Gulf War Illness Caused By Sarin Gas Exposure, Researcher Says
Veterans suffering from Gulf War Syndrome were exposed to sarin gas according to research findings that “prove” the connection.
Variants in genetics between veterans resulted in difference of effect from the exposure, not malingering, personality disorder, or some other psychosis.
Exposure to sarin gas was responsible for sickening roughly 250,000 US troops who served in the 1990-91 Persian Gulf War. After 30 years of federal agencies treating Gulf War veterans as crazy for their mysterious conditions repeated the same sins as those same federal agencies after Vietnam. And shame on them.
What caused the exposure?
US destroyed a bunker housing chemical weapons at the Khamisiyah Ammunition Storage Depot located in southern Iraq. The explosion created a plume of toxins that spread across a 25-mile radius. Thousands of coalition troops were likely exposed to sarin and cyclosarin.
Who may be linked to the exposure?
Newsweek published a story in 2015 linking former VA chief of staff John Gingrich to the nerve gas demolition impacting thousands of troops for decades:
Bunker said that when troops first became ill, his battalion commander, Col. John Gingrich, radioed headquarters to find out what was happening. He was told: “It’s the heat.”
“We knew this wasn’t true,” Bunker said. “It was only 85 degrees, and we’d trained in over 100 degrees—without people getting sick like this.” The next day, division commander Maj. General Thomas Rhame and Col. Michael Dodson came to their base. “They told Gingrich to be quiet about the men’s symptoms,” Bunker said.
READ NEWSWEEK: US Nerve Gas Hit Own Troops
According to a report from Military.com about the newest study:
Following the Gulf War, nearly one-third of all who deployed reported unexplained chronic symptoms such as rashes, fatigue, gastrointestinal and digestive issues, brain “fog,” neuropathy, and muscle and joint pain. Federal agencies spent years broadly dismissing the idea that troops may have been suffering from exposure to chemical agents, with many veterans experiencing symptoms sent to mental health providers.
But a study published last week in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives used genetic research and survey data to determine that U.S. service members exposed to sarin were more likely to develop Gulf War Illness, and those who were exposed and had a weaker variant of a gene that helps digest pesticides were nine times more likely to have symptoms.
“Quite simply, our findings prove that Gulf War illness was caused by sarin, which was released when we bombed Iraqi chemical weapons storage and production facilities,” said Haley, director of the Division of Epidemiology in the Internal Medicine Department at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
“There are still more than 100,000 Gulf War veterans who are not getting help for this illness and our hope is that these findings will accelerate the search for better treatment,” Haley said.
Treatment from VA over the next 2 decades focused on psychiatric symptoms without properly addressing the environmental exposure.
In 2013, VA whistleblower Steven Coughlin reported the agency had buried or obscured research findings linking physical ailments to military services.
The criminal obfuscation against our veterans was in an effort to deny veterans needed health care services and benefits.
Coughlin’s charges were later confirmed by an email sent to staff from former Undersecretary for Benefits Allison Hickey expressing concern that changing what the VA still calls “chronic multisymptom illness” to “Gulf War illness” might “imply a causal link between service in the Gulf and poor health which could necessitate legislation for disability compensation for veterans who served in the Gulf.”
Seems like a fun bunch, right? Imagine how many veterans suffered without compensation and without health care services. VA couldn’t provide adequate health care because that would prove the link. Instead, they opted to treat many of the sick veterans as malingerers or crabby loons.
What other disabilities from exposures is VA trying to cover up? How long with the deception last?
We know VA will fight you to the death. So that answers that question. What is the remedy when a federal agency fights you to your death?
Read the full Military.com article to learn more about the science behind the revelation.
So, here’s how I view the issue raised by Undersecretary Hickey when the Undersecretary for Benefits expressed
“…concern that changing what the VA still calls ‘chronic multisymptom illness’ to ‘Gulf War illness’ might ‘imply a causal link between service in the Gulf and poor health which could necessitate legislation for disability compensation for veterans…’ ”
The idea of *concern* is perfectly acceptable. It’s not the *concern* which I find so frustrating. Actually, I believe it is entirely appropriate for a VA Undersecretary of Benefits to exhibit *concerns* over a radical change to benefits, and appropriate that an Undersecretary identifies Congress as the proper venue to resolve complex issues having a strong element of national policy to them.
The thing I am so deeply opposed to is that, in the VA bureaucracy, *concern* is synonymous with **opposition**. The idea that a Veteran should actually be disabled **to some extent** if they are to receive Disability benefits is entirely just. However, that basic justness does *not* license the bureaucratic intransigence and institutional opposition to giving *any* Veteran disability status ever, as actually exhibited by the VA bureaucracy.
I understand that some of it is the nature of bureaucracy–those Iron Laws again. But when a simple concept like “the Veteran should get the benefit of the doubt” (President Obama) becomes a toothless test applied in absurd circumstances–the VA’s core C&P resolution guidance of “likely, unlikely, as likely as not likely” , and the VA concept of “equal probability”–one has to conclude that the VA bureaucracy treats veterans as thieves trying to con the VA out of the VA’s money.
If Undersecretary Hickey were expressing genuine concern that making a radical change to compensation needs Congressional input–that being the proper role for the Executive and Legislative branches–it would be refreshing and cause for hope.
What Undersecretary Hickey is actually saying is that the VA knows that Gulf War vets are trying to scam the system, but they are threatening to drop the “denial buck” on Congress if any more members of Congress try and make political traction on this “thing”.
