VA continues to study and improve care for Gulf War Veterans


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The end of February 2018 marks the 27th anniversary of the end of combat operations of the first Gulf War, which includes the buildup of Operation Desert Shield and combat in Operation Desert Storm.

Nearly 700,000 men and women served in the Persian Gulf during Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Since then, VA researchers have studied conditions affecting Gulf War Veterans and are identifying the best ways to diagnose and treat them. Their efforts are guided by a strategic plan for Gulf War research developed with input from leading scientists and researchers, physicians and Veterans themselves.

A 2016 study by VA researchers based on data collected in 2012, indicated that Gulf War Veterans reported poorer health nearly 20 years later than those who served at the same time, but did not see service in the gulf.

VA offers a variety of health care benefits to Gulf War Veterans. VA’s Gulf War Registry health exam alerts Veterans to possible long-term health problems that may be related to environmental exposures during their military service. The registry data also helps VA understand and respond to these health problems more effectively. If you served during the Gulf War, contact your local VA Environmental Health coordinator about getting a Gulf War Registry health exam. Eligible Veterans may qualify for disability compensation and other benefits. Dependents and survivors may also be eligible for benefits.

The Gulf War Review newsletter provides information for those who served in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm and their families.  Included in the most recent newsletter — Winter 2017 — is a research roundup, which highlights the latest research on the health of Gulf War Veterans.

Leadership and input on Gulf War Veterans issues is provided to VA by the Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses, which was created by Congress in 1998. The committee provides advice and makes recommendations to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs on proposed research studies, plans, and strategies related to understanding and treating the health consequences of military service in the Southwest Asia theater of operations during the 1990 – 1991 Gulf War.

Read the Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses 2017 Recommendations.

For more information on VA’s efforts on behalf of Gulf War Veterans, visit the Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses section of the VA Office of Public Health website.

Author

Megan Moloney

— Megan joined VA in May 2013. She is the daughter, granddaughter and spouse of Army and Navy Veterans who served in World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Comments

  1. Michael C Burdick    

    The long term inhalation of toxic chemical fumes from oil well tires is enough alone to warrant compensation however the VA is more concerned with burn out exposure as a deterent to addressing these concerns.

    1. Mike Smith    

      I guess the VA likes touring Europe and killing people in the US, versus caring for them.

      1. Paul    

        I concur… you forgot to mention their bonuses they get tons of bonuses. Because they need the money there’s such great workers at the VA. Don’t forget the Phoenix VA they deserve some series bonuses there.

  2. Mike Smith    

    Hi, I think it’s ironic the VA has an Enviormental Gulf Registry, yet when you file for a disability and use the Enviromental Hazard as the cause, they deny it. Furthermore, I like how they just overlook public law that covers being there for disability. We all know this is the next Agent Orange and the VA will deny for as long as possible.

  3. Donald K. Goodin    

    I wish the Secretary would follow through on his overdue promise as whether bladder cancer is a presumptive disease. Be honest with us, if it is a matter of funding, let us know and we’ll rattle Congress’ cage.

  4. Paul    

    I read some articles online in regards to Gulf War veterans that served in combat. Their disability claims get denied most of the time because the nitwits working in cubicles at the Veterans Administration have no clue about the health hazards that they were exposed too. I’m a US Marine Infantry who served in the Gulf War and entered Kuwait through the oil fields Under Fire and Flames and smoke and dead bodies and decomposing flesh from animals and humans. They basically told me to go to hell claim denied. They State I wasn’t exposed to anything. But if you were a cook in a kitchen serving in the armed forces you’ll get a hundred percent for slipping in the kitchen. I have no respect for the veterans administration and they keep on screwing our veterans every chance they get. May they all rot in hell.

      1. ArmyofOne    

        I feel the same way. I was in the Army and I’m sure we were in the same area. I’m denied as well.

    1. Enrique de Ispaña    

      Paul , I can vouch for you marines , I was one of the army medics that brought some of you into camp freedom for (decon) showers. You marines were contaminated as much as the people in the medical company that I served. Camp Freedom was south of the airport , in the airport we found evidence of chemicals being used…when cbr alarms went off , we were told it was a false reading and to reset but not report. To this day there is still a effort to deny reality…..

      1. paul    

        God Bless you my fellow Vet.
        The VA is nothing but a game on how to play our Vets in every way!!!
        Sincerely Enrique…..
        Semper Fi…..

  5. Dan Sargent    

    My loved one has recently been diagnosed with c.m.l. .A rare leukemia caused by chemical and radiation. her Dr. told her this has basically formed over the last 25 years or so after first contact. She also has a cist on her pancreas.Plus a number of other symptoms.Yet the v.a. told her that until Congress acts.on this to be recognized it can’t be compensated.This is exactly what happened to the soldiers in Vietnam. Agent orange.By the time the Congress admitted to this reality.Most of the vets had passed away ,saving the government billions of dollars for compensation.My uncle lived a horrible life after returning just to be kicked to the curb.This is in fact the next agent orange.

  6. Jay    

    BS VA is just paying lip service to the general public while completely blowing off the affected/afflicted veterans of the Gulf War, I speak from experience.

  7. Misty Slater    

    I didn’t serve during the Gulf War. But, I was in Saudi in 2002 & Iraq in 2009. I had a health issue come up while in Saudi. No biggie, it happens. Then another one. Just a part of getting older & having kids I thought. Then, I came back from Iraq with IBS & Fibromyalgia, fatigue, etc. Felt like crap all the time. VA tells me that my Fibromyalgia isn’t service connected, but yet my IBS is. My VA doc writes scripts for lyrica for my Fibromyalgia. Doesn’t make sense to me.

  8. Gary Bradley    

    The current administration needs to recognize brain cancer as a presumptive medical condition of service in SWA. The previous administration denied this based on insufficient evidence even though the VA Secretary agreed it should become a presumptive condition.

    It took a long time to get the acknowledgment of the illnesses as it is. Many Gulf War veterans do not have the time or quality of life to wait on more research to determine that this is a condition at least likely than not related to their military service.

    Furthermore, there need to be better training for the ratings officers to properly adjudicate the claims for disabilities as related to Gulf War presumptive illnesses.

  9. Fred Florence    

    I am Desert Shield/Desert Storm veteran and was just recently granted 60% for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome with extended conditions of Migraines and Bi-lateral joint pains. I first had to prove that i did not have sleep apnea, once that test was completed, i was immediately approved for CFS. Keep up the fight fellow vets and don’t give up or give in. This journey for compensation is only the beginning for me after more than 20 years of suffering.

  10. Brian Beck    

    In 95 I did the registry. Told the doc I have these symptoms that they were looking in to back then, many are still in their list. That doc(use term loosely) said flat out “not service connected. It is now 2018 and would believe I have the same things going on and then done. Still trying to get the help I need. I’ll most likely be dead long before the VA helps. Good for the VA, bad for me and my family.

  11. STEPHEN HARDWICK    

    I served onboard the uss South Carolina from 89-93 and can u believe that the va can not find my shipboard medical records?? I’ve been fighting to locate my records for the last 15 yrs. I have been complaining of fatigue for the last 10 years and my doc told me to find a less physical demanding job WOW. the va should be ashamed of themselves but most in Congress have never served their country on foreign soil so they don’t care about those that did. Let’s keep fighting for what is rightfully ours!!!

    1. Paul    

      Right on…The of majority congress are slip and slide lawyers in office and the Veterans Administration workers never served either ,majority of them. Not surprised and they show no empathy either towards our vets..

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