Veterans with Mesothelioma

June 20, 2011 - 3 minutes read

Your loved one is a retired naval officer after 35 years of decorated service. You are proud of their accomplishments, but you are relieved to know that military life is in the past. Especially now since his health has begun to decline. The chronic coughing, chest pains, and trouble breathing occurs more frequently, and your concern is growing. Is it possible that your loved one developed a disease that you both are unaware of? For far too many of our veterans with mesothelioma, the answer is yes.

Who is at Risk?

Mesothelioma is an incurable cancer caused by asbestos fibers used in manufacturing construction materials. Heavy contact with the material over time clogs the lining of the lungs which then creates tumors. Military personnel were exposed to asbestos while using these materials to build, repair, and maintain the functionality of military craft and structures. Every moment they spent in the asbestos-ridden environment created an unknown danger. Asbestos was largely used in our armed forces beginning in the 1930’s, when military conflicts became frequent and prolonged. It wasn’t until 1970 that the negative effects of asbestos was evident and its use halted.

Veterans with mesothelioma come from all branches of the military. However, naval veterans carry the highest risk. Naval personnel who worked in shipyards had the most direct exposure to the toxic asbestos that was present there in high concentrations. Nearly 4.3 million veterans worked in these shipyards in World War II alone. You or a loved one may have developed mesothelioma working as a machinist, pipefitter, construction workers, and in the boiler or engine room, on the worksite or while living on the ship.

What Can You Do?

Veterans with mesothelioma are undoubtedly shocked and trying to understand this new implication from their service. Focusing on your health is your number one priority. Fortunately, the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) recognizes mesothelioma as a service-related disease and can provide medical care. However, medical expenses are still costly and can add up. Seeking legal action may be the best course of action to supply the financial support necessary for medical care. Although there is no cure for mesothelioma, victims should have the most comfortable life possible. Veterans with mesothelioma are not alone and have a network of support ready and waiting. Contact your local VA and ask about support networks that can provide you with insights on coping with mesothelioma.

Make sure you also contact a mesothelioma attorney with the specifics of your service and asbestos exposure. Allow them to make it their priority to defend your case in the court of law. The lawyers at Johnson Law Group respect the time our military men and women gave to defend this nation. Allow us to honor you by fighting for your right to enjoy the freedoms you pledged to protect.