Blog

« Back to Blog List
blog image

November 10, 2014

On Veterans Day, honor and protect those who protected us

by: John E. Herrick

It is right and proper that on Veterans Day we honor those who selflessly served our country, who bravely protected our freedoms, and who fearlessly confronted our enemies. On this day and throughout the year, we offer thanks to all veterans for all you have done and continue to do for your flag, your country and your fellow citizens.

The Motley Rice office in Mount Pleasant, S.C., is situated just off Patriots Point Boulevard, and we have a nice view of the Naval Museum located there. That view is dominated by the USS Yorktown, a WWII vintage aircraft carrier nicknamed “The Fighting Lady,” whose crewmen served with distinction and valor in several conflicts.

In addition to the obvious physical enemies that they were fighting to keep us and others free, those courageous men and women of our armed services often faced an enemy that they were completely unaware of and had no protection against: asbestos. Unfortunately, the casualties caused by this unsuspected adversary continue to mount.

From the 1930s into the 1970s, asbestos-containing thermal insulation was used extensively in shipbuilding. Our own USS Yorktown has miles of piping, formerly covered in asbestos, running through all areas of the ship. It is well-recognized that service in the U.S. Navy or Merchant Marines is a risk factor for developing mesothelioma, an incurable cancer solely caused by exposure to asbestos fibers.

Asbestos lies dormant in the body for decades after initial exposure, rearing its ugly head 20, 30, even 50 years or more after exposure. Once a person is exposed to asbestos, there is no way to remove it from the lungs. And one’s risk of developing an asbestos-related disease increases over time.

Free lung cancer screenings during Veterans Day Week

While mesothelioma has no known cure, early detection can aid in getting treatment that may help to prolong life and enhance the ability to cope with the side effects from the disease.

As part of its efforts to raise awareness of lung cancer and to educate veterans on their risks for lung cancer, the Lung Cancer Alliance has partnered with Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), American Veterans (AMVETS) and Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) to offer free lung cancer screenings to veterans during the week of Veterans Day, Nov. 10 to 14, 2014. Click here for a list of participating medical centers or inquire at your local VA hospital.

As we commemorate another Veterans Day, a day that our co-founder Ron Motley always made sure all of us at Motley Rice remembered and commemorated, we can do our part to protect those who protected us – through fighting for their health and rights.