United States attended the September reception, representing a cross section of those who may benefit from the new law now and in the future.


Samantha Turner, with Vets for the People, which helps train veterans in grassroots organizing, was an engineer officer on active duty in the Army and then a civil affairs officer in the Reserves. As a member of Operation New Dawn, she served overseas, mostly in Kuwait. She said she has asthma and breathing and sinusitis problems, which are some of the presumptive conditions that the PACT Act covers.


“It’s just presumed that I have those conditions now,” said Turner. “So instead of it being a huge fight, where the burden of proof is on me, it’s now presumed, so it makes life a little bit easier.” She is now working with a VSO to review her original claim from 2014 and refile it.


The team effort to get the legislation into law took years, from drafting legislation to lobbying. After the PACT Act failed a Senate vote in July, Turner was part of a group of veterans, family members, and advocates who stayed on the Capitol grounds to push for a new Senate vote and support the passage of the PACT Act.


“The last kind of mile of this particular legislation was really done by folks exercising their First Amendment rights, finding their voice, and advocating for the whole veteran community and themselves,” she said.


Seeking information about the new benefits for yourself, or for a loved one? Start with these resources:

  • provides a full breakdown of benefit eligibility as well as links to file a claim and apply for VA health care.
  • includes links to contact information, fact sheets, and details on the bill’s connection to lawsuits involving Camp Lejeune, N.C.
  • Search for an accredited Veterans Service Organization (VSO) or VSO representative near you who can assist with the claims process.


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