And so, nothing changes. Sometime in late 2022, the VA may finally allow my caregiver to be registered (after “purging” them) and receive a pittance. We will not receive “back pittance”, because no one “denied” anything, they simply “could not” get the program organised without ensuring that the youngest combat veterans received first priority for registering, while the oldest went last (they eventually relented and inserted Vietnam Era veterans ahead of Cold War Era veterans…hurray?). A veteran fights for twenty-odd years to “prove” a claim; shortly after the claim lapses, service connection is approved, but rules are rules, and no back benefits are paid.
I am highly resistant to the idea of grand conspiracies. The “deep state” is really just the indifference of humans to one another, combined with the power of self-interest in all human interactions. And then I look at something like the way Caregivers were registered, or C&P is performed, and I have a real hard time arguing against the belief that the core VA Management Culture is “Veterans are liars and cheaters; they are old or broken, or both; the longer we can defer a decision, the more we can keep them from scamming our organisation”.
Now I don’t think it’s actual malice–institutions don’t exhibit personality traits. But I do believe that the individuals vested with power to effect that culture are subject to a pervasive culture that sees veterans as the source of their troubles, and not the reason they and their organisation exists. I expect one would find that many of them can state with conviction that they *serve* Veterans, but actual veterans–“veterans”, if you will–turn out to be disappointingly human. We are not comic book characters who love peace and Mary Kate next door. But we did serve, and it was decided by the most serious means this Republic has that service in the armed forces was worthy of special consideration.
On that note, imagine if Veterans received the remuneration, perquisites, and post-service benefits, that members of Congress and Senators do. After all, isn’t the justification for their lavish benefits the ideal of their service?
Well said Steven. My hope for you is that your situation is resolved soon, and you are able to get something for your caregiver. Yes, the program was ill planned and executed from the very beginning. As so many of the VA’s programs are.
I don’t even bother to go to the VA anymore. A useless bureaucracy of diversity hires who DO NOT GIVE A FUCK about YOU! I had seven concussions during my tour of duty, 18 years, and the VA doctors tell me those aren’t “traumatic brain injuries”, a load of bullshit. It was bad enough going to see SOCIAL WORKERS to get a PTSD diagnoses. The VA should be shut down and those people running it should be SHOT. I am sick and tired of hearing affirmative action hires tell me they were a 1sg, when they don’t even understand that they got the job because they were BLACK. FUCK the VA and FUCK THE ARMY TOO.
Silicosis is another ailment from serving in the catbox. Anyone bother figuring out why we were even there? I saw a LOT of shady shit occur. I saw the museum in Baghdad get looted, took everything with GILGAMESH on it. I saw 23 dump-trucks of GOLD BRICKS leave the International Bank of Iraq in Baghdad! All sent through Syria along MSR Tampa. All to Israel. I saw enough VX Nerve agent in 50,000 barrels….to sterilize ALL OF NY STATE! Media says not a WMD…. I even took a shit on that gold toilet.
But honestly, anyone know why we were REALLY there? It was because Saddam was backing his money with GOLD. We invaded Iraq for the god damn jews.
Besides Khamysiyah, there were other “incidents” of sarin releases. Namely scuds that were downed, or crashed before their intended targets in Ryihad and Dammam. Also chemical minefields surrounding burning oil platforms. All confirmed at point of detonation by M8 alarms and M256 test kits.
Per the usual, wait 30 years so those most seriously affected are dead, then have those of us remaining prove our locations up to a 10 digit grid in order to satisfy whatever bogus standard the VA has put in place despite dozens of years of treatment for the supposed presumptive conditions by the VA. And the wheels on the bus go round and round….
I pity the OIF/OEF veterans who served in the Gulf War, Round 2. The same game with the VA (Delay, Deny, Hope that you Die) will still be played until the number of veterans who were exposed to burn pits, sarin, etc. who should be eligible for compensation will be delayed from receiving any useful healthcare. The VA will continue to deny that anything is seriously wrong with you for years – – – while they ‘study and monitor’. After 50% of the suffering veterans are either dead, or beyond being able to file a claim – – – the Congress will then introduce legislation to have you compensated. Expect this to take about 10 to 20 years from initial introduction to final passage. The VA will push back against the congressional legislation dragging out for as long as possible having to pay you disability compensation. By this time, 85% or more of you will be dead. So when Uncle Sammy does have to shell out the simoleans – – – he will have to only shell out 15% of what you actually deserve.
This general formula has been working well for Uncle Sammy ever since Operation Crossroads in 1946. Why would the guvmint change a successful and winning strategy. Meantime, another 400,000 acres of forest will be used to make printer paper. And the beat goes on . . .
So here is what the young vets need to do. Network. Stick together. Make as much noise as you can on paper with your congressional reps. Using a computer? Screenshot everything and backup everything concerning your claim. Don’t blow your top at VA people too often as that will just get you in front of the infamous DBC. That will really slow your claim down. And hang in there!!! First, they delay and deny. Second, they hate you for persevering. Third, you win!
Good luck from this Old Fart!
Whoops! Forgot to add: And above all stay on mission! When it comes time to vote in elections, the only thing that should matter to you is the prospective candidates voting records on veterans issues. Everything else the media spews out is just noise.
That is how you will be able to force the VA to change for the better.
VOTE…HA HA HA HA!!!!!! YOU’RE FUNNY GUY. I sat on the TARMAC in Ramstein AM MAIN and watched 300k ballots get wet in the rain. For the 2004 Election, They got thrown in the garbage! Voting doesn’t matter, because if it DID they wouldn’t allow participation.
you are right on the money.
Thank you, A***l*
We’ve heard those names attached to more than a few articles not conducive to giving healthcare and compensation to veterans.
Here’s another article out today concerning how someone who MURDERED veterans at a West Virginia VA hospital;
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