Veteran Exposed to Toxins Is Invited to the State of the Union by Senator Tester of Montana

( – Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) led the Senate push to pass the Honoring our Promises to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act in 2022. The legislation helps service members and veterans exposed to toxins while serving their country. One of those veterans joined the senator at the State of the Union Address.

Air Force veteran Fred Hamilton served his country with honor during the Vietnam War. Unfortunately, he was one of the many service members exposed to toxins during his tour of duty. The government lost his military treatment records when they sent them from the Department of Defense to Veterans Affairs after he retired, making his life incredibly difficult. Those lost service records proved that his health problems were service-related.

For more than 30 years, Hamilton fought the VA, trying to prove his injuries related to his service. It wasn’t until Congress passed the PACT Act that he was able to obtain the treatment he deserved. However, he’s still waiting for help for other conditions that he says relate to his service, and, once again, the lost records are making it very difficult for him to obtain the help he needs.

Tester introduced the Fred Hamilton Veterans’ Lost Records Act to solve that problem. The senator heads the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and wants to ensure veterans like Hamilton will still receive help from the VA because the lost records are not their fault.

Hamilton expressed his gratitude to Tester for the senator’s efforts to help pass the PACT Act. He said he’s “still fighting for additional benefits” because of the lost records. He thanked Tester “for listening to Montana veterans like [him] and taking this issue seriously by championing a new bill” to help them.

Tester introduced the legislation last year, but it’s still in committee. Americans who support the legislation can help move it through Congress by contacting their representatives and asking them to support the bill and help veterans.

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