WACO, TX — President Biden was in Fort Worth on Tuesday. On the agenda, potential new legislation expanding benefits for veterans — mainly for those who were exposed to toxins from burn piles during their service.
"We're following the science in every case but we are not going to force veterans to suffer in limbo," President Biden said.
The speech comes after years of sickness and disease have plagued veterans who have become exposed to burn pits. Burn pits are large holes in the ground, some as big as a football field.
Trash and sometimes jet fuel is dumped and burned. These pits were most common during wars that began in 2001 and affected as many as 2.5 million veterans.
The president highlighted the problems and said many veterans have been turned away from care because it was not covered.
"These are the kinds of steps that can make the different," Biden said. "Getting care for more patients."
Data shows more than 100 veterans a year die from exposure to pits.
Thousands of families have been left without a loved one.
"We also need to know who was exposed," Biden said.
Legislation has been passed in both the U.S. House and Senate expanding that care, but some parts of the bill don't match up.
Because a signature has not hit the dotted line, it'll have to be resolved. Some veterans in Central Texas are left asking for those who seem forgotten. One veteran like Bear Jones.
"This is a good thing but you forgot about one thing, y'all forgot about our World World 2 veterans and Korean veterans and Vietnam still alive," Jones said. "We've been passed over to help the young guys and they need it but we need it too. Look out for everybody."
President Biden assured that the steps taken now by the administration are going to benefit the veterans that came before.