The House recently passed two veteran’s proposals and sent them to the Senate for further consideration. The VET HP Act (H.R.1271), sponsored by Rep. Marcy Kaptur (Ohio), would require the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to carry out a pilot program to provide undergraduate students with clinical observation experience within the VA. The objective is to increase the awareness of medical conditions common to veterans and encourage potential careers in the VA. The house also passed the Burn Pit Registry Enhancement Act (H.R.1381), introduced by Rep. Raul Ruiz (Calif.), would create a process to ensure that the burn pit registry may be updated with the cause of death of a deceased registered individual. This legislation directs the DoD to provide service members in Iraq and Afghanistan periodic health assessments during deployment and during military separation. The assessment is an evaluation of whether or not a service member has been exposed to open burn pits or toxic airborne chemicals. If they report being exposed, they will be enrolled in the Burn Pit Registry unless they opted out. Members can weigh in on this issue by asking their legislators to support these bills. For more information, contact Sandra at the Veterans Service Office at 602 Strong Ave on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am to 3pm, or call 365-3612.
Sandra G. Van Zant
Veterans County Service Officer