Gulf War Illness Task Force is Formed

by Levi Newman on January 3, 2011

The Gulf War Illness Task Force has taken shape through the Department of Veterans Affairs. The task force plans to continue research with veterans from Desert Shield and Desert Storm and learn more about Gulf War Veteran Illness.

According to the task force, about one-quarter of the 697,000 troops who served in these wars have reported several disturbing symptoms such as chronic fatigue, gastrointestinal problems, sleep interruptions, skin disorders and lung problems. Other symptoms include weakness, frequent headaches, mood disorders and cognitive dysfunction.

Together these symptoms comprise Gulf War Veteran Illness. The VA already allotted $2.8 million for research concerning these symptoms.

With the help of veterans, the task force will research the illness for the next three to five years. So far the task force has found that exposure to toxins caused these symptoms, and mental health is not to blame.

Depleted uranium (DU) exposure is likely part of the task force’s research. Soldiers assigned to clean Bradley tanks from DU in Kuwait got sick. Talk of DU exposure is not common in the public sphere, but the task force has made it clear it does not want to wait and relive an Agent Orange-like aftermath.

Photo thanks to LietMotiv under creative common license on Flickr.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Joe Dienstag January 13, 2011 at 7:29 pm

20 years after the war they form a task force. How does it really help us? I have been denied over, and over again with the last rejection stating that my PTSD is the cause for my ailments. I have sent everything I can to the VA. I am enrolled in the VA DU program. I was a crew member on one of those Bradleys that were hit with DU munitions. I have been receiving treatment for unexplained pain, fatigue, intestinal problems, etc since 2006. Before that I was self medicating, not wanting to believe I was sick. I have lost every job, and can not hold one due to the ailments, and the medication which makes me almost useless most of the time. So I ask, what good is this Task Force? One reason I did not seek treatment from the VA was the very thing that is happening to me now. I feel ignored, and the system is broken. People who are homeless, and abuse drugs of their own accord, receive faster treatment, and assistance then the people who fought, and bled for this country. It is a shameful situation, which most people turn a blind eye to.

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