Memorial Day, held on the last Monday in May each year, is an important holiday for celebrating and honoring those who have passed away during military service.
While numerous veterans lost their lives while serving, some gave their lives decades later due to service-related diseases such as mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that can develop years after exposure to asbestos. Veterans are at a higher risk of developing mesothelioma as the U.S. military used asbestos heavily until the early 1980s. Today, about 33% of all mesothelioma patients are U.S. veterans.
Those who died while in the line of duty — or who developed a deadly illness like mesothelioma from their military service — deserve to be honored this Memorial Day.
Learn more about how you can honor fallen veterans and help those fighting service-related diseases.
Further, if you or a loved one developed mesothelioma after military service, you may be eligible for military benefits and financial aid. Contact us today to see how we can help.
Ways to Honor Veterans on Memorial Day
We all can get involved to honor veterans in various ways, including:
- Donate to organizations that help veterans with mesothelioma: The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation funds research to find a cure and helps patients and their families find top doctors. Other organizations like the American Legion or Veterans of Foreign Wars help veterans with mesothelioma access military benefits and financial aid for treatment.
- Host a party to remember the veterans in your lives: A party is a great way to share memories of a veteran that you love while also hearing stories of those in your community who have been impacted by the sacrifices of veterans.
- Visit veteran cemeteries and memorials: You and your family may want to make plans to visit a veteran's resting place. In particular, visiting memorial sites can be a great way to involve children in honoring veterans. By talking about and remembering the sacrifices veterans made, young people can develop a greater respect for veterans.
Resources for Veterans With Mesothelioma and Their Families
Mesothelioma can be emotionally and financially devastating for veterans and their families. Thankfully, there are resources available for those continuing to fight health battles after their military service.
Veterans with mesothelioma may be entitled to benefits and health care from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). In addition to VA resources, veterans with mesothelioma may also be able to pursue mesothelioma compensation through lawsuits or asbestos trust fund claims.
Learn about how these resources can help veterans with mesothelioma and their families.
VA Benefits for Veterans with Mesothelioma
Monthly financial VA benefits can provide peace of mind to a veteran and their family, especially if they are facing a mesothelioma diagnosis.
Some of these benefits include:
- Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC): Spouses or dependent children of veterans who passed from mesothelioma may be eligible for monthly payments with this benefit.
- Disability Compensation: Because mesothelioma is aggressive and the symptoms can be severe, the VA often gives veterans with mesothelioma a 100% disability rating, making them eligible for the highest rates of monthly disability payments. This usually amounts to $3,823.89 or more per month as of 2023.
- Funeral Benefits: Family members of veterans who have passed from mesothelioma can apply for help to cover funeral and burial expenses.
- Pensions: Some veterans with mesothelioma or their surviving family members may be eligible for monthly pensions.
Veterans with mesothelioma can also access life-extending treatment through the VA health care system to help them continue their fight.
VA Health Care for Mesothelioma Veterans Treatment
The VA health care system helps veterans with mesothelioma to get treatment from some of the best mesothelioma specialists and surgeons in the country at little to no cost.
One of the most notable mesothelioma doctors working with the VA is Dr. Robert B. Cameron.
Dr. Cameron specializes in pleural mesothelioma at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center. He developed the pleurectomy with decortication surgery, one of the leading treatments for pleural mesothelioma.
If veterans live further away from VA medical centers, other financial assistance options are available to help cover treatment.
Other Mesothelioma Compensation Resources
Asbestos product manufacturers knew of the potential health risks of the material but continued to distribute and profit off their products.
For this reason, veterans with mesothelioma and their families can retrieve compensation from these manufacturers with legal help.
Additional compensation options for veterans with mesothelioma include:
- Asbestos trust fund claims: More than $30 billion is available in these trusts, which were set up by bankrupt asbestos companies.
- Mesothelioma lawsuits: It’s possible to file private claims with manufacturers that didn’t establish asbestos trust funds. The average mesothelioma legal claim awards $1 million or more.
It's important to note that veterans and their families who seek legal compensation are not suing the U.S. military or the government. Instead, the claims are filed against asbestos product manufacturers. As a result, legal compensation can supplement VA benefits and VA health care resources.
A trusted and VA-accredited mesothelioma lawyer can not only help you file asbestos trust fund claims and build your mesothelioma lawsuit but also help you file for VA benefits and health care.
Remembering Mesothelioma Veterans on Memorial Day
It’s important to honor the sacrifices of our military members on Memorial Day — whether they died in the line of duty or from a service-related disease like mesothelioma.
Make this Memorial Day special and show your appreciation for veterans that passed away in service to our great nation.
All of us at the Mesothelioma Veterans Center will continue to honor the veterans we have lost to mesothelioma. Veterans and their families who are still fighting mesothelioma can get help finding doctors, treatment, and financial assistance resources with our Free Mesothelioma Veterans Packet.
The Mesothelioma Veterans Center has no affiliation with and is not endorsed or sponsored by any of the doctors listed above. The contact information above is listed for informational purposes only. You have the right to contact these doctors directly.