Retired Lt. Col. Susan Lukas looked no further than her own personal experience in the Air Force Reserve when weighing the benefits of a new bill that could be approved by lawmakers later this year.
Now a legislative director for the Reserve Organization of America, she was on active duty at the Pentagon on Sept. 11. At the time, Lukas never considered the toxins that she was breathing in during the terrorist attack.
“As time went on, I started having a problem with my throat and started getting tests. What happened is I ultimately had lung damage from 9/11,” she said.
In the months following the attack, Lukas said she had problems with breathing and coughing, but wrote it off as part of flu season. It took several years and a worsening of her symptoms to put the two together. Had documentation of the exposure been in her medical records, Lukas believes diagnosis and proper treatment could have come more quickly.