Millions of Americans have served in the U.S. Armed Forces over the years and many have unknowingly been exposed to toxins that have caused harmful side effects. Many children of veterans have been born with birth defects stemming from such exposure. Both the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense track toxic exposures and possible exposures but do not conduct follow-up research on the veterans and their offspring.
Senate Bill No. S.901 is currently before Congress to create a national center within the VA for the research, diagnosis and treatment of health conditions of the descendants of veterans exposed to toxic substances during service in the Armed Forces.
Last week, the Oklahoma Legislature approved Senate Concurrent Resolution 29 (by Sen. Frank Simpson, R-Springer, and Rep. Dustin Roberts, R-Durant) urging Congress to approve S. 901, also known as the Toxic Exposure Act of 2015.
“While the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense track toxic exposures, they don’t have a central database that can be used to help those suffering from toxic exposure. Congress can change that by approving Senate Bill S.901,” said Simpson, R-Springer. “I have a personal interest in this Senate bill’s passage because I have two family members who are suffering from neurological and physical problems because of chemicals they were exposed to in Desert Storm. Thousands more are suffering and while our federal government may not be able to heal them, they owe these men and women to at least research and keep track of these issues in order to prevent further harm to other soldiers or to the offspring of those already affected.”
SCR 29 respectfully encourages members of Oklahoma Congressional Delegation to join as cosponsors of S.901 and also urges the U.S. Congress to pass the measure and the President to sign it.