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Washington, DC [November 11, 2008]--On Veteran’s Day this November 11, all of us at Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) salute those who have so nobly served our country. We hold our veterans in the highest esteem and on this Veterans Day we renew our commitment of service to them.
LCA’s mission to reverse the decades of stigma and neglect that have allowed lung cancer devastating impact to continue unabated and to take more lives each year than all the other major cancers - combined. Our military men and women are at even higher risk for lung cancer than the civilian population due to exposure to carcinogens and we have made it our top priority to change this inequity.
For the third year in a row, LCA has proudly worked with Veterans Service Organizations (VSO) such as Veterans of Foreign Wars, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Disabled Veterans of America, AMVETS, Vietnam Veterans of America, and Military Officers Association of America, to make lung cancer research and early detection a public health priority. Language laying out the devastating toll lung cancer is taking on veterans and the need for a research and screening program within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has been included in the VSO’s Independent Budget presented each year to Congress.
This year, for the first time ever, Congress formally established a new million lung cancer research within the Department of Defense and put $20 million in the pipeline to start it off as quickly as possible, with specific instructions that priority must be given to early detection and more effective treatment for those at high risk in the military.
These steps forward encourage us to aim even higher during the coming year as a new administration will hopefully bring a new commitment and sense of urgency to lung cancer early detection and research policy, especially for our veterans.
They deserve our deepest gratitude for their extraordinary sacrifice and unyielding protection of our freedoms