Senate District 20
Tim Schaffer
Senate President Signs Schaffer Resolution for Atomic Veterans
June 17, 2021
Representative Adam Miller (left), Senate President Matt Huffman (center) and State Senator Tim Schaffer (right) at the signing of Senate Concurrent Resolution 1.

COLUMBUS—Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) yesterday signed Senate Concurrent Resolution 1, sponsored by State Senator Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster).

Brought to his attention by a constituent with the Pickerington American Legion, Senate Concurrent Resolution 1 urges Congress to enact the Mark Takai Atomic Veterans Healthcare Parity Act, which would allow “Atomic Veterans” access to the proper coverage of medical care and assistance related to their military service.

"Thank you President Huffman for your continued commitment to the well-being of our veterans," Schaffer said. “As Americans, it is our duty to ensure the men and women who risk their lives receive the care they need after they complete their service. Congress must act quickly to provide ‘Atomic Veterans’ a standard of care that is responsive to the unique dangers they endured."

During the late 1970s, thousands of personnel were sent to the Marshall Islands to clean up previously active nuclear test sites. Many of these men and women performed this clean-up without any protective gear. Today, these veterans have reports of cancer, birth defects in children, and other documented health effects from exposure to nuclear waste.

“I served with then Lt. Colonel Takai. His compassion and passion for our nation’s service members lives through ensuring these veterans get the care they have earned," said Representative Adam Miller (D-Columbus). "I am proud to stand with my Ohio colleagues and implore Congress to make things right and show our veterans that we stand with them like they stood for us.” 

"The VA has denied health benefits to cleanup veterans just like the vets who performed cleanup operations for Agent Orange during the Vietnam War," said David England, Commander of the Pickerington American Legion Post. "I know that Agent Orange coverage for those individuals has now been recognized. It is now time for Congress and the VA to do the right thing on treatment for the Atomic Veteran and those that did the dirty harmful cleanups with little or no protection."

Senate Concurrent Resolution 1 will now be formally sent in a letter to the U.S. Congress.
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