May 30th marks the 52nd official Memorial Day since Congress designated the last Monday of May a national observance in 1971. Culturally, Memorial Day is woven into the fabric of U.S. history, with memorialization and decoration services dating as far back as 1868, during the American Civil War.
The importance of Memorial Day cannot be overlooked. Yes, it’s a time for parades, backyard barbecues and a long weekend often spent with loved ones. But it’s also an especially important day for Americans to reflect on the significant sacrifices millions of soldiers have made to uphold freedom and liberty as essential parts of what it means to be an American.
Since the dawn of the Revolutionary War, more than 1.2 million American soldiers of all different backgrounds and walks of life have given their lives in service to our country and its ideals. This Memorial Day, we pause to honor and remember these brave men and women in uniform, support their families and loved ones, and vow to pay their sacrifices forward.
Protecting and Serving Fallen Soldiers and Veterans Is Our Duty
It takes a truly special and selfless individual to join the military and put their life on the line to protect their fellow citizens. In the course of U.S. history, millions of brave Americans have answered this call.
It’s important to not only remember the sacrifices made by these individual soldiers, but to step up and support soldiers when they leave active duty and return to civilian life. Each year, around 200,000 American soldiers retire from service and become veterans.
Perhaps it’s no surprise to learn that these veterans face an often overwhelming amount of difficulties upon leaving the military.
According to the U.S. Dept of Veterans Affairs (VA), around 33% of veterans suffer from ongoing mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, often caused by or in addition to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). VA data also shows 53% of veterans experience chronic physical health issues stemming from their time in the military.
Such physical service-related health conditions can include:
- Brain and head trauma from injuries sustained during military service
- Diseases caused by exposure to toxic substances such as arsenic and asbestos
- Tinnitus and hearing loss due to exposure to loud explosions/noises
- Wounds caused by shrapnel or gunshots
In fact, each year, the VA Central Cancer Registry records around 50,000 new cases of cancer among U.S. veterans. Compared to the general U.S. population, veterans are between 20-40% more likely to be diagnosed with cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
The deadly cancer known as mesothelioma is one such example of how incurable diseases disproportionately impact veterans. A rare cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, roughly 33% of all mesothelioma cases belong to U.S. veterans. Given the high volume of asbestos once used in the construction of Navy ships, U.S. Navy veterans are at particularly high risk of developing mesothelioma.
Sokolove Law Is Committed to Supporting Veterans
On special occasions like Memorial Day, it’s important for all U.S. citizens to take time to reflect on the freedoms we hold dear. For the vast majority of Americans who are not soldiers or veterans, simply expressing gratitude for the sacrifices soldiers make when they sign up for duty is one small gesture that can have a major impact.
For more than 40 years, Sokolove Law has proudly supported veterans in getting the help they need after being diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease such as mesothelioma.
The team at Sokolove Law has VA-accredited mesothelioma attorneys who can help eligible veterans pursue compensation through every avenue available to them, from VA benefits to asbestos trust funds and mesothelioma lawsuits. Over our 4 decades of practice, we’ve secured over $4.9 Billion for our mesothelioma clients.
If you are a veteran who has mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease you believe to be a result of your service in the U.S. Armed Forces, we strongly encourage you to reach out to us today.
We want to listen to your story, and we want to help — get started today with a free case review.