Local veteran reacts to the passing of the PACT Act

Local veterans react to the passing of the PACT Act
Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 8:45 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Tuesday night the PACT Act passed to provide health care and benefits for millions of veterans injured by exposure to toxins. Some veterans around the country are ecstatic about the act including Retired Major General Paulette Risher.

Maj. Gen. Risher, the President and CEO of Still Serving Veterans, says that the act is a game changer because the process of receiving benefits from the Department of Veteran Affairs can be stressful for veterans.

She says that although the bill is still very new it serves as a bridge for veterans who may have had symptoms but needed validations from doctors for their eligibility.

Maj. Gen. Risher says that she along with other veterans are waiting on guidance before they can move forward.

“Very shortly, we’ll see enacting guidance on how to do this and what the form should look like, and what the proof needs to be. What the conditions are,” Maj. Gen. Risher said. “The medical community needs to know what is now considered potentially linked to military service and service that could’ve happened 20 years ago.”

Sean Chapman is a disabled veteran who served in Iraq who says this is the treatment veterans who have served this country deserve.

“The only thing that a veteran ever asks is not to live rich, is to be taken care of,” he said. “If they can’t work a normal 40 hour week or more. And just take care of them physically. Provide the healthcare that they earned. We don’t want anything more than just to be taken care of.”

The retired Major General does have a concern for the bill’s implementation: the VA’s ability to deal with a new workload.

“VA has a hard time staying up with their demands today and you’re just about to add just a whole bunch of people to this. So I think it’s naïve to expect it to be instantaneous.”

Visit the Department of Veteran Affairs website for more information on PACT Act benefits for veterans.

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