New Social Networking Effort Benefits Gulf War Veterans

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by Denise Nichols

 

VT has encouraged gulf war veterans to set up face book pages for their gulf war 90-91 Desert Storm by service branch/and specific units… gulfwar/desertstorm/specific unit.

We encourage the veterans to get fully engaged.  By setting up these unit pages it is hoped that they will again function as units.  Thus they should have a team named to be communications  to post importatnt findings from research and medical information that relates to gulf war illness.

To encourage these units to post information on research studies and how to become involved and help would be invaluable to disseminate.  An important step could be taken to identify unit members that have symptoms of gulf war illness and medical diagnoses by survey and compiling a unit status report.  Then the same can be done to compile information on how their unit members are progressing to apply for VA/SSI and to also compile that information.  It is important to get this information and to help each other as units would have if they were still active.

There also could be members delegated in teams to search down their missing members.  They could also have teams to coordinate reunions.  The needs of the family members need to also be addressed.  Are family members having health problems and if their has been miscarriages or birth defects that would be invaluable collection of data.

The members could also have a team trained as service officers to help individuals with their claims process.  The members could also delegate a person to track and communicate to their unit the need to address US representatives and Senators to consider changes and improvements needed in legislation for gulf war/desert storm veterans.  They could also head up the effort to help us gain support for funding Gulf War illness research to find biomarkers and treatment modalities. They could have a casualty team that remembers those that have died since the war from their unit and to document the facts of age of death and cause of death.

This is all important information that could be useful to your fellow unit members.  The information on gulf war illness and help available is critical to be disseminated in every way possible.  Emotional support for those that are ill is also not to be short changed and units can serve an important role to those that served together!

In summary, units that served can reconsitute by unit and function as a unit …for information sharing on gulf war illness within your own unit to include resources, research studies, help on claim status/support for those that also may be hurting in other ways financial/ and for family support. Facebook pages have also set up and will do more for specific diagnostic illnesses  Sarcodosis is an example.  We also have a Family support page that is being administrate by a counselor who is married to a vietnam vet and gulf war veterandoctor.  There is also organization facebook pages.  And other pages being developed re nondeployed ill, Navy veterans that may be also having problems more specific to being on ships off the coast, and  there are some pages re by ships.  There are also facebook pages all group together as veterans of that area, etc.

A new effort just starting is to try to form facebook pages for gulfwar/desert storm veterans by states they are living in currently.  This is needed to group by state so that we can get information from the gulf war 90-91 desert storm veterans using VA hospitals or civilian providers within the state and to share information specific to the state we now live in. The veterans can find out problems at the VAs or VSOs or regional offices etc by networking and to address those problems at a state level.  By doing this it is possible to find out if people want to meet as a group in the state they currently live.

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This is a way to network  and not necessarily to be VSO or organizations unless all agree to as they get to know each other.  I have set up a FB page for Colorado…see below.  There are a couple of others in other states that I will post those Facebook pages as a follow on comment and others can add their states if they choose to do this.

You can add your state gulfwar (90-91)/desert storm group here or at face book pages.  Let us at VT help you to make this happen and to get coverage of what you are doing in regards to unit you served in or state you currently reside.

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