(U.S. Senate) – Earlier this week, Wounded Warrior Project named U.S. Senator Jon Tester, Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Legislator of the Year. The award recognized Tester for his legislative efforts to improve the lives of the wounded, ill, or injured veterans through the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act and Major Richard Star Act.
“I want to thank Wounded Warrior Project for honoring me with this award, and for being a critical supporter of veterans in Montana and across the country,” said Tester. “As Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, I’m proud to have worked together to get the PACT Act across the finish line for all eras of toxic-exposed veterans and their families. And we have to keep making good on the promises to our fighting men and women here at home by passing legislative priorities like the Major Richard Star Act that’ll make a real difference in the lives of those who’ve served and sacrificed.”
As the only member of the Montana delegation who sits on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Tester worked for years alongside Wounded Warrior Project and other Veterans Service Organizations to deliver comprehensive toxic exposure relief to the nation’s veterans. Named after Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson who died in 2020 from toxic exposure as a result of his military service, Tester’s PACT Act was comprehensive legislation to provide health care for Post-9/11 combat veterans, create a framework to establish future presumptive conditions for service connection related to toxic exposure, expand the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) list of service presumptions, and improve resources to support claims processing. Following sustained efforts from the Senator, President Biden signed the PACT Act into law on August 10th—authorizing VA to deliver generations of toxic-exposed veterans their earned health care and benefits for the first time in the nation’s history.
This Congress, Tester is also continuing his push to pass the Major Richard Star Act—bipartisan legislation that would provide full VA disability and Defense Department retirement payments to nearly 50,000 veterans who were forced to retire early due to combat-related injuries.