Most of the veterans that the NGWRC is working with feel that the veterans who took part in Operations from Desert Shield through Operation Southern Watch are now the second generation of ‘Forgotten Warrior’ and so we are the Forgotten Warrior II. The VA shows this in a variety of ways. (SEE page 34 of the VA manual 'Military Facts for Nonmilitary Social Workers' for one example. You will find on this page that of all of the war medals from WWII until New Dawn; but they left out those for Desert Shield / Storm. What a slap in the face!)
Much like the veterans of the Korean War felt forgotten as illustrated in The “Forgotten War” by Clay Blair Jr., so too the Desert Storm vets feel as the Forgotten Warrior II by there healthcare system.The VA needs to salvage our trust in how they treat us Desert Storm Veterans; we have some concepts as to what can be done for the first few steps. We should also remember, "If you only look for the faults in someone (or something or program) you will never see the good that there is or can be."
We have to tell Veterans how to educate their doctors of the War Related Illness and Injury Study Center (WRIISC), about the presumptive illnesses to their service and in some cases about how our forces blew up nerve gas during Desert Storm.
Veterans need to show their doctors and VSOs what Fibromyalgia (FM), Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and the other presumptive illnesses are. Often doctors have not heard of them or do not believe in them. Many of the VSOs do not know how to even do a claim on them correctly.
We have some things on this site and we will be adding to it as the plans and more ideas come in.
Veterans and researchers should keep some things in mind in all of this so should the VA. We would like our health back or a better life; some of us fully under stand that there is no way of testing all of the 20+ toxins at the same time to see how they will inter act. We all know that it is only then that this puzzle could have been solved.
Some of us know also that with any chronic pain disorder depression will develop so to now say it is only depression is like asking, "What came first the chicken or the egg?".
Mr. Bunker in the mid-90's addressed a panel at Ft. Riley and some did agree, yet it went no place. He did it yet again a few years later in Kansas City .
My parable on Gulf War Illness and finding the answers, this is just my parable on it something for everyone to just think about for a second or two. Then back to work at making our life better.
We went to a tavern and drank a glass of water. In the water there were anywhere from 1 to 30 pills of different types. All of us had some of the same pills, some did not have some of the pills others, and some had more of one kind than others. Some of us were smart and dumped the water out and never drank.
We drank the drink, week after week, for a month. Two months after we stopped, some got sick right away while others took a month or two. For some it took even longer three, five, even ten years later. Yet there are others that never did become sick even twenty years later.
Someone found out about the pills in the water not long after it started and gave out the list of pills. At first the tavern denied it but then came clean but said it would not harm anyone. Then the list went public and one person said it was pill A that made him sick while others said it was pill B; still others said F, H, W, and X. Many only looked at one or two of the pills on the list but never knew just what pills they were given for there was no tracking of it that anyone knew of.
Everyone could only speculate as to what pills they had in the water.
Which pill did you really take? Which ones made you sick?
For me, I do not know and no one does.
The researchers have no way of testing all of the toxins we were exposed to at the same time.
That is why the VA has presumed that our illness is related to the exposures----
(Note all that are listed in the front of a Gulf War C&P exam or listed in U.S.C. 38 Section 1118)
It is the combined effect of these (3 to 25+) toxins that may make us sick and the way each of our own bodies handles them; thus a puzzle never to get solved with so few vets.
Veteran Information Network & National Gulf War Resource Center
The principal purpose of the National Gulf War Resource Center will be:
To provide education and support to benefit veterans, active duty personnel and their families.
To promote research and provide referrals that will improve the lives of these veterans or enable them to obtain the care and benefits they have earned.
To directly educate our veterans, provide a forum for them to discuss issues and help them to help one another.
To continue to collect and disseminate resources to individuals and organizations interested in providing services to those affected by the Persian Gulf War.