Gulf War Veterans Week For Action

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by Denise Nichols

 

Last week USA Today article by Kelly Kennedy focused the nation on the need for action by US Senators to stand up for Gulf War Veterans(90-91) in regards to a tremendously important issue to fund Congressionally Directed Medical Research for Gulf War Illness Research Program.  This program that started with funding from the hill in 2005 initiated the most effective research program that the Gulf War Veterans that are ill needed.  The VA research has failed us and also is only to fund VA Researchers.  The program the DOD had from 1993 until 2001 did not do what was needed for Gulf War Veterans who are ill, instead it focused more on deployment medicine and also for funding heavily the Stress theory on Gulf War illness.

The VA Research Advisory Committee that was formed by a Law pushed through by the Gulf War Veterans has been instrumental in helping to review research and providing valuable guidance.  Their meetings began in 2002 and in 2004 they issued their report that showed that Gulf War Illness is not Stress.  In 2008 they published a report on the illnesses and the physical damage done by exposures to the GUlf War Veterans.

The Institute of Medicine National Academy of Science issued Volume 8 of its studies in 2009-10.  THe Chairman of that committee Dr Stephen Hauser has testified and been quoted that yes the Gulf War Veterans are ill and that it is a good direction to go to get answers but that funding at the level of 25 million a year is needed now.

The program at DOD CDMRP GWIRP is funded thru the Defense Appropriationns Bill that will soon come to the Senate floor.  The funding for CDMRP has been cut through the subcommittees and full committee Defense Apprpriations.  This is where the battle is right now to convince the Senators that they should not abandon and betray the Gulf War Veterans that served in 1990-91.

WE ask that all pick up the phones and call their 2 US SENATORS and talk to their Defense Staffer and tell them the GUlf War Veterans are not to be abandoned.  THis effort is owed to the gulf war veterans that were exposed to multiple hazardous agents.  This nation can not abandon it’s troops that were sent in 1990 during Operation Desert Storm.  This is their goal to get medical answers, the right diagnostics to be developed and used, the work on biomarkers to find the pathways of damage that can be addressed, and treatment trials to help give them effective treatment that will mean their quality of life.

One in four veterans from the gulf war are affected minimally.  That number is old and current data shows that number has continued to climb to over 1 in 3 at least have submitted claims from the Gulf War 1990-91.  If you have ever wondered where the gulf war veterans of 90-91 have gone they are sufferring quietly and dying.  Their days are spent bunkered in or at the VA trying to find help or fighting their claims.  These veterans are sufferring from neuro muscular problems, neurocognitive problems(similiar to early stage ALthemizer’s), and are chronically ill.  They need everyone of you putting pressure on the US Senators now before the Defense Appropriations bill comes to the floor of the Senate possible as early as next week.

 

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