20 years ago this week, the world changed for hundreds of thousands of veterans of Operation Desert Storm. 20 years later the veterans are simply asking that the ground truth and the scientific studies continue to emerge and that studies to find treatment for them are identified and placed as a National priority and given the attention it deserves.
These veterans waged a war and did as they were ordered. How many have died since the war is still being debated. It would be a simple task to run their social security numbers and find the actual number and names of how many and who has died. Many of these veterans are trying to find those they served with for many reasons. Our government could help them reconnect. Our government could recognize these veterans sacrifices.
Our government could focus as never before to find all the physiological answers now of the effects of their service. Our government could harness the attention and power of the medical research world and find the biomarkers, diagnostic tests, and treatment that would improve their quality of life. The government could institute change to the VA benefit process to get each and every gulf war veteran and their survivors claims completely processed without any further delay.
All it takes is leadership, clear orders, committment, dedication, transparency, communication, funding, and a plan of action.
It just takes the decision to do the right thing and make this all happen in record time and not to have this struggle and agony continue for this group of veterans. The battle has been raged for 20 years and has affected their lives. The band of gulf war veterans advocates that stood firm to wage this battle for 20 years for truth and to help their fellow veterans need to all be honored and if they want to serve to help solve the problems then the government should welcome them with open arms. There is still alot of work to get done to have their fellow veterans taken care of properly now.
The time to honor them and remember them has been here for 20 years. The way to honor them is to finally show our soldiers and veterans that no matter if the wound is highly visible or invisible due to toxins enountered that they will not have to fight their own government! If an error is made, a tactical decision goes wrong in the long term, a cover up, a obscuring of the facts or science, a long delay are simply not acceptable or honorable.
We have the history of WW1 Mustard Veterans, the Atomic Veterans, the Agent Orange Veterans, the gulf war illness, the burn pits of OIF/OEF and yet at the same time we see the marvelous work done on amputations and recovery of those with severe life threatening injuries. Why does this dichotomy occur? The veterans damaged by toxins are just as damaged and they suffer for years longer unable to return to a better quality of life. The government abandoned them (Desert) and have done them a terrible disservice. How can they experience the honor they so richly deserve if when they identified themselves as we teach as having some health problem that needs identification and treatment so they can return to duty that they are told you are whinners, wimps, it is all in your head, and then forced to form up and battle to get the truth and help.
Just recently yet another scientific peer reviewed study has been published. It is discussed below and supports the work of Dr Robert Haley and Dr Roberta White.
The gulf war veterans still are upset that Dr Haley’s work has been impeded for whatever reason and they identified that they are still the ultimate losers if this is not rectified by government officials. They simply ask for the problem interrupting the progress that Dr Haley has made to be solved.
The researcher and his team need to still be doing their work and we need that team as part of the solution. Stopping this project at UTSW Medical school is like cancelling a leading edge new weapon system or stopping the improvements to the Humvee to provide troop protection
Sarin Harmed Soldiers´ Brain Structure and Function
Lourdes Salvador August 01, 2010
In 1996, the Department of Defense announced that more than 100,000 United States troops who fought in the Gulf War had potentially been exposed to sarin and cyclosarin gasses during the demolition of Iraqi munitions caches at Khamisiyah, Iraq, in March of 1991.
Sarin and cyclosarin are potentially lethal organophosphate chemical agents which interfere with the transmission of nerve impulses.
One in four of these troops returned home with a mysterious ailment that has come to be known as Gulf War illness. Studies consistently show that Gulf War illness is not the result of post traumatic stress as initially believed. In fact, Gulf War veterans have lower rates of posttraumatic stress than those of other wars.
Gulf War illness is a multi-system illness that affects at least one fourth of the 697,000 U.S. veterans who served in the Gulf War. These veterans experience persistent memory loss, concentration problems, headaches, widespread pain, gastrointestinal problems, and many other chronic abnormalities not explained by other diagnoses.
Even after nearly 20 years, these veterans still experience worsening health.
Research now shows that the sarin and cyclosarin agents these soldiers were exposed to can have harmful effects on brain structure and brain function as much as a decade into the future.
Recent studies have shown reduced cognitive function and atrophied white matter in the brain that increases with a veteran´s estimated sarin and cyclosarin exposure.
A new study confirms that exposed soldiers have reduced grey matter and a smaller hippocampus volume when they are compared to their unexposed peers.
The hippocampus regulates emotion and memory. It is also part of the olfactory system responsible for the sense of smell. Grey matter contains the nerve cells in the brain.
These findings suggest an explanation for the symptoms of Gulf War Illness.
Chao LL, Rothlind JC, Cardenas VA, Meyerhoff DJ, Weiner MW. Effects of low-level exposure to sarin and cyclosarin during the 1991 Gulf War on brain function and brain structure in US veterans. Neurotoxicology. 2010 May 21. [Epub ahead of print]
This article originally appeared in the MCS America News, August 2010 Issue http://mcs-america.org/August2010.pdf. For more articles on this topic, see: MCSA News.
Copyrighted 2010 Lourdes Salvador & MCS America
The time is indeed now to change forever the behavior of our government response to those injuried by toxins. Let us start with our military and veterans. The discoveries that can happen would be like the discovery of Penicillin that does not limit itself to just the military but the whole of society!