Obama signs Camp Lejeune act

Aug. 6, 2012 at 3:55 PM   |   Comments

| License Photo
WASHINGTON, Aug. 6 (UPI) -- President Obama signed into law Monday legislation designed to improve healthcare for veterans and help homeless veterans.

The bipartisan "Honoring America's Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012" allows the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide VA healthcare to veterans and their families who have been diagnosed with a disease related to the toxic water contamination that occurred at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune from 1957 to 1987.

The act also strengthens VA programs designed to serve veterans who are homeless or at high risk for homelessness, the White House said. The act renews the VA's authority to work with community organizations and make use of previously underused VA properties to provide assistance to homeless veterans.

It also bans protests within 300 feet of military funerals 2 hours before or after funeral services. The Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., notoriously protests at military funerals because the military tolerates gay service members.

"We have a moral, sacred duty to our men and women in uniform," Obama said before signing the bill. The president highlighted the sacredness of military funerals, noting, "The graves of our veterans are hallowed grounds."

Topics: Barack Obama
© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]

2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
Source: Ferguson cop beaten before shooting
Boko Haram overruns Nigerian police academy
Robert Hansen, notorious Alaska serial killer, dead at 75
Brady Morton's body discovered three days after Port Huron Float Down
Federal judge strikes down Florida gay marriage ban
Trending News