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Wounded Warrior Project Outlines the Challenges Facing Veterans Exposed to Toxins

WASHINGTON, March 11, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) testified yesterday before the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs on the lasting effects toxic exposures have on veterans. WWP also shared information on the support it provides to the many veterans who were exposed during military service.

"Unfortunately, many current era veterans are experiencing the same difficulties that veterans of previous generations had getting their toxic exposure-related illnesses recognized," said Aleks Morosky, WWP government affairs specialist. "Wounded Warrior Project is committed to addressing veterans' toxic wounds with the same urgency that we address the visible and invisible wounds of war."

Read the written testimony and a complete list of recommendations to Congress.

Veterans exposed to contaminants such as burn pits, toxic fragments, radiation, and other hazardous materials often face challenges with severe, rare, and early-onset illnesses. The process of navigating complex policies can inhibit and delay access to the health care and benefits they deserve.

According to WWP's 2020 Annual Warrior Survey, 71% of the WWP alumni who responded report they were definitely exposed to environmental hazards during their military service. Warriors who reported exposures were 10% more likely to report poor or fair health than warriors who were not exposed, underscoring a vital need for legislative reform.

Morosky called on Congress to:

  • Prioritize the extension of health care.
  • Adopt a framework to establish presumptive disabilities for all toxic exposures.
  • Improve direct service connection for toxic exposures.

Morosky's testimony also highlighted stories of warriors struggling with illness and ways WWP is supporting those impacted by toxic exposures, including:

  • Helping warriors and their family members file claims free of charge.
  • Connecting the most severely wounded, ill, and injured warriors with the resources they need to thrive in the most independent and meaningful ways possible, through WWP's Independence Program.
  • Providing warriors rapid, coordinated responses for complex, urgent issues that require immediate intervention through WWP's Complex Case Coordination team.

Toxic exposures remain one of WWP's top legislative priorities during the 117th Congress. Learn more about WWP's legislative priorities and how we work with our nation's leaders to improve the lives of wounded veterans and their families.

Contact: Tanisha Brown — Communications, Government and Community Relations, tbrown@woundedwarriorproject.org 

About Wounded Warrior Project

Since 2003, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) has been meeting the growing needs of warriors, their families, and caregivers — helping them achieve their highest ambition. Learn more.

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