Once Again America, You Failed and Are Failing!!!

Not to long ago and most certainly not a 'once upon a time', though the response by the country would leave one to think some were telling fairy tales because the rest paid little attention, a group of soldiers were returning from an occupation of a destroyed small country a half a world away.

As we returned many started developing a wide variety of ailments, physical and mental, well maybe a few of the rest were listening about the mental issues for they were telling my brothers it was all in their heads.

Just one of the issues brought out by the returning soldiers was about the use of Chemical Spraying - Defoliants to clear jungle areas and areas on either side of the rivers, killing all the tree's and foliage leaving bare land. Many of the soldiers/sailors living in or near or carrying out patrols through these ares started developing ailments they didn't have before, while still In Country or once returned home. Over the years they started developing different and sometimes fatal ailments. All this time they were crying out for the Public to pay Attention after they tried fighting the VA and Government, seeking Help from the Country they Served, to little avail. A few heard and came forward to help in the new battles, fought on these soils, but they were to few. All the time the DoD and Government were saying that the Defoliants Weren't Poison or Gave Harm to the Human Body. Many of my brothers are now Dead from 'Agent Orange' and other Defoliants Sprayed in that conflict. And today The Vietnamese Are Still Suffering the Effects from the still contaminated land of their country and trying to get compensation from those that contaminated it, Us!

Many are still fighting to get the recognition of what we did while in an occupation, to our own and to those occupied!

Some seventeen years ago we sent another huge military force into another war a half a world away, this conflict didn't last long, the buildup and withdrawal to it did, and the worries about many things, like chemical and biological warfare being used against this force led to decisions that may have once again caused great harm to our soldiers, as well as new style ordinance developed since that last occupation, serving a country that this time was going to give it's soldiers a 'Patriotic Recognition', forget the fact that the country still hadn't come to terms with the last, this time, in words at least, it would praise it's Military Soldiers and not Scorn or Ignore Them.

Well that lasted about as long as it took for many of these soldiers to start asking why they were developing a wide range of physical ailments, a name was given 'Gulf War Syndrome' and once again the VA and Government started the campaign of denial, without much investigation or research, that nothing was really wrong with these soldiers, numbers growing, and it was all in their heads. That gave the green light to the society to just stop paying attention. Many of us older vets, from WWII to that present, along with long time activists and some others, started trying to help in the fight being waged by our newer brothers and sisters and their families, to little avail.

But No Longer, America, The Proof Is Now Public, And The Cries For Help Are Angry Voices, Anger For Those Who Have Already Perished, Anger For Those Suffering And Their Families, Anger For Those who Managed To Get Medical Help, On Their Own, That Helped Them But Not Their Brothers and Sisters! It's Way Past Time America That You Stood Up And Helped Those That Serve You! Don't Let Another Generation Of Those Who Serve and Sacrifice For You Be Hidden Out Of Site and Your Minds!

Gulf War Syndrom/Illness Is Real

New Federal Report Says

An extensive federal report released Monday concludes that roughly one in four of the 697,000 U.S. veterans of the 1990-91 Gulf War suffer from Gulf War illness.

CNN Video Report

The Gulf War Syndrom Report

RAC Report This link takes you to the site page with the two below.

RAC-GWVI media release, Nov. 17, 2008 DOC

Full report of RAC-GWVI -- Nov. 17, 2008 PDF {The PDF is abit over 6MB download}

The PBS News Hour, on tuesday the 18th of November 08, held a discussion on the recently released report.

PBS News Hour: Gulf War Syndrome

Report Concludes Gulf War Syndrome Is Legitimate Illness - Transcript

Download MP3 to just Listen

A report released Monday revealed that the mysterious illness affecting veterans exposed to toxins during the 1991 Gulf War is real, making it easier for military personnel to seek federal aid. Research advisory committee chairman James Binns details the findings.

It has been 17 years since the first Gulf War ended. A new report now finds that at least one in four veterans of that conflict have been suffering ever since.

Congress started paying attention some 10 to 11 years after the conflict.

In 2002, a congressionally mandated panel set out to get to the bottom of conflicting reports about the veterans' health complaints. Its 450-page report concludes that Gulf War illness, memory loss, digestive and neurological problems, fatigue and pain is a real disease.

