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Mena Arkansas News covering Polk County and the surrounding area

Rhodes honored by DAV for persistence

By Ethan Nahté

Retired U.S. Marine Staff Sergeant Bill Rhodes of Mena, Arkansas, was awarded a plaque for his tireless work Thursday, Jan. 5 by the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Chapter 46.

Bill Rhodes accepting a plaque for his work in helping get legislation changed to assist veterans exposed to toxins

Rhodes worked for seven-plus years convincing legislators at the federal level that our veterans had suffered many valid service-recognized exposures in areas other than those the military already had recognized, namely Agent Orange, the burn pits, and several radiation exposures. The “PACT Act,” championed by U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), was signed into legislation by President Biden on August 10, 2022. (See Winning a toxic battle for vets-Pulse Aug. 17, 2022.)

The PACT is estimated to benefit an additional 200,000-300,000 veterans presumed to have been exposed to toxic chemicals or radiation during their service, providing the veterans and their survivors with the care and benefits they’ve earned and deserved.

Commander James Scott of the DAV Chapter 46 presented Rhodes with the plaque. The plaque speaks of Rhodes’ “…Bulldog persistence & dedication to our veterans to get the Pack Act passed into law… .” 

If you haven’t met Rhodes, you should. If you need someone who will stand with you and for you, you’ll appreciate that bulldog spirit.

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