U.S. Navy Birthday 2021 & Veterans With Mesothelioma

3 Min Read

Text that reads "U.S. Navy Birthday October 13"

The U.S. Navy's birthday is a national holiday held on October 13th to celebrate the establishment of the Navy. Navy veterans have higher rates of mesothelioma than any other military branch. This year, learn how you can support veterans affected by service-related health problems like mesothelioma.

When Is the U.S. Navy's Birthday?

The U.S. Navy will celebrate its 246th birthday on October 13th, 2021.

Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt authorized the first observance of the U.S. Navy's birthday as a holiday in 1972. It has been celebrated across the country ever since and has become an important way to honor Navy veterans and those currently serving.

As part of the Navy's birthday this year, take time to honor veterans with mesothelioma, a deadly cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Navy veterans have a very high risk of mesothelioma since ships, shipyards, and bases were all built with asbestos for decades.

Navy Veterans and Asbestos Exposure Risks

Between the 1930s and early 1980s, asbestos was frequently used by the U.S. Navy as an insulation and fireproofing material. Asbestos-based products were strong, relatively cheap, and thought to be safe. However, manufacturers of asbestos products hid the fact that exposure to this material could kill.

Aboard Navy ships, asbestos-based products were used in:

  • Boiler rooms
  • Engine rooms
  • Galleys
  • Navigation rooms
  • Turrets
Did you know?

Navy veterans who worked as boiler tenders or fire control technicians are at higher risk of mesothelioma as they consistently worked around asbestos. Navy shipyards were also dangerous since sailors had to install and remove asbestos-based products on a regular basis.

Once the truth about asbestos became public knowledge, the U.S. Navy stopped using asbestos-based products and took steps to remove the substance. Further, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) started to offer benefits for veterans who developed mesothelioma after serving.

How You Can Celebrate the Navy's Birthday

Veterans diagnosed with mesothelioma deserve to be honored as part of Navy birthday celebrations. These are veterans that sacrificed for their country and are now fighting for their lives.

There are several ways that you can celebrate Navy veterans with mesothelioma on the U.S. Navy's birthday this year.

Here is how you can celebrate:

  • Social Media Posts

    Celebrating the U.S. Navy's birthday can be as easy as posting a photo of your loved one in their uniform on October 13th. You never know how far a post can go, so make sure you use hashtags such as #NavyBirthday to reach others celebrating online as well.

  • Donating

    You may want to donate to a mesothelioma research group directly. These organizations are helping to push medical advancements in the field with the goal of curing mesothelioma.

  • Thanking a Veteran

    Simply thanking a veteran for their service can be a way of celebrating the U.S. Navy’s birthday. Make sure you let the veteran in your life know that you appreciate their service and their sacrifice.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many families are choosing to celebrate online to keep everyone safe. All of the activities listed above can be done digitally.

Navy Veterans With Mesothelioma Deserve to Be Honored

We can honor Navy veterans, and especially those with mesothelioma, by celebrating the Navy's 246th birthday and learning about what resources veterans can access.

Veterans with mesothelioma may be eligible for:

  • Monthly stipends and free health care through the VA
  • Financial compensation through a legal claim
  • Payouts from asbestos trust funds

Get a free veterans packet to learn more about these resources. Our team can provide you with the facts on asbestos exposure and see if a veteran with mesothelioma may be eligible for financial compensation.

On behalf of our Patient Advocates and editors, we thank all Navy veterans for their military service.

Veterans Support Team
Christopher Dryfoos PhotoWritten by:

Contributing Author

Christopher Dryfoos is a journalist and member of the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA). As the grandson of the U.S. Navy’s first forensic pathologist, he aims to help veterans with mesothelioma access needed care.

  1. Naval History and Heritage Command. (2020). Navy Birthday. Retrieved October 13, 2020, from https://www.history.navy.mil/browse-by-topic/commemorations-toolkits/navy-birthday.html/