Calls Decision ‘