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.