In the heat of their military service, soldiers may not spend all that much time thinking about the purity of the air that they’re breathing. When they finish serving and move on with their lives, though, that air could become quite important. If it was contaminated in some way, they could experience long-term respiratory issues.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs notes that some of these issues could be due to environmental exposure, while others could arise from infectious agents.
For instance, infectious agents could lead to things like lung cancer, tuberculosis and pneumonia. All of these can have a drastic impact on a person’s life and prove fatal. This is especially true if the person does not get the type of care that they need or does not get it in time.
War theaters also may expose soldiers to serious environmental hazards as a result of combat. One of the most common examples is the infamous Agent Orange. This can increase the potential risk for respiratory problems among veteran populations that operated near these chemicals. They may feel fine when they first come back to the United States, but the symptoms may just be delayed. It could be that the damage has already been done.
Even when these issues are not fatal, they can lead to disabilities. Someone may need extensive medical care, they may lose their enjoyment in life, they may always feel miserable and they may never work again. It’s a serious change as a result of their occupation of choice and they must know what options they have.