More than 175,000 veterans of the war were affected, but not effectively treated.

The two most likely causes: drugs administered to guard against nerve agents and pesticides used in the battlefield.

For a closer look at what these findings mean, we turn to James Binns, the chairman of the Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses.

JAMES BINNS: Well, the Gulf War had its own set of unique exposures. As Vietnam veterans were exposed to Agent Orange, so Gulf War veterans were exposed to a number of toxic exposures that were unique to that war.

JAMES BINNS: Now, that's what's -- I heard one of the veterans yesterday call this a bittersweet moment for them, because in large measure all of this work simply confirms what they know, that they are ill and have been for 17 years.

And it's true what you say that actually very little of the research that has been done up to date has been oriented toward treatments, and none of it has found effective treatments.

Here are a few opinion pieces that followed the release of the report.

Our view: Gulf War illness

Government finally admits vets suffer from a real condition

The official U.S. government response to claims of Gulf War illness has run from skepticism to outright denial.

With one in four of the 697,000 Gulf War vets reporting some level of the same symptoms, the lights should have gone on a long time ago in the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.

So now veterans have rigorous support for what they have contended all along -- it's not just in our heads, we're not making it up. We're sick.

Thousands of our Gulf War vets are sick. Let's help them.

BOTTOM LINE: Gulf War illness is real, and few vets who suffer the disease are getting better. It's past time for serious work on a cure.

VCS Urges Research into Gulf War Exposures and Gulf War Illness Treatments

November 17, 2008, Washington, DC

Veterans for Common Sense released the following statement:

Veterans for Common Sense is pleased with the thorough report prepared by the RAC. We commend the veterans and scientists who have worked for the last six years reviewing the work on Gulf War illnesses conducted by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Department of Defense (DoD). The RAC report repudiates years of delays and denials caused by a group of VA and DoD staff who ignored the eyewitness accounts of veterans and scientific research.

VCS believes action is needed today to make sure the RAC’s recommendations are implemented soon.

VCS urges Congress to fund new research recommended by the RAC into why up to 210,000 Gulf War veterans are ill as well as fund research into desperately needed medical treatments for our veterans.

VCS also urges top VA officials to review the conduct of VA Central Office staff who blocked scientific research into toxic exposures, especially VA's contracts with the Institute of Medicine (IOM) that improperly excluded animal studies from scientific review. The VA Central Office staff who needlessly delayed research, treatment, and disability benefits for hundreds of thousands of Gulf War veterans should be held accountable for their actions.

The facts presented by the RAC reveal how a handful of key VA and DoD officials failed to assist Gulf War veterans by clinging to the discredited myth that Gulf War illnesses were only related to stress for nearly 17 years. The DoD neglected to consider the many toxic exposures as potential causes of Gulf War illnesses, even after Gulf War veterans and scientists raised these as serious possibilities.

We look forward to working with Chairman Daniel Akaka (D-HI) and Chairman Bob Filner (D-CA) as they conduct oversight into VA’s failure to enter into proper contracts with IOM that may have blocked access to healthcare and disability benefits for hundreds of thousands of ill and disabled Gulf War veterans.

VCS thanks Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV), Senator Bernard Sanders (I-VT), Representative Chris Shays (R-CT), and former Representative Lane Evans (D-IL) for their diligent leadership in passing the landmark “Persian Gulf Veterans Act of 1998” that created the RAC.

Panel: Gulf War vet health research lacking

Even as possibly hundreds of thousands of veterans suffer from a collection of symptoms commonly called Gulf War illness, the government has done too little to find treatments for their health problems nearly two decades after the war ended, a panel commissioned by Congress said.

The advisory panel of medical experts and veterans wants at least $60 million spent annually for research, calling it a “national obligation,” according to its report, obtained by The Associated Press.

Gulf War troops poisoned, neglected

A new government study backs up veterans of the 1991 Gulf War who said they were literally, and physically, sickened during their service there. The American people have an obligation to help them

One of the most dangerous threats to the health of American troops in combat might be the United States government. That conclusion can reasonably be drawn after a government panel reported that one in four U.S. veterans of the 1991 Gulf War — about 172,000 troops — is ill from exposure to toxic chemicals, most of them administered by the U.S. government.

The two bibliographies below were compiled by FRONTLINE to aid those who want to dig deeper into Gulf War Syndrome. The first shows many of the most informative and compelling websites on the subject. The second contains citations to books, journal articles and other printed materials.

Visit the above link, there's a host of links leading to further information, study, and research!

Now we have once again sent our military into occupation, not one but two, halfway around the world. And with the reports finally coming out these last couple of years, with over site and investigation once again being done by our congress, information coming extensively from, once again, great Investigative Journalism, we are seeing, especially us Vietnam Vets, a repeat of what was experienced years ago. Many of these recent reports read like that from 30 to 40 years back, a not to distant past.

This next link starts on the Gulf War Syndrom in the Press Release and moves into the present conflicts.

American Gulf War Veterans Association

PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AUGUST 8, 2003

The American Gulf War Veterans Association (AGWVA), an independent Gulf War Veterans’ support organization, has long searched for answers to explain why nearly half of the 697,000 Gulf War I Veterans are now ill and why over 200,000 of those servicemen/women have requested disability, but have received no adequate diagnosis or treatment, from either the Department of Defense (DOD), or Veteran’s Affairs. Though there have been over 125 studies done by the government at the cost of over $300,000,000 to the taxpayer, we still have no answers as to what caused so many of our soldiers to become ill. Meanwhile, the suffering veterans are receiving little, if any, medical treatment for this illness. It seems that whenever veterans become ill, the term “mystery illness” seems to be the first and often the only diagnosis that is ever made. Veterans are then left to fend for themselves, sick and unable to work, with little hope of a normal life again.

The AGWVA is now again asking questions, this time, about the newest “mystery illness” to hit the military. After being pressured by a few independent news reporters who have not permitted this “mystery” to continue unabated, The DOD recently has been forced to announce the “mystery” deaths of Gulf War II soldiers and that at least 100 other men and women have become ill. Again, however, there were no adequate answers, but, only that the “mystery illness” diagnosis had reared its ugly head again. According to a family member of one of the military victims, the DOD recently, has changed its label of the illness and is now calling it “pneumonia” in sharp contrast to what a physician on the scene reported. Due to continuing pressure for sound answers, the DOD was again forced to send an investigative team to Iraq, however the convenient, repeated lack of diagnosis, unfortunately translates into lack of treatment, and lack of compensation for the veteran. The jury is still out, however, if the DOD will be forthcoming with the truth this time.

SNIP Please Read The Rest

The following doesn't look like the 'mystery illness' described in the press release above, but apparently this is another growing problem for the present OIF and OEF soldiers in Theater:


Senior Airman Frances Gavalis tosses unserviceable uniform items into a burn pit at Balad Air Base, Iraq.

The Army Times Site Video

Burn pit at Balad raises health concerns
Tue, Oct 28, 2008
An open-air at the largest U.S. base in Iraq may have exposed tens of thousands of troops, contractors and Iraqis to cancer-causing dioxins, poisons such as arsenic

Senator wants answers on dangers of burn pits
Sun, Nov 9, 2008
Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., has written to Gen. David Petraeus, the new chief of U.S. Central Command, demanding to be informed about any pending investigations into health problems for troops exp.

Burn pit fallout
Sat, Nov 15, 2008
Disabled American Veterans has issued a call to all service members and veterans who think they may have illnesses related to burn pits in Afghanistan and Iraq: Contact DAV so they can collect data

And just like what 'Agent Orange' not only did to our soldiers in 'Nam it did to the Citizens of Vietnam, continuing to today, it is and Will Continue to do to the Citizens of Iraq and Afghanistan near where these contaminated garbage pits not only were burned but that contaminated garbage is buried!

We Veterans, who still serve this Country according to our Military Oath and Real Patriotism, and fight against sending our Military into Wars Of Choice by the civilian and military leadership, lost the Battle against the Propaganda of Fixed Intelligence, especially as to invading Iraq, an innocent country and people, but We Won't Lose The Battle As To Care For Our Returning Soldiers, though it's a long battle that shouldn't be!

You may want to visit Mikes webblog {known online as 'testvet'} Military & Veterans: Politics for the deserving, a disabled Veteran, and his personal experiences as to being a 'testvet' and his fighting for not only himself but his brothers and sisters.

And one site to visit often is Larry Scott's VA Watchdog he to has a recent post about the Gulf War I Syndrome Report

For desperate vets, victory, anger over Gulf War Syndrome. Army veteran Randy Saubert takes grandsons Kalev, right, and Ethin to a Colorado Springs park Tuesday. Saubert logged 38,000 miles hauling supplies across the Iraq desert in 1991. Today, he isn't sure what he came into contact with that caused him to develop Lou Gehrig's disease. (photo: Karl Gehring, The Denver Post)

"Why did it take so long to listen to the vets and their families? Why have they denied benefits and hurt people and let families fall apart and have soldiers go bankrupt seeking help?"

Once again the Report:

The Gulf War Syndrom Report

RAC Report This link takes you to the site page with the two below.

RAC-GWVI media release, Nov. 17, 2008 DOC

Full report of RAC-GWVI -- Nov. 17, 2008 PDF {The PDF is abit over 6MB download}

Fellow Americans You Failed Too Many Times Before and The Present Occupations Were Supported By The Greater Majority Of You, This Time Make It Right For Those Who Served You and Their Families!!!

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Tiny clay figures are reminders of growing Iraq death toll


Nearly 100,000 hand-fired clay figures, representing lives lost in the Iraq war, will be the backdrop on Friday for an Iraq Moratorium action in the California community of Aptos, near Santa Cruz.

"The wise man points to the stars and the fool sees only the finger - and discusses it 24/7 on cable."

Totally Broken Once Again, we've gone through this All before!!!

Williams, a U.S. Army veteran who served tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan, initially had trouble coping with his return from the war zone. He did drugs and slept in his car and the homes of his friends, before stabilising himself and landing a job at the San Francisco non-profit Swords to Plowshares, where he helps other veterans find work.

"The wise man points to the stars and the fool sees only the finger - and discusses it 24/7 on cable."

Army report shows chemicals at burn pit site

Thursday Nov 20, 2008

A soldier concerned about his tour at Forward Operating Base Hammer near Balad, Iraq, this year sent Military Times a report showing high levels of particulate matter and low levels of manganese, possibly due to materials destroyed in a burn pit.

“The high risk estimate is due to the average (particulate matter) level being at a concentration the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers ‘hazardous,’ and is likely to affect the health of all troops,” wrote Jeffrey Kirkpatrick, director of health risk assessment for the U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine. “Manganese was also detected above its one-year military exposure guidelines.”

It was sent to the command surgeon general’s office for U.S. Central Command.

"The wise man points to the stars and the fool sees only the finger - and discusses it 24/7 on cable."

Filner to VA: Confidence in VA Completely Shattered by Recent Document Shredding

House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Bob Filner (D-CA) released this statement following today’s roundtable discussion on the shredding of veterans’ documents by the VA:

"The wise man points to the stars and the fool sees only the finger - and discusses it 24/7 on cable."

to make veterans with Gulf War syndrome whole?

The question has new urgency in the aftermath of a report, released Monday, concluding that nearly 200,000 soldiers suffer from the syndrome.

The 452-page report is the first to affirm that Gulf War illness is valid and widespread, affecting as many as one-quarter of veterans from the 1990-1991 conflict.

"The extensive body of scientific research now available consistently indicates that Gulf War illness is real...and that few veterans have recovered of substantially improved with time," says the comprehensive overview, prepared by the government's Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses.

"The wise man points to the stars and the fool sees only the finger - and discusses it 24/7 on cable."

just what chemicals were in the shots given to the soldiers in the Gulf War?

We already know that Dow Chemical dodged the agent orange bullet.And let us not forget that trees were sprayed here in the US with this chemical.

I surely don't know how to protect soldiers except to not train to go to war. Or just don't volunteer for the military.

Thanks for writing this commentary Jim. The vets need all the help they can get.