By CHRIS MEGERIAN, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — First lady Jill Biden will host a Veterans Day breakfast at the White House as she announces new support for children who live with wounded service members and veterans.
The initiative, known as the Hidden Helpers Coalition, is designed to help young people who play a role as caregivers.
After the Friday breakfast, Biden will join Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband, Douglas Emhoff, at Arlington National Cemetery.
“Since our nation’s founding, our veterans have defended our democracy, protected our posterity, shouldered the weight of war on our behalf,” President Joe Biden said in a video message. “So many still carry the physical wounds and invisible scars of their service.”
The Democratic president released the video because he left Thursday night for Egypt, where he’s attending an annual United Nations conference on climate change. Afterward, he’ll continue on to Cambodia and Indonesia, before returning to Washington in time for his granddaughter’s wedding at the White House next weekend.
This is the first Veterans Day since Biden signed legislation expanding health care for service members who were exposed to burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan or to chemicals that were used in previous conflicts.
More than 137,000 claims involving toxic exposure have been filed, the Biden administration says. The Department of Veterans Affairs also began asking veterans about possible toxic exposure earlier this week in an attempt to identify any health complications.
The legislation, known as the PACT Act, was a priority for Biden, whose eldest son, Beau Biden, died of brain cancer after serving near a burn pit in Iraq.
Follow the AP’s coverage of issues related to veterans at https://apnews.com/hub/veterans.
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