, WY — Women Veterans Program staff with the Sheridan Veterans Affairs Health Care System encourage Veterans who served near burn pits to pursue mammography screenings.
The Dr. Kate Hendricks Thomas Supporting Expanded Review for Veterans In Combat Environments (SERVICE) Act, signed into law on June 7, 2022, expands toxic-exposure eligibility for Veterans who served overseas.
The bill was named after Dr. Kate Hendricks Thomas, a Marine Corps veteran and tireless veterans’ advocate, who passed away from breast cancer on April 5, 2022 at the age of 42. Dr. Thomas was a staunch advocate for helping her fellow veterans, many of whom, like her, were exposed to burn pits during their military service.
The SERVICE Act expands eligibility for clinically appropriate mammography screening to Veterans, of any age, who served in the following locations (does not include bodies of water around or air space above):
- August 2, 1990 – February 28, 1991
- March 19, 2003 – until burn pits are no longer used
Southwest Asia theater of operations including Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Qatar
- August 2, 1990 – until burn pits are no longer used
Afghanistan, Djibouti, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, and Yemen
- September 11, 2001 – until burn pits are no longer used
Such other locations and corresponding periods as set forth by the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry (AHOBPR) and such other locations and corresponding periods as VA, in collaboration with the Department of Defense, may determine appropriate.
The Act specifies that the listed locations do not include bodies of water around or airspace above such locations. The SERVICE Act does not change health care enrollment or claims and benefits application requirements.