Millions of Americans have selflessly served in the U.S. military, prioritizing our nation’s freedom over their personal well-being. For many citizens, their courage holds a significance far beyond a commitment to defend our country.
Celebrated annually on November 11, Veterans Day is a tribute to veterans and a token of thanks for their noble service, including those who suffered trauma, injuries and illnesses due to their time in the military.
Some of these ailments are psychological in nature, like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), while others may appear decades after service as a result of exposure to toxic substances like asbestos.
On Veterans Day this year, Simmons Hanly Conroy honors the courage and sacrifice of these brave men and women, especially those facing mesothelioma.
“Our law firm has represented over 3,000 veterans and we’ve employed staff who have served across all of the U.S. Armed Forces,” explains U.S. Army veteran John Simmons, chairman of Simmons Hanly Conroy. “We have attorneys in the Marine Corps, linguists who served in the Air Force, machinists who served in the Navy and nurses who served in the Army.”
Veterans and Mesothelioma
Many veterans are currently fighting a different battle for which they were never prepared — a battle with mesothelioma, which can threaten veterans’ lives long after their active service.
Mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, can take decades to develop. This means that those who served years ago may still be at risk of this cancer today.
Military asbestos exposure could take place on all military bases, in buildings and from different products and vehicle parts.
Every branch of the military used asbestos during the 20th century, including:
In fact, upwards 33% of all mesothelioma diagnoses have been linked to asbestos exposure in U.S. Navy ships or shipyards. Naval ships built between 1940 and 1970 often contained hundreds of asbestos products.
Sadly, some military occupations may have required veterans to work more closely with these asbestos-containing parts due to the nature of their jobs.
Why Do So Many Veterans Become Mesothelioma Warriors?
During the 20th century, thousands of veterans who survived their service unscathed returned to their families seemingly healthy. Unbeknownst to many of them, a carcinogen had contaminated their bodies.
Asbestos, once valued for its heat and fire resistance, durability and affordability, was used to build and reinforce ships and military bases. This positioned military members for some of the highest rates of asbestos exposure.
Before the 1980s, many service members had no idea that exposure to asbestos could result in fatal health conditions — but asbestos companies did. In fact, these companies intentionally hid the hazards of asbestos, leaving veterans and other workers unprotected.
By the time mesothelioma symptoms, like a persistent cough or fatigue, begin to develop, the cancer often has already progressed to more advanced stages, making it difficult to treat.
More than 40,000 Americans died from asbestos-related illnesses in 2019, according to the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization.
For this reason, it is important for us to honor veterans and raise awareness for the long-term illnesses they face on Veterans Day this year.
Ways to Salute Our Veterans This Year
Veterans diagnosed with mesothelioma are doing all they can to secure treatment that prolongs their survival, whether through VA benefits, a mesothelioma lawsuit or both. However, they still need the support of family, friends, caregivers and the public.
There are many ways to show U.S. military veterans our appreciation for their service. Explore some of these opportunities to join in the celebration today.
Say “Thank You”
Veterans Day is not just a day to remember; it is a day to act and show our enduring appreciation for those who have sacrificed so much to protect our freedom.
In the words of Chairman and U.S. Army veteran John Simmons, “Thank veterans. Tell them that you appreciate their service. Think today about the important role that veterans play in protecting our nation.”
These simple acts of gratitude go a long way in making veterans feel valued and recognized for their selfless contributions.
Donate or Volunteer
Donating to a veteran advocacy organization can make a big impact on the veteran community. Organizations like the Wounded Warrior Project can help veterans access the resources they need for their mental and physical health.
If you cannot donate, you could write a letter or volunteer at an organization instead.
Advocate for Veterans
Veterans spent years serving us, and now it’s our turn to advocate for their needs.
Contacting local or state representatives about urgent veterans’ issues — such as improving veteran health care, the need for funding for mesothelioma research and supporting a complete ban on asbestos — could also make a profound difference.
Nationwide Help for Veterans with Mesothelioma
Talk to your doctor about screening options if you believe you or a loved one may have been exposed to asbestos while serving in the military. You may be eligible to file a mesothelioma lawsuit against the manufacturers of asbestos-containing products to help pay for treatments.
As a national veteran-founded mesothelioma law firm, Simmons Hanly Conroy has extensive experience helping eligible veterans and their families secure mesothelioma settlements for the harm they endured.
Our mesothelioma lawyers are dedicated to helping veterans with mesothelioma and their families get the justice and compensation they deserve.
Learn more about your legal options and rights now for free.