The American Dream Cut Short
Carlos grew up in rural Georgia where he shared a one bedroom apartment with five other people. With the desire to serve his country, he turned down academic scholarships to the University of Georgia and Wofford College to enter the Navy. On his first night in Vietnam, transit barracks bombing left shrapnel in his leg and arm, earning him a Purple Heart. But Carlos declined the recognition, telling his commander others had been injured worse so he didn’t think it right for him to receive one.
Upon returning home from the Navy, Carlos married his sweetheart and worked his way through college. Eventually, he became the CEO of a community health center serving the poor and uninsured.
At 61, Carlos was diagnosed with mesothelioma. Throughout his life he had multiple exposures to asbestos: the asbestos on his father’s work clothes, the decommissioned Navy ship he worked on, the joint compound from building his house, and his car brakes. Within a year of being diagnosed, Carlos passed away.
Carlos fought for his country, and then had to come home and fight Big Asbestos. Corporate interests are pushing the FACT Act (H.R. 526 / S. 357) to prevent others like Carlos from having access to justice.