Saluting You: This Veteran’s Day We Remember the Brave U.S. Veterans Who Lost Their Lives to Mesothelioma and Asbestos Cancer

November 11, 2013  |  Mesothelioma

If there is one group of people in our country whom we could not be more thankful for – it’s the brave men and women who compose our military. The dedication, sacrifice and courage in the face of danger that make up our veterans is outstanding. Much more than gratitude, we owe our lives and our freedom to these men and women.

They sacrificed everything so we could live in peace.

They gave everything so we could live in peace.

Unfortunately, as our awareness of the dangers involved in the U.S. military’s use of asbestos in the 20th century grows, it becomes increasingly clear that a thanks is not all that is in order. Instead, an apology is needed too.

Our mesothelioma lawyers are proud to have represented numerous Navy veterans, including former Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, Jr., who lost his life to mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos during his time on duty. Sadly, there are countless other military men and women whose lives have been lost, not to enemy fire or combat but to the simple – and lethal – act of coming into contact with asbestos in the military, and suffering from asbestos related cancers like mesothelioma years later.

Asbestos is not a toxin used during warfare or other military missions. It is a toxin that was used in the early 20th century as a durable, heat resistant and inexpensive building material. Until asbestos was phased out of the military in the 1970s, virtually every area of service was affected. From the Navy men working in the engine rooms to the Army men in construction and mining to the Marines and the Army men and women who slept in their barracks, ate in their food halls and drove their tanks, jeeps and aircraft, the men and women of our military were hurt – and it was not the enemy that did it.

The fact is the toxin asbestos was introduced to the military as an industrial material, despite its known risks, because it was cheap. And while the brave men and women of our military sacrificed everything, the American corporations they trusted to help them by building military equipment and products did not fulfill their end of the bargain. The veterans sacrificed while the manufacturers and companies that used asbestos could not even sacrifice their own profit, even if it meant helping to protect the lives their products were meant to help.

Most wounds encountered during time in service are suffered immediately. However, there are wounds like exposure to asbestos where the damage may take decades to unfold. However, the longer away you are from your time spent in service has nothing to do with it – if you served and are suffering now from asbestos-related cancers like mesothelioma, you may have been exposed to asbestos in the military.

To do what we can, our mesothelioma lawyers are here to provide free and confidential consultations to all veterans and their loved ones. It will not begin to repay the huge debt our country owes to our veterans, but it is a step in the right direction … to make sure that the manufacturers and companies who knowingly put our service men and women’s lives at risk are held accountable. After all, while some sacrificed their lives for your country, these manufacturers couldn’t even sacrifice their profit for some safety.

And that’s a crying shame.

This Veterans Day we thank the men and women who served our country for all they have given us. You should have been better protected, too.

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