The USS Vermont (BB-20) was a Connecticut-class battleship laid down on May 21, 1904, and launched on August 31, the following year. It was commissioned on March 4, 1907, under Capt. William P. Potter’s command with the hull number BB-20 and served in the US Navy for 13 years until it was decommissioned on June 30, 1920. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 827 men on board and had its main missions in Hampton Roads, Sydney, Tongoy, Callao, the Philippines, Astoria, and San Diego. After the decommissioning, the ship was struck from the Navy Register on November 10, 1923, and subsequently sold for scrapping. When asbestos-containing materials are disturbed, microscopic fibers are sent into the air where they can be inhaled or ingested. Unlike most other particles, asbestos cannot be eliminated by coughing. Instead, its fibers become embedded in the lungs and linger there permanently. Navy veterans who developed asbestos-related conditions after exposure to asbestos in the military qualify for special financial benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, including disability compensation, special monthly compensation, and service-connected death benefits for surviving family members.