Veterans & Mesothelioma
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If You Were Exposed to Asbestos While Serving Our Country, You Deserve Top-Tier Help.
Military veterans comprise one of the highest risk groups for asbestos exposure and mesothelioma in the United States. It is estimated that many thousands of living American veterans were exposed to asbestos during their tours of duty. The impact of this tragedy has lately become obvious. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs acknowledges a disproportionate number of past servicemembers have been diagnosed with the disease.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that is valued for its insulation and heat resistance properties. As such, it was widely used by every military branch, mostly for insulation purposes in ships, planes, vehicles, buildings, and military housing. Exposure to asbestos is the most common cause of mesothelioma. The link between these patients’ service and their cancer is unfortunately too clear.
Our team at Shrader & Associates, L.L.P. is here to help you if you were exposed to asbestos during your military service. While you were willing to give everything to your country, no one expected that cost to come from toxic exposure. We want to help you and your loved ones during this time. If you want to know more about your right to recover compensation and the damages for which you may be owed, we are happy to share our knowledge.
Resources for Veterans with Mesothelioma
Who Is Eligible for Help?
Because asbestos was used to insulate structures and transportation, any military member might have been exposed during their service. Learn more about how we can help you based on your service:
Veteran Affairs (VA) Benefits
The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs now recognizes mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases as service-related medical conditions. This means that veterans are able to apply for Veteran Affairs (VA) benefits to pay for their mesothelioma treatment options.
The application process for VA benefits is arduous, and some veterans see their claims denied despite past exposure to asbestos. If you are a U.S. Armed Forces veteran who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, reach out to our attorneys for help with your claim. We can guide you through the process of recovering compensation for your military occupational exposure to asbestos.
Mesothelioma Treatment Centers for Veterans
The Department of Veterans Affairs advises any veteran who is concerned they may have been exposed to asbestos during their military service to contact the:
- Environmental Health Coordinator in their home state.
- Patient Care Advocate at the nearest VA medical facility.
Veterans who need treatment for mesothelioma can contact one of the VA hospitals that have oncology programs:
- Albany Stratton VA Medical Center – Albany, New York
- Aleda E. Lutz VA Medical Center – Saginaw, Michigan
- Alexandria VA Medical Center – Pineville, Louisiana
- Memphis VA Medical Center – Memphis, Tennessee
- Minneapolis VA Health Care System – Minneapolis, Minnesota
- San Francisco VA Medical Center – San Francisco, California
- VA Boston Healthcare System – (three locations), Massachusetts
- VA Maine Healthcare System – Augusta, Maine
Learn More About Mesothelioma
- The U.S. Veterans Administration has an agreement with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) that allows veterans to participate in NCI-sponsored clinical trials at VA facilities as part of their health benefits. To qualify, the veteran must be receiving care at a VA facility.
- The Department of Defense has an agreement with the NCI that allows TRICARE beneficiaries to participate in NCI-sponsored clinical trials as part of their health benefits. These treatments are covered regardless of whether they are provided at civilian or military facilities.
- The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration can provide copies of your military service record, important evidence for your claim for benefits.
- Military.com is a free organization for persons currently serving in the military as well as veterans. The page dedicated to veterans’ health care provides a comprehensive explanation of available benefits and eligibility.
- Disabled American Veterans is a non-profit organization that offers various quality-of-life services for disabled veterans. The organization operates a Transportation Network that provides free transportation to and from VA medical facilities for sick and disabled veterans.
How Veterans Were Exposed to Asbestos
The heroes who served in the U.S. Navy and worked it its shipyards are among the highest risk group for developing mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases. Between the 1930s and the 1970s, every ship and shipyard constructed by the U.S. Navy used a number of asbestos-containing materials. In fact, the material was so effective the Navy actually mandated its use for a time.
The most common uses of asbestos in Navy ships were in the boiler rooms, engine rooms, and other areas below deck where insulation and fireproofing were needed. Veterans who worked in these areas suffered repeated and prolonged asbestos exposure.
Below-decks staff weren’t the only sailors exposed to asbestos, however: Asbestos was also used in mess halls, sleeping quarters, and navigation rooms, as well as in the flooring, pipe coverings, brakes, cement, adhesives, gaskets, and valves on every Navy ship. This means there was a high probability of every sailor on a ship inhaling or ingesting asbestos at some time.
Asbestos is relatively cheap and very plentiful, so it was used for the construction of Army bases all over the U.S. and overseas. Unfortunately, as these buildings aged, the asbestos weakened and often became airborne, leading to inhalation and ingestion hazards for millions of Army veterans and anyone in their household.
The Navy and the Marines of the United States have historically worked together, especially in times of war. Many Marines even serve on Navy ships, meaning they have faced the same threats of asbestos exposure as Navy veterans. Marines may have also been exposed to asbestos that was used in the construction of older buildings at bases or camps.
Air Force Veterans
From the 1930s to the 1970s, many Air Force planes were constructed with parts containing asbestos, including the engine, brakes, and other elements that needed insulation from the extreme heat of a jet engine.
Pilots, mechanics, and other personnel who worked on or with these planes were likely exposed to asbestos via inhalation. Asbestos was also used in the base buildings and military housing used by Air Force service members and their families.
Learn More About Veterans & Mesothelioma
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Because of the long latency period of mesothelioma, many veterans whose tours of duty ended decades ago may just now be facing a mesothelioma diagnosis. The news can be disorienting and upsetting. However, we want you to know you are not alone if this has happened to you.
At Shrader & Associates L.L.P., we have a deep respect and gratitude for the brave individuals who have served our country in times of war and in times of peace. It is our honor to help U.S. veterans pursue justice after asbestos exposure. If you have been affected by military asbestos exposure, you may be eligible to recover compensation to help with treatment costs and other damages. Our mesothelioma attorneys are happy to help you understand your rights and options.