Okay, folks. I’ve talked about before, but I think now is the time. I am hurting bad and I know you are too, but I want a ask a favor of you. If you can get a friend, a spouse, a child or some other family member to help you – do it.We have to start writing our congressman and senators. We have to write or email or phone all of the important people because they need to be aware of our situation. 1 in 3 Gulf War Veterans have this. We also are twice as likely to develop Lou Gehrig’s Disease, Cancer and other diseases so our time is running out.The picture you see of me as my profile picture was taken several years ago when I was still healthy and working. This is a picture of me today so you can see the difference.
My hope is that this blog might inspire more vets to try and get the help they need. I contacted my senator, Bill Nelson, who has people working for him just to try and cut through the red tape to get us our benefits. Still we need to speak out.
Don’t let the V.A. brush you off or let a veteran’s service officer tell you that there’s nothing they can do for you. Don’t be rude either, but just be firm! Demand excellence as excellence was demanded of us!
This is a war cry! We were once loved by recruiters and C.O.’s because we could break our backs doing amazing things when we were young. Now that we are all used up it’s as if we are just discarded by some. Unfortunately, many doctors and nurses were not trained to deal with Gulf War Illness. We need to write the secretary of the VA and let him know this! He says he wants to help us, but I don’t think he’s aware that the health teams are not treating us correctly or to the expertise we need. This is not how it should be. In my opinion, there should be a department for all vets like Vietnam and for us a Gulf War Illness Center.
I also want you to contact all of your local media. Your newspapers, your television stations, radio stations and anyone who will listen – you let them know! Tell your friends and neighbors on Facebook, twitter and other social networks. Call and tell them. Don’t tell them everything, but generalize it because it’s been my experience that most people have their own stuff to deal with and don’t want to hear about your 30 different medical conditions! But just tell them it’s a respiratory thing, a stomach disorder, muscle and joint aches and pains and things like that.
We also need to push the Department of Defense to give us a reason for why we are the way we are. Stop covering it up – it’s been 20 years – enough is enough. Something made us sick and they know what it is.
Pay attention to what congress is doing or the senate and see if there are advocates for us such as Rockefeller who sits on the congressional committee for veteran’s affairs. I e-mailed him too. Also – bombard the president with phone calls and emails on a daily basis so he has no choice but to listen to us.
For those of you in despair who feel like you just can’t go on. I’ve been there. Recently I’ve been going to church and I know this is not for everybody, but I posted something I think that we all can relate to as a quote and a prayer.
I have big plans for G.I.V. I am in the process of updating an extra page on both Facebook and twitter, I am creating a logo and I am going to try and make it a non-profit. This won’t be your Grandpa’s vet organization either. This will be for us. Raising awareness is the key! Do it know and help me spread the word.