Not Enough Support for Veterans who suffer from Mesothelioma
There have been millions affected by mesothelioma and other lung related illnesses. There is much being done to diagnose, treat, and compensate these individuals. However, even though there are programs that help and assist the needs of the veterans of our country, little is being done for those veterans who have been diagnosed with a lung related disease. What people fail to recognize is that diseases linked to asbestos exposure are caused by the negligence of employers whose responsibility it was to protect workers and alert them to the dangers presented in their work environment. There is no excuse for veterans of the military not to receive the same benefits, health treatments and compensations as those workers who have been infected in construction yards or in their homes.
Unfortunately, military importance outweighed the health concerns that go along with asbestos related diseases. To this day, military personnel who are currently suffering from mesothelioma or other lung related illnesses are receiving little or no recognition for their condition. The Department of the Navy and the Department of Veteran Affairs did not advise US military personnel and shipyard civilians from 1940 to 1970 of health risks associated with the exposure. Those individuals are not taking responsibility for their knowledge of the conditions that asbestos can cause in later years. Moreover, these departments that are supposed to be support systems for those who volunteered to serve our country are not addressing any problem and still not informing any of its personnel (past and present) about the dangers of asbestos. Through the internet and user support groups, those who possibly may be infected from asbestos exposure have resources and guides to help them through the diagnosis and treatment process.
It is important if you or a loved one think that you have been infected with asbestos fibers from a military job, to contact a doctor immediately. The first step is a physical examination. This could be a routine checkup, and if the doctor feels it is necessary, an x-ray of the chest area or the area that could be potentially in question. Some symptoms such as difficulty breathing, chest pain, and shortness of breath can often be signs of other conditions, so it is important that the patient be able to get a diagnosis from a doctor, especially if they have been in contact with asbestos at any time. More research is necessary to produce information about mesothelioma and create studies of how it developed in the military forces more than thirty years ago. All of those who suffer from mesothelioma and other lung complications should be treated as equal when it comes to treatment, medications, compensation, and emotional support.
Last modified: December 24, 2010.