Veterans Day

First known as Armistice Day, the history of Veterans Day comes from the end of fighting during World War I on November 11, 1918 when an armistice between the Allied Nations and Germany went into effect and ended the most destructive and widespread war to that date. The war officially ended seven months later when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919.

Now known as Veterans Day to honor American veterans of all wars, Veterans Day should be a day not only to honor and remember all those who have served, but act as a reminder to continue to help our veterans who have made such a sacrifice for our country all year. Many times, the war is not over when a veteran returns home. War and service can have long lasting effects on these men and women. In new environments, exposure to foreign substances, like asbestos, can be common. Later in life, these exposures can have severe health repercussions, like a mesothelioma diagnosis. Below, read 5 reasons why all veterans should know about asbestos exposure.

1. In the Navy
The most common cases of asbestos exposure out of all the military branches occurred from service in the Navy. Asbestos was extremely prevalent in ships and shipyards, which led to a higher rate of developing mesothelioma than individuals with no military or navy service history.

2. Army Bases
Army bases are full of buildings that were built with asbestos products, including sleeping barracks, mess halls, ammunition storage facilities and training facilities to name a few.

3. Airmen
Veteran Airmen that serviced planes are at risk of contracting diseases such as pleural mesothelioma due to their interaction with aircraft braking systems and as a result of asbestos being used as an insulator for engines.

4. War in Iraq
Iraq has no ban on asbestos use and, as of 2003, they were still importing asbestos for manufacturing and construction use. Therefore the risk of asbestos exposure has been renewed among our country's more recent veterans.

5. Compensation for Veterans
Veterans are entitled to disability compensation due to mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases if the person exposed can prove it happened during their military service.

Still unsure if you were put at risk of exposure to asbestos? Read on—

Veteran Exposure Checklist:

  • Were you ever in an environment where you were at risk for asbestos exposure? You can check here and choose the type of ship you served on to then see if your ship is listed.
  • Symptoms of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases may not present themselves for anywhere from 10 to 40 years after exposure. If you have confirmed that you were exposed, do not hesitate to visit your doctor.
  • Also, if you think you were exposed, take some precautions such as quitting smoking-- according to the ATSDR, the combination of smoking and asbestos exposure greatly increases the risk of lung cancer. Be sure to get flu and pneumonia shots to reduce your risk of lung infections as well.
  • Again, you and your family may be entitled to compensation for your suffering. If you are infected from your service in the military or other line of work, a lawyer may be able to help.

Veteran Asbestos Exposure Resources:

Asbestos Exposure Resources: