Welcome to Gulf Illness Veterans (G.I.V.)


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Well, I just wanted to start out with a quick and simple first post. I have Gulf War Syndrome or as the VA now calls it, Gulf War Illness. It’s hard to get used to calling it that, but I am trying to follow the rules as much as possible. (not that I’m afraid to break them) Thousands of veterans are struggling with this cluster of medical conditions each year and it has been this way since the end of the first gulf war in 1991 and is still popping up with sailors and soldiers returning from the gulf today.
I have asthma, sleep apnea, hypertension, acid reflux, ulcers, chronic diarrhea, fibromyalgia, arthritis, five damaged discs, nerve damage in legs, bilateral neuropathy, polymyalgia rheumatica, bursitis in shoulders, spondylosis, depression, anxiety, mood disorder, carpal tunnel, a sensitivity to light and household chemicals such as cleaners and aerosols, and chronic fatigue syndrome. (I am sure this list will grow in time as it has in the last few years). The causes from what the VA states on their website so far is injections for immunizations, exposure to chemicals such as depleted uranium and pesticides and oil fires. I personally think there is more to the story than this, but for the government purposes and to try and prove a claim I am going with what they give us. I suggest you do the same or you will be labelled as a “conspiracy theorist.” I once posted a link to a video about the “truth” and I had a VFW rep tell me I was one so I yanked it It’s pretty sad to know that I am being watched that closely or that she would take the time to even look at this site, but it’s associated with everything I do online so I’m not surprised. So for all of you looking in – I am doing my best to adhere to the guidelines of the VA for claims and follow all procedures, but there are many of us who do not agree with them and would like our voices to be heard as well.
new1I have to say that since the VA secretary Shinseki took over he has done a good job at trying to update the VA website with more information about Gulf War Illness, he has urged the claims officers to clear our cases up faster and he is trying to implement a way to get doctors more educated about our many medical conditions associated with the illness, but so far I have yet to go to a primary care doctor at the VA who will even discuss Gulf War Illness and that’s a big problem for me. I have written several of my elected officials including the president and still my doctors hand me back letters ordering them to help me and refuse to do it. I am fed up and I need your help to start the campaign to raise awareness. Fellow soldiers and sailors; I am calling on you today to take whatever strength you have and muster up the courage to contact the media, your elected officials, the VA and whoever else will listen. We need to get organized. If you are interested in helping me with this campaign please use the contact form below or search around the site – my contact is all over. There is also plenty of information about contacting your officials along with plenty of links to organizations that can help us.
gw16It also seems to me that there is a media blackout on gulf war related subjects altogether. Lately they seem to preoccupied with whatever story the government decides to feed them or what Snooki is up to or some stupid shit. We need to wake them up to the sad truth about how men and women of the armed forces are treated when they are out of the military and sick. They love you when you are young and dumb, but when you are old and weak you get shuffled to the side and I personally, will not lie down for this. I am fighting for my life. I have not yet received a diagnosis for anything that is terminal, but I do have some serious conditions that could cause heart attack or stroke. I feel that my death is going to be a long-prolonged drawn out painful affair. As it is right now I am in the process of updating this welcome page and since it’s first publication, my pain has at least tripled. I have done everything the VA asked of me such as physical therapy and trying to walk as much as I can and the pain has increased due to the nerve damage in my legs and the arthritis and fibromyalgia throughout my body. My quality of life is terrible and I cannot stand it. The pain medication I receive does not kill the pain enough after using it for a certain amount of time. Each month it works less and less. I am trying my best to fight it, but it is not easy. I need your help because I know that if you are reading this you either have it or you have a loved one with it. I also urge anyone else dealing with any disability to feel free to comment and join in the discussion. We have a very open and relaxed format for this blog and I love to mix it up once and a while.
gw28My main goal with this site has always been to try and help others. I have learned a lot from other veterans who have commented or e-mailed me about various subjects and I get a lot of followers on Twitter due to the blog. I benefit and feel so much love from others for my writing and I really appreciate that, but it really is my pleasure. I have laughed my ass off and cried my eyes out over your stories. My fellow veterans, those serving now, and families and friends of veterans are so kind and thoughtful. I have received letters, e-mails and tweets from mothers who lost their sons or daughters, grandfathers from World War II and Vietnam who are onboard with us and shared their experiences of trying to get service-connected from Agent Orange and much more. I thank each and every one of you and again, I encourage more and more to get involved with Gulf Illness Veterans so that we can grow into a helping organization spear-heading the fight to get vets the rights, treatment and benefits we deserve.
gw23I look forward to comments and suggestions. If you would like me to do an article on a certain subject please feel free to contact me and let me know. I will accept anything that will benefit veterans or active duty military as long as you don’t try and spam the site. I will also consider guest writers. Just keep it fairly clean and respectful of others.
Welcome to Gulf Illness Veterans site and please make sure to check out the many links I have compiled as they are very helpful. If you have a link you would like me to post contact me any time. I am a very easy-going guy until you piss me off. but that takes a lot. God bless you and God bless America!

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19 thoughts on “Welcome to Gulf Illness Veterans (G.I.V.)”

  1. I do agree with alot of what you are going thru. I have alot of the things you do too. I just got approved at 60% disablity. They still are not listening to me about things that are going on with me and don’t know where to turn to get things worked out. Any advice you could give me would help.

    Thanks Troy

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    1. Hi Troy, I’m sorry to hear about the problems you are having. Thanks so much for commenting. I will be doing a lot to this blog within the next month or so. Please check back often and I see that below you already have some great advice. I went through my VSO, but I would suggest you try the DAV. You don’t have to be a member either, common misconception on my part and many. I will be making new posts to address a lot of these comments here soon. Thanks again, Dave.

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    2. Hi Troy,
      The only thing I know is probably the same as you, but I will do my best. So far what I’ve learned in the past two years is that you basically have to try and do the leg work yourself. Occasionally you might find a good service officer or veteran’s service officer that’s willing to help you, but I have been stabbed in the back too by a person I trusted a lot as I put in my last post. What I do is go on the ebnefits and make a lot of phone calls. Who is your power of attorney or claims rep? I am with the VFW right now but I have had problems with my former office in wisconsin returning calls, but in FL they called me right away. Are you aware of a DBQ? If you can get on the ebenefits.va.gov website and get the extended password go below the login page and there’s a link to VA forms – it’s a disability questionnaire form to take to a civilian doc and ask them to test you for anything you are claiming as evidence. I was told that this carries a lot of weight. I will do a post soon for more info. Sorry I didn’t respond sooner! Hang in there and I’m usually around if you have any questions. I’m very easy-going.

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      1. Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses
        Boston University School of Public Health
        Department of Environmental Health
        715 Albany Street
        Talbot 1W
        Boston, MA. 02118
        Kimberly Sullivan, Ph.D.
        Scientific Coordinator
        http://www1.va.gov/rac-gwvi/
        Email:rac@bu.edu

        Chairman ( POC )
        Mr. James Binns
        Email: jimBinns@aol.com

        January 28, 0000

        Subject: Response to the Gulf War Illnesses IOM/ NAS Report 1-23-2013

        Re: Gulf War Illnesses, Returning Veterans, Non-Deployed and Families

        Dear Committee Members,
        It is again another committee ( IOM / NAS ) that ignores Gulf War Illnesses without Military Medicine, this is the only way to unite and care for those who served this Great Country ( United States of America ). Chronic multisymptom illness ( CMI ) and Undiagnosed Illnesses are minimizing gulf war health issues and the environmental health effects from the 1990/1991 War, the IOM / NAS forgot the Neurological Issues and treatment Protocol. Excuse us ( Gulf War Veterans and Returning Veterans 1990 to Present for fighting the largest war since World War Two ) with extensive Battle wounds. The Gulf War Veterans do not receive care outside of the VA, we cannot, the Civilian doctors tell us to go to the VA for the care, they ( VA ) would be the first to treat and endemic disease or chemical injury from other parts of the world. The IOM / NAS thinks the Gulf War was only Four Days of Warfare, well we had the Bombing campaign, Air Campaign and Ground Campaign in which took over a years and dubbed by the Pentagon that the gulf war was the largest war since World War Two, not four days. This tells the American Taxpayers and The U.S. Congress that the IOM / NAS is only skimming over the Psychiatric reviews and not reporting the Neurological Issues that were peer reviewed and we should have our U.S. Congress demand Military Medicine and Civilian Medicine to work together, as you can see the IOM / NAS is not reporting the truth to the U.S. Congress for the January 23, 2013 on Gulf War and Health Volume Number 9. Very Misleading and withholding treatments. We have Gulf War Illnesses, Returning Veterans, Non-Deployed and Families suffering from Combat, Environmental, Vaccines, and other exposures from our service to our Country.

        In 1973 George H. Bush ( Ambassador to the United Nations ), King Faisal
        ( Saudi Arabia ), Hafez al-Assad ( Syria ), Muammar Gaddafi ( Libya ), Saddam Hussein (1992–2006), Had an argument over chemical weapons and today January 27, 2013 our U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is reporting more Chemical Weapons from Saddam Hussein Stock Pile in Syria ( January 2013 ) that Colin Powell
        ( Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff ) said that they were buried in Iraq and they could move them to Syria, Well it looks like the chemicals went to Syria in 1990. We have troops from the 1990/1991 war that were exposed to those same or more manufactured chemical weapons. This is only the tip of the iceberg. The U.S. Congress must see and hear this ?

        Public / Veteran from the IOM Meeting on January 23, 2013 Comments none !

        We need research oversight from the GAO, I.G.’s and H.H.S. and V.A.

        The VA-RAC needs to change it’s charter and mission statement so we can continue looking for research and treatments.

        Headaches/Diarrhea/Stomach gird/Tired/Joint pain/Skin
        rashes/Hearing/Breathing/Sinusitis/DFS/MCS/Vision/Carbon monoxide exposures from oil well fires and exposed to nerve agents from the bombing campaign. This was the largest war since World War Two and of course longer than what CNN reported a 4 day was it was more like 2 years of heavy bombing.

        Sincerely,
        SSG. Edward J. Bryan ( Ret. )
        685 Broadway St. Unit # 74
        Malden, Mass. 02148
        Ph. 781-321-3161
        Edbryan@email.com
        Life Member Whitman DAV # 119
        Life Member Medford VFW # 1012
        U.S. Army ( Retired ) 1974-2000
        U.S. Firefighter ( Medford ) Retired 1986-2000
        Health Care Liaison ( VA-BU ) 1994-2001
        Researcher for Gulf War Illnesses 1992-Present
        VISN-1 Mini-Mac member 1998-Present
        Walter Reed Veteran Health Advisory Council ( VHAC ) Deployment Health, 2000-2002

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      2. Ed, I was just going over this excellent post again. I had to read it a few times just to let it sink in. I have been so busy and have been meaning to do this – but it is really incredible! It’s so true and chalked full of facts that are so often over-looked. I mean, it’s just appalling how little attention is given to the Gulf War and it’s true – it is the biggest war since WWII! With all the stuff we rolled out for that war we could’ve taken out the entire middle-east, of course we all know that there are hidden agendas to all wars and we can’t be naive about that. These days, though, with the patriot act, you can’t even bring up these things anymore without a red flag going off somewhere. I wonder sometime who might be reading my blog and thinking ok – this guy is nuts because he is saying things and inviting others to say things about stuff we need to silence. Let’s just pull his site or worse. Who knows? These are very scary times we are living in. The information highway is one we don’t want to pick up hitch-hikers on! Well, thank you my friend for bringing up some wonderful points of interest here and I will try to touch on some of this in a future post. If you have anything that you would like to contribute – I’m an open book. I would be happy to have you as a co-writer or something like that and that goes for anyone else. I’m really trying to brush up on all the blog books I can find and promote the heck out of this thing as much as I can. I want to start a GIV org. if possible, but it’s going to really take a lot of healthier people than us to do it. But it can be done I think if I learn some patience. Sometimes I want too much too soon and I forget – oh wait, that’s right – I can’t do that crap anymore. I’m just too damned young to be disabled and it’s hard. (another subject for a future blog!) but I have been trying to do more and more every day. I’m bored off my ass most of the time. But it’s really tough for me because I have to do everything via voice recognition because my hands are all ate up with arthritis and carpal tunnel and joint aches, but who’s complaining! I’m preaching to the choir! Anyway, always nice to hear from you Ed, and I value your vast knowledge on the subject and respect your many years of service, my friend. Come back often and tell me what’s on your mind! -Dave

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  2. How to File a VA Claim
    Gulf War 1 / 2 / 3, OIF / OEF / OND
    Example; Just go over the 18 issues and go over each item. Of course you cannot have all the items as complaints. This is just a guide. All you need is to work your claim through the advocates DAV, VFW, AL. You also can learn from different veterans groups. You may also benefit from going to a vet center nearest you. Bring this to your service officer or send it in as a claim. The Longest War in U.S. History May 1980- Present.
    End of War 2025 per the U.S. Congress.

    Department of Veterans Affairs
    Boston Regional Office
    John F. Kennedy Building
    Government Center-Room 1265
    Boston, Mass. 02203

    Subject: Gulf War Injuries and Diseases

    Date

    Dear service officer
    I need to review my claim with your office and find out How my claim can be addressed with my complex issues. My issues should be addressed in some format, the presumption law is still in effect until the end of the year. December 31, 2016. I have been going to the VA Hospital for help and I believe that my medical files and my information that I have here today has enough information to look further in to my claim as its relates to my military service. I still think my commanders did not read the nerve agent book as we were trained and the commanders were removing the mask way to soon from our training exercises as we went to war and practice this over and over. Before Desert Storm I use to run and exercise 2-3 times a week, now I cannot even get out of my way, something happened in the gulf war, this is not me and I wish I had my old self back again. These are the issues to look at with my service in the gulf war that I believe that I was exposed to and are related to my service in the gulf in 1991. To include any and all types of cancers to the human body. Some doctors say it will take over 25 years for cancers and injuries to manifest. I believe that the environmental toxins or the toxic bowl of soup effect that VA Research Investigators quoted is related to my service related injuries in the Gulf War of 1991.

    Claims that need to be reviewed and increased because of my current complaints

    1). Heart
     
    2). Ear Nose and Throat issues, Diagnostic Code 8865

    1). Sore Throat and post nasal drip
    2). Breathing
    3). Sand Storms, Sand exposures. Al-Eskan Disease and Reiter’s syndrome
    4). Oil Rain, Oil Fires, Oil Smoke exposures
    5). Chemical Alarms going off and on with not proper way to remove masking procedures FM 8-285
    6). Hearing Loss – Aircraft Noise – Scuds Alarms ( KKMC ) – Rifle Ranges – bombing campaign
    7). Reaction to smells, odors and fumes
    8). Green phlegm all the time
     
    3). Lung Issue, and Pleura Diagnostic Code 8868

    1). Low level Nerve Gas Exposure
    2). Black Lung. Oil Well Fires
    3). Sneezing
    4). Shortness of Breathe
    5). Chest Tightness
    6). Reiter’s syndrome

    4). Heart Issues, 8870

    1). Heart Attack
    2). Skipped Heart Beats
    3). High Blood pressure
    4). Shortness of Breathe
    5). Chest Pain – ongoing
    6). Blood thinners
     
    5). Musculoskeletal Issues, 8850 and 8852

    1). Upper and Lower back pain
    2). Muscle spasms
    3). Neck pain
    4). Muscle Fatigue and twitching
    5). Muscle Aches – Since 1991
    6). Muscle Pain
    7). Stiff Joints
    8). Multiple Vaccines
     
    6). Eyes Issues, Diagnostic Code 8860

    1). Glaucoma
    2). Sensitive to sun
    3). Blurring
    4). Floaters
    5). Night vision problems
     
    7). Upper Digestive System Diagnostic Code 8872

    1). Stomach Pain
    2). Sharp Pain
    3). Belching
    4). Reflux – omprezole 20mg
    5). Teeth problems
    6). Cannot chew my food properly

    8). Lower Digestive Diagnostic Code 8873

    1). Bloated
    2). Cramping
    3). Rumbling gas
     
    9). Hemic and Lymphatic Diagnostic Code 8877

    1). Bruising
    2). Blood clotting
    3). Blood – infectious disease
    4). Any blood disorder
    5). Any cancer blood related disorder
    6). Clotting

    10). Systemic Disease Issue Diagnostic Code 8863

    1). Sand
    2). Reiter’s syndrome exposure ( reactive arthritis )
    3). Malaria
    4). Joint pain – arms and legs ( cannot run )
    5). Leishmaniasis
    6). Fatigue ( C F S )
    7). General achiness
    8). Mosquitoes –
    9). Sand Flies

    11 ). Neurological Issues, 8881

    1). Headaches
    2). Night sweats
    3). Carbon Monoxide Exposure from vehicles, oil rain and oil well fires
    4). Depression
    5). Sleeping difficulty
    6). Leishmaniasis – Mosquito bites
    7). Lyme Disease
    7). Pesticides Exposures – Used daily
    8). Fatigued comes and goes
    9). Cannot sleep through the night
    10). Sharp pains in my neck and back
    11). Any neurological disease
     
    12). Psychophysiologic Issues, Diagnostic Code 8895

    1). P.T.S.D.
    2). Depression
    3). Hyper
    4). Irritability
    5). Fatigue
    6). Difficulty sleeping

    13). Dental

    1). Bleeding gums
    2). Excess tooth deterioration
    3). Stomach gas in mouth
    4). Vomiting off and on in 1991 war and still have problems with my stomach and vomiting up to the present time. I really didn’t think this was related to my service, doctors said I should submit a claim for this issue.

    14). Environmental exposures that could cause some of my medical conditions,
    1). Exposure to Nerve Gas and Chemical warfare agents ( low level )
    2). Pyridostigmine Bromide Pill
    3). Multiple Vaccinations
    4). Pesticides
    5). Deet
    6). Burning feces – latrine duty – Burning pits
    7). Oil and Oil Well Fires 850-1000 oil wells on fire ICD Code E990.9 injury war operations fires conflagrations unspecified ICD-9 Code of 2012
    8). Exposure to lead from fuel oil and gas products on roadways
    9). Exposure to sulfur and sewer gases
    10). Dead animals
    11). Depleted Uranium
    12). Carbon Monoxide Exposure ( Vehicles and Oil Well Fires ).
    13). Sand ( Al-Eskan Disease ) and Reiter’s syndrome
    14). Sewer gases, Burning feces or burning pits
    15). Leishmaniasis
    16). Bottled water not refined to U.S. E.P.A. Standards
    17). Diesel Fuel exhaust and Tent Heaters
    18). Diesel fuel sprayed on roadways
    19). Food – Out dated – high bacteria rate –

    15). Endocrine System Diagnostic Code 8879
    1). Change in Thyroid function
    2). Change in Metabolism
    3). Weight Gain / Weight Loss
    4). Temperature deregulation

     
    16). Exposures to Sun
    1). Any Skin Disease
    2). Any Skin Cancers
     
    17). Endemic Diseases

    1). Mosquitoes bites
    2). Sand Flies and
    3). Reiter’s syndrome
    4). Leishmaniasis
    5). Any endemic diseases

    18). Liver Failing.
    1). Fatty Liver
    2). Over five Pounds
    3). More then 25 points

    Name
    Address
    City
    Phone
    Claim Number

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    1. Edward, thanks so much for that great comment! I have barely begun here and already this is turning into what I hoped it would be – a very informative and helpful site for those of us who just need a hand with figuring out where to go and what to do and other things! I need to put some links on here and stuff but I will be doing a lot to the site in the next month along with moving to Florida so I hope you stick around and continue to contribute. Thanks again, Dave

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    1. Hi Elizabeth,
      Thanks so much for coming by and commenting. I will be doing a lot to this blog soon. I am just in the middle of moving to Florida on Dec. 1st so as you can imagine I am living out of a dufflebag and boxes. That and my bouts with bad days of aching don’t help, but I do want to try and keep up with posting here so that we can all help each other out. That’s the main goal – that and we need to somehow get the word out to the press again that we are still here and some of us are dying! It’s also always nice to get a woman’s point of view and input – I am a big fan of women’s rights and I want this to be a total spectrum of readers so tha’ts great. Feel free to make remarks and welcome other women veterans. We already seem to have a wide variety of comments so I couldn’t be more happy to see that I’m doing something right here and together we can make it grow! Thank again, Dave

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  3. My Testimony 7th CORPS 2nd ACR and GULF WAR ILLNESS
    by Mark Barthalow on Wednesday, June 29, 2011 at 8:13pm ·

    My name is Mark , I served with the VII corps 2nd ACR during operation desert shield/desert storm. Since my return from Iraq in 1991 I have been dealing with mental and physical health problems for many years to this very date. For years I was told there was no chemical weapons and that my health issues was “all in my head” I was not taken seriously. After my return from iraq with my unit the 2nd ACR I was given orders to report to Fort Bragg I was separated from my unit 2 weeks after returning from Iraq. Even upon my immediate return back state side (Fort Bragg) I was already complaining of being sick and wasn’t functioning like I was prior to my service in combat in Iraq. And my sergeant major (Fort Bragg) response was “you just want out of the service”. That was not the case, back then there was no term GULF WAR ILLNESS/SYNDROME. I was given a lot of extra duty and I was frustrated that I was not taken seriously.

    My unit fought against 3 Iraq brigades and iraq’s elite force the “republican guards” (battle of 73 easting) .By the end of the mission we captured over 2000 POW’s, destroyed 159 enemy tanks and 260 other fighting vehicles and broken the defensive line of the Republican Guards, provided critical intelligence to the Corps Commander. We had victory with the loss 6 soldiers KIA and 19 WIA. After the cease fire was called we had to go back through Iraq and was given orders to demilitarize iraq’s army. This consisted of blowing up tanks, vehicles, and of course ammo depot in khamisiyah. Throughout the combat we heard chemical alarms and was told to dawn our mask several occassions. We already had our MOPP gear on including our booties. This is how we went into combat and stayed like that throughout the whole combat operations in Iraq. We thought we were going to be gassed and we were prepared for it the best we could at the time. We were the frontlines and spearheaded the attack of Operation Desert Storm. At one time I was even aiming my M-16/m203 looking through my gas mask. Throughout the combat we were constantly given NAPP pills or inject ourselves with our atropine injections we carried with us. and told later the chemical alarms was false, we never knew when it was real. During demo of the ammo sites after one explosion, alarms were sounding and we were pulled back. The medics arrived sometime later and then we were given more NAPP pills and bending over a humvee getting vaccines in are left buttocks. I looked at the medic and asked “what is this for?” his response was “I don’t know we just have orders to give it”. The only thing I was thinking ” okay they are saving/treating us” . We were given other unknown vaccines before the war and NAPP pills. Now not to leave out depleted uranium. Throughout the war I was going in and out of the T-72’s and other vehicles that were hit with these rounds. Searching for anything we could use against the enemy. We were never told of such a round and we didn’t think we were being exposed to anything. Just a lot of dead and burned up bodies and seeing body parts everywhere. Having this black soot all over my hands and chemical suit and wiping my face leaving black soot smeared all over my face and hands.When going into Kuwait i traveled through the “highway of death” everything was on fire and was searching the area and vechicles for pow’s and weapons. this area was hit heavly with DU rounds. Another issue is, during combat traveling through the desert we approached the oil wells that were burning everywhere. We held our position within 300/400 yards or so from these burning wells for a few hours waiting on orders. We had oil on everything and the sky went from day to night in a blink.At onetime when reconing the desert by ground (fOOT) all of a sudden our commander in charge starting screaming get down “drop” there dropping a bomb and as soon as i hit the ground the sky lite up and went from seeing nothing (as it was at night in the desert, you cant even see your hands in front of your face ) to as if it was 12 o’clock in the afternoon for about 3 to 4 seconds and literally my body being lifted up off the sand from the explosion. I was in constant contact with POW’s and dead bodies taking and searching them. Many of the POW’s were constantly complaining of being sick and having headaches. I will leave out the affects of combat and what I did and saw and what it has done to me (PTSD). I will leave that alone this is about GWI and my experience and exposures in Iraq and my health issues.

    These are my current health issues I am dealing with all in which are done by the VA with the exception of one outside doctor.

    1. NEUROLOGICAL DISORDERS- I have constant muscle twitching and contractions and on occasion whole body stiffing following severe pain throughout my body. My brain can no longer find the muscle to raise my right foot so now I have to wear a AFO prosthetic to keep me from dragging my right foot when I walk. I have had 2 EEG’s done showing generalized encephalopathy along with organic movement disorder and psychogenic movement disorder. The MRI showed lesions and a growth on the v3 nerve (brain stem) , the fourth ventricle is midline, incidentally noted are mild inflammatory changes in the left mastoid and retention cysts in the right maxillary sinus. Final Primary Diagnostic Code: SERIOUS ABNORMALITY-ACTION NEEDED. (2003)

    (UNEMPLOYABLE) 2003,2007 (neurological disorder/Persian gulf war syndrome)

    In 2007 C&P exam states “the patients movement disorder has an organic basis, and it is incorrect to call this a psychogenic movement disorder.” Statement by an outside doctor states “this is an organic disorder-not a primary psychotic disorder. It will never respond to psychiatric treatment. (10/30/07).

    2. NEUROPSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDERS- Neuropsychological testing on me shows (a) LANGUAGE FUNCTION; mildly impaired, (b) CONCEPTUAL FUNCTIONS; below average, (c) ATTENTION AND MEMORY; was markedly slow, (d) IMMEDIATE RECALL OF PROSE; borderline, (e) IMPRESSION; underlying brain dysfunction cannot be ruled out. Mr. Barthalow’s pattern of responding is also suggestive of an individual who experiences severe psychological turmoil in response to a major life trauma or, less likely psychotic symptoms”. “specifically, Mr. Barthalow reported during the interview many symptoms of PTSD related to his service in Iraq.”

    3. FIBROMYALGIA- chronic pain on a daily basis at times I lay in bed days on out. I’ve cried from the severe pain. The pain doesn’t end within the whole body but also in my joints and especially painful hips to the point I can’t walk very long. Diagnosed with Fibromyalgia 01/01/2006 & 12/18/09 along with degenerative joint disease.

    4. PERSISTANT CHRONIC HEADACHES- has been noted for years and have no solution with medication

    5. PERSISTANT SKIN RASHES- has been noted since my return from Iraq ‘PERSIAN GULF EXAM’ states “skin rashes, at time like blisters on hands and feet”. I have seen VA allergist that say “does not conform to any allergies or medical diagnoses”.

    6. HAIR LOSS- noted since my return from Iraq and ‘PERSIAN GULF EXAM’ states “hair loss on both legs”

    7. CHRONIC PTSD- has been noted for years. Been in 2 inpatient PTSD programs (45 days) diagnosed CHRONIC (UNEMPLOYABLE) 2003, 2007, 2011

    8. MOOD DISORDER- 2007 C&P exam states;”EMPLOYABILITY: The patient would have a hard time sustaining employment because of his depression, lack of motivation, poor concentration and poor sleep”. States also “it is as likely as not the patient’s memory loss and sleep disturbance are related to his PTSD and depression”. (UNEMPLOYABLE) 2007

    9. RESPIRATORY- CT on lungs showed spots on my right lung not medically diagnosiable; it comes from breathing something.

    10. CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME- 10% SC

    11. CHRONIC IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME- still have to take atropine based medication / During combat we carried with us are atropine injections in case of being gassed by the enemy. 10% SC

    I would like to add that in (November 17, 2008) “SCIENTIFIC FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS ON GULF WAR ILLNESSES AND HEALTH OF GULF WAR VETERANS” states (page 4)- “Scientific evidence leaves NO QUESTION that GULF WAR ILLNESS is REAL condition with REAL CAUSES and SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES for AFFECTED VETERANS”. Also (page 4) states “EVIDENCE RELATED TO EACH EXPOSURE AS A CAUSE OR CONTRIBUTOR TO GULF WAR ILLNESS”. On (pages 7-9) it states that “(1) oil well fire exposure, (2) depleted uranium (DU), (3) vaccines (investigational), (4) pyridostigmine bromide (PB)/NAPP pills (investigational), (5) nerve agents, (6) combination of all exposures, “CAN NOT BE RULED OUT”. On (pages 140 & 141) in this very report my unit is mentioned (VII CORPS 2nd ACR) in khamisiyah and being exposed to nerve agents in that area.

    Even with all the information that is out there, my experience with the VA system has been a struggle not to leave out the VA administration, even with my documentation (military) and the from the ( VA medical centers) and the (Research Advisory Report nov. 2008). I’ve yet have met a VA doctor aware of such a report and what it says about Gulf war illness. I can only hope the truth will come out of all this research and those of us veterans suffering from such illnesses and that we have something to look forward to in treatment and put an end to the struggle.To add i dont recieve any service connection for many of the VA diagnosis that are a result from operations in iraq.To date many va doctors continue to be bias on us veterans who are sick and seem at times to have there own opinion instead of having knowledge from the va’s Research Advisory Committee nor take there statements as being true or in consideration.Not all va’s are bad nor are all va doctors bias or bad, and we are going to have the bad with the good. And the va doesn’t compensate many of us sick veterans even though the laws by congress are and have been passed to compensate us. Maybe there should be a task force to investigate those doing ratings and make sure they are abiding by the laws. iam sure they have a huge work load. All said I have had 2 suicide attempts (a) cut both my wrist 1993 (b) stabbed myself in the chest (2003) hoping to hit my heart only to just miss it by centimeters and punctured a hole in my lining of my lungs.

    i love my country and hope one day things will work out for us veterans and we get great research and treatment and some truth all in the end!!!

    Mark

    VII Coprs 2nd ACR

    “tojour prey” /” cav all the way”

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  4. HELLO,
    I have been sick with Gulf War Illness since leaving the Army in June of 1991.
    Most recently diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and Optic Neuritis (blind in my right eye).
    It has taken YEARS to be seen as a ODS veteran; they tried to treat all the symptoms separately instead of pointing at the big picture.

    SOME photos and video I provided them for this movie.
    I spent 5 months in Saudi and 2 months in Iraq.
    Through “midnight afternoons”, Scud missile hits, and US Demolition Operations at Khamisiyah. Ordered to take Pyridostigmine Bromide 41 (2 packets) in all over 2 months.

    Kristen ~ ODS Nov 1990 – June 1991 w/ GWI, PTSD, MST, IBS, MS, ON

    http://www.womenatwarmovie.com

    Women At War: Forgotten Veterans of Desert Storm

    ABOUT THE FILM:

    The 76 minute minute feature documentary “Women At War: Forgotten Veterans of Desert Storm” takes an intimate look at women soldiers’ wartime experiences on the toxic battlefields of 1991’s Operation Desert Storm and their heartbreaking battles
    with Gulf War illnesses since they’ve returned home. Carol Williams and three other
    female veterans fight the Veterans Administration for proper treatment and benefits in their search for answers to their search for answers to their mysterious Gulf War illnesses.

    Experiences of homelessness, suicidal despair and loss of their female reproductive
    functions due to the war haunt them. These women experience the outrage of betrayal when they discover the VA isn’t there for female Gulf War veterans when they come home. They wonder why they’ve been abandoned by the government they risked their lives to serve. Over twenty years later, their war isn’t over.

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  5. OIF Veteran 2006 – 2007
    As of: June 20, 2012

    Generalized Anxiety, Hypertension, Nonspecific reaction to tuberculin skin test without active tuberculosis, Partial Loss of near-sighted vision and sensitivity to bright/sun light, Diabetes Mellitus Type II, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Uterine Fibroids and Menstrual Disorder, Tremors in legs, Pain throughout entire body, Peripheral Neuropathy, Numbness in hands, Tremors in hands, Numbness in legs, Fibromyalgia, Headaches.

    1. Up until two weeks ago, I worked a full-time job. On June 5, 2012 I had to finally succumb to my medically unexplained chronic multisymptom illnesses and take a leave of absence from my civilian career. Preparing the documentation for a VA disability claim is a full-time job in itself. A U.S. Service Member that suffers from medically unexplained chronic multisymptom illnesses has an even more difficult time in preparing a claim since our cognitive skills are affected, we have memory disturbance and problems with concentration, we are in constant pain and many of us suffer with chronic fatigue syndrome.

    2. I participated in a Gulf War Health Registry Exam at the Aleda E. Lutz VA Medical Center on August 16, 2011. I participated in the required VA C & P medical exams in July 2011. The eye exam was thorough; however, in my opinion, the psychological and physical exams are lacking in credibility and thoroughness. My next endeavor is to review all of the medical notes and history in my medical file at the Aleda E. Lutz VA Medical Center and request correction of all erroneous and slanderous information.

    3. I initially filed my VA claim for compensation and disability June 1, 2011. I submitted all requested documentation and attended all required medical appointments. I filed my final submission in support of my claim on September 29, 2011. From August 8, 2011 until December 6, 2011, I received bi-monthly letters for the VA stating that the VA was still processing my claim. I patiently waited until January 2012 before I requested assistance from various political resources. I was not aware that the VA had Disability Benefit Questionnaires (DBQ’s) available for civilian physician use until I received the letter from the VA in April 2012. I printed the 25 DBQ’s related to my illness and took them to my civilian physician’s appointment in May 2012. My physician looked at the 1 inch stack of papers in dismay. If the DBQ’s are necessary to support my claim for medically undiagnosed multisymptom illnesses, I will make an appointment at the Detroit VA hospital to have my illnesses reviewed and annotated on the DBQ’s.

    4. I have struggled over the past year and a half to function in my civilian career, my military career and as a person. The Michigan Army National Guard is currently in the process of separating me from the military due to my illnesses. Since my illnesses are not diagnosable, the Michigan Army National Guard is not considering my illnesses as service connected; therefore, I will not receive military medical disability unless I want to pay for the Medical Evaluation Board myself. My civilian employer has been more than generous in terms of my military service. I have struggled every day to remain at my civilian job and do the best that I can for my civilian employer.

    5. I did not have a major injury or illness during active military service. Based on my experience during deployment and my minimal knowledge of exposures that may possibly cause medically undiagnosed multisymptom illnesses in U.S. Service Members deployed in support of the Persian Gulf War, I can only speculate that the multiple vaccinations and time intervals at which I received them are the cause of my illnesses. To my knowledge, there are currently no medical tests to substantiate if a U.S. Service Member is suffering with medically undiagnosed chronic multisymptom illnesses associated with military service during the Gulf War. In addition, there is currently no cure for those suffering with medically undiagnosed chronic multisymptom illnesses due to military service.

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    1. Hi Tamara,
      I am so sorry to hear of your problems. I know what it’s like. I too lost my job and it was some time after the war before I even felt any real symptoms, although I had a few things that I didn’t realize for a long time, but any way, I know it’s a very difficult time for you right now, but I want to let you know that I am going to be trying my best to guide you through it. I do know of some testing places in D.C. and I am talking to a person who has been fighting for 100 percent service-connected disability since the war ended and got it and she also gets social security. She said there are some testing centers and doctors and stuff on our side. I’m trying to get my appeal approved, but I just moved from Wisconsin to Florida so now I have to go through the whole process here again, but anyways – hang in there and I will try and get you what you need as soon as possible. Also – check the links out from time to time – I try to add as many as I can find. And just do VA searches, usa.gov, google searches etc.. there’s a lot of good reseources out there and I’m just learning as I go too. It’s true – it’s like more work to file a claim then a regular job. I have to type via a speech recognition headset because my hands are all ate up with problems. But first you should get an advocate to help you. Be careful because they aren’t all the best – but a veteran’s service officer is your county’s rep and then I would advise geting the DAV on your side. Everyone tells me they are the best and I just switched and haven’t talked to them yet, but we’ll see – then also write your congressman – often times they have people who work for vets and can help cut through the red tape. Hang in there and if you need anything at all – don’t hesitate to ask!!! I mean it – anything. And if you want to make a post of your own – I would be very happy to do that too! Take care, dave

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    1. Thanks Ed for remindind me! I just moved so I’ve been going through that hassle of updating everything. Your comment was amazing! This is the kind of action we as veterans and our politicians need to take for us or we are going to be stuck in limbo for eternity. I hear from a lot of vietnam vets “Well, that’s nothing new, we went through that with agent orange – they’re just waiting for enough of you to die off…” Pretty scary. Together we are still an army just like when we were there and if we get that 1 in 4 of that army banded together we can do some real damage. Perhaps even march on Washington and demand action be taken! Take care, brother, and thanks so much for your support of my blog. I value all my readers as not just readers, but fellow vets who are lost in the dark here.

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  6. I was deployed to Al Jaber airbase, Kuwait from Sept 96 – Mar 97. I separated in Aug 97. I have dealt with severe fatigue, mysterious infections, weak immune system, muscle and joint pain ever since. I saw doctors over the years who could never figure out what was going on. In the past year, I developed a severe stutter and tremor in my head and neck, and my legs quit working correctly. I have to focus and exert extreme effort to use stairs, or even to walk up a mild grade. I have spent the past four months being tossed around va, to finally end up being told that I most likely have a psychogenic movement disorder. Both my pcp and my psychologist disagree. Apparently, va is just trying to push us off. I am amazed at how many of my fellow vets are experiencing the same thing. I will be making my va claim for service connected disability in the next few days.

    I truly believe that we need to find a way to get someone to listen to us and actually begin to research what is happening to us. There are too many of us who are experiencing the same things for them to continue telling us it is “all in our heads”.

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    1. Matthew, I am so sorry that you are going through all that. I can relate and I don’t know why we are being done this way at all. It is something that we all take very seriously because it not just affects us, but also our loved ones and friends. I think if we can all stick together and organize some sort of peaceful protest or form an organization that was my goal of this blog. I don’t know what direction it would go in and I don’t necessarily want to run it. Herein lies the biggest obstacle to me as far as that is concerned in that we are all very sick. How do several men and women who are fatigued, achey, dealing with many other issues…how do we go about leadership when it’s hard for us just to make it through the day without screaming 100 times? We need outside influences or recently someone suggested a celebrity and some very intelligent people such as yourself to document (possibly on youtube) what is going on so that there is a diary of us all going through this same thing and it’s not some Jedi mind-trick bullshit.
      Hang in there, my friend and come back often. I am always available for further contact here, e-mail or by phone. THanks for contributing.
      Best,
      Dave Dockery

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    2. Matthew, I apologize for taking so long to reply. I read this a while back and then almost the same exact thing happened to me. I am unable to go up stairs. I got tossed around and put into a nursing home most of the summer because Michigan gave me Medicaid by mistake when I separated from my wife in FL. I don’t get it either but the main thing is what you said about us all getting together somehow as a collective pain in the ass for the VA. It’s sad that it has to be that way to get our rights but that’s how many other veterans did it before us. I read recently that we are being described as the forgotten warriors II because just like Korean war vets we are sandwhiched between the guys coming back in recent years and the many retiring baby boomers.

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