In August 2022, the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our PACT Act was signed into law thanks to the groundbreaking advocacy efforts of DAV. Among its many impactful provisions, the PACT Act will reduce bureaucratic obstacles for an estimated 3.5 million veterans who seek VA benefits due to burn pit exposures during the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and other hostile locations.
While serving in Iraq in 2006, DAV Chief Communications and Outreach Officer Dan Clare saw a Department of Defense memo detailing the dangers of toxic burn pits on those serving at his base. Though the consequences for leaking a sensitive internal government document could be severe, Dan couldn’t stay silent, knowing the continued health ramifications it would have on his fellow service members.
In April 2023, Dan was invited to speak about the origins of the PACT Act at The War Horse Symposium in Chicago, where he outlined his personal service history, the decision to leak the burn pit memo to the press, and DAV’s efforts in obtaining justice for those suffering from military toxic exposures.