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Study Shows Gulf War Illness Is Real

A report released yesterday says Gulf War syndrome is a legitimate illness suffered by more than 175,000 veterans who were exposed to chemical toxins in the 1991 Gulf War.

The report, which was mandated by Congress, aims to help veterans who have battled the government for treatment of unexplained illnesses — from brain cancer to multiple sclerosis. Earlier studies suggested it was not a distinct illness from the so-called shell shock experienced after combat.

Gulf War illness affects at least one-fourth of the 700,000 US troops who served in the 1991 effort to drive Iraq out of Kuwait, or between 175,000 and 210,000 veterans in all, according to the study.

Symptoms of Gulf War illness include headaches, widespread pain, cognitive difficulties, unexplained fatigue, skin rashes, chronic diarrhea and digestive and respiratory problems. Do you think putting a name on the illness will help veterans gain better medical attention and support?


Join The Conversation
stephley stephley 8 years
Vets have been jacked around for years over this, hearing suggestions they were just looking for attention, money... some vets have gone into serious debt taking care of themselves because the government wouldn't. This is an area where we should be willing to spend as much tax money as needed. How the hell would you have private industry handle this? Would insurance companies pay to investigate connections among the range of illnesses presented? Would you want drug companies using the vets as guinea pigs in order to qualify for treatment? What about the possibility that some of the chemicals the soldiers were exposed to caused genetic issues? What private company is going to rush to help with that?
lickety-split lickety-split 8 years
only if there is a definitive test that will either confirm or deny the illness. otherwise it will just be some people saying "maybe you are sick" and the rest saying "well, who knows". such an insult to those who suffer from it. the medical community does not, as a whole, treat patients as a resource. very frustrating.
MartiniLush MartiniLush 8 years
Jessiebanana, you said it girl!
bellaressa bellaressa 8 years
ohh my Harm, I didn't know that.
zeze zeze 8 years
**torturing (I have no idea what "turtoring" is)
zeze zeze 8 years
If they needed proof they could have just looked to the Iraqi people...I think the majority of them will have similar, if not worse, symptoms. Saddam had a relative appointed just for the purpose of turtoring civillians with chemicals - he was even nicknamed "Chemical Ali" - I can't believe this was even a question!
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
We'll see.
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 8 years
YUP. And if you haven't used veteran services for a certain amount of years...there's this new window...if you miss it you get dropped for good. My dad (Vietnam vet) and myself (navy vet) found that out the hard way.
Jillness Jillness 8 years
I agree with Jessie, it is so vile that we take the people who risk the most for us, and then don't even take care of them when they get back home. I hope that putting a name on it helps vets get proper medical care, but I really think that the veterans programs need more funding.
Roarman Roarman 8 years
Im with Jessiebana, our government uses these people to fight wars then does nothing for them when they come back. It's appalling. It's no wonder enlistment is low. Im surprised they get anyone these days. Undave- It's a good thing noone is proposing universal, government run healthcare.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
This brings two things to mind: 1) Maybe this is where Saddams chemical arsenal went to. 2) This is the VA, a government run health agency for just the military. They do it poorly, to say the least. Does anyone think they will do any better with a government run health care system for everyone?
liliblu liliblu 8 years
Do you think putting a name on the illness will help veterans gain better medical attention and support? I hope so. I know someone who is suffering right now. He shouldn't have to fight to be believed while he's trying to regain his health.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
well i think that if putting a real name on this means that people can get more care more easily - then i say call it whatever it needs to be called. these are people who's sacrificed their time, their happiness etc, and if they need some type of attention - well then let them get it.
momma-tikita momma-tikita 8 years
Wow this is so sad. I really hope it does help!
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 8 years
God I hope so.
KadBunny KadBunny 8 years
Couldn't have said it better jessie. These men would have gladly died for their country and this is how they get repaid. Nameless or not, they need help. They should spend more time actually doing reaching out to victims instead of debating the damn names.
Jessiebanana Jessiebanana 8 years
I'm sorry I just get so pissed off when I here stuff like this. It is just down right disrespectful, to use borrow someone's life, use their health and then toss them aside.
Jessiebanana Jessiebanana 8 years
I think it will help them fight for more health care coverage, but honestly if our government gave a crap about the men and women who risk their lives for this country they wouldn't have them jump through hoops in the first place. I don't believe government ever intended to provide the kind of medical attention war vets need and deserve and I'm cynical to think they ever will give it freely without pressure from outside. It is really sad, I have so many friends in the military (I'm ex MCJROTC) and it is a shame the way war vets are treated as far as health care is concerned.
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