Sen. Casey highlights work for veterans on burn pits in first campaign ad

US Sen Bob Casey attending a campaign event at AFSCME Council 13 union hall on March 14, 2024. (Photo: Sean Kitchen)

By Sean Kitchen

March 28, 2024

US Sen. Bob Casey highlights veterans and his work in getting the PACT Act, which expands VA health benefits to those exposed to toxic burn pits

Veterans suffering from life-threatening illnesses and complications from toxic burn pits in the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars are featured in US Sen. Bob Casey’s debut television ad for his reelection.

Casey is running for his fourth term in the US Senate against Dave McCormick, the Republican candidate and former Connecticut-based hedge fund manager. The incumbent senator used his first ad to highlight the PACT Act, which expanded Veterans Administration benefits for those exposed to burn pits.

“I began regular interaction with Senator Casey’s office in 2019 regarding burn pits and toxic exposure, and his support was integral in getting the PACT Act passed,” Chad Baer, a US Army veteran, said during a press conference on Thursday.

“[Casey] not only showed unwavering support and leadership in getting the bill passed, but also successfully fought to include provisions to improve recruitment and retention of healthcare workers at rural VA facilities.”

Baer was featured in the 30 second ad and he shared the experiences him and his fellow service members had to endure. Unfortunately, many veterans died from those burn pits.

“On the frontlines of the fight against terrorism, the stench never left. The haze in the air, you could smell it and taste it. Toxic exposure. Some vets died and I still have trouble breathing,” Baer said.

Since being signed into law in August 2022, over 12,000 Pennsylvania veterans have benefitted from the expanded benefits and over 100,000 more are eligible.

“We can do our best to make sure that when there’s a problem that confronts a veteran or veterans more broadly that we take action. We try to solve that problem and bring the kind of care and treatment of our veterans that they have earned,” Casey told reporters on Thursday.

“The VA has reported that as of now, over 700,000 veterans have received help since the act passed. That translates into thousands across our state.”


  • Sean Kitchen

    Sean Kitchen is the Keystone’s political correspondent, based in Harrisburg. Sean is originally from Philadelphia and spent five years working as a writer and researcher for Pennsylvania Spotlight.



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