Ronald Roy, Vietnam Vet from Shrewsbury Helped by Democrats’ PACT Act Will Join Congressman Jim McGovern at State of the Union Address

U.S. Congressman James P. McGovern (MA-02) will be joined at President Biden’s March 7th State of the Union address by Shrewsbury resident and Vietnam War Veteran Ronald Roy.

Mr. Roy is a U.S. Air Force Veteran who served from 1969 to 1973 as an aircraft maintenance specialist. During the final years of his service, while in Thailand as a C-130 aircraft mechanic, Mr. Roy was exposed to Agent Orange—a chemical herbicide used by the military at the time which can cause cancer and other illnesses. After his service, Mr. Roy was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes and went on to develop Glaucoma and other health issues as a result of his exposure. When he initially applied for benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) he was not eligible to receive cost-free treatment for these conditions through the VA healthcare system.

After Congressional Democrats passed and President Biden signed the PACT Act in August 2022, millions of veterans, including Mr. Roy, began receiving life-changing benefits and improved healthcare thanks to the PACT Act’s expanded eligibility guidelines for disability as a result of exposure to toxic substances and burn pits.

Veterans who served during the Vietnam, Gulf War, or Post-9/11 eras may now be eligible for expanded VA benefits and services due to toxic exposures, and can learn more and file a claim for PACT Act-related benefits here:

About the PACT Act:

  • The PACT Act adds new presumptive conditions for radiation, Agent Orange, Gulf War toxins, and burn pit exposures; meaning VA now considers these illnesses to be service-connected.
  • Eligibility to file claims related to the PACT Act expansion of benefits, and relief associated with being granted those benefits, went into effect immediately upon President Biden's signing it into law and does not expire.
  • The new classification of 23 conditions as presumptive will decrease the paperwork and processing associated with these claims and will hasten the granting of relief. 
  • Since President Biden signed the PACT Act into law, VA has delivered more than $2.46 billion in PACT Act benefits to veterans. Additionally, 1,103,860 total PACT Act-related claims have been submitted, more than 4.6 million veterans have received new toxic exposure screenings, and more than 426,000 new veterans have enrolled in VA health care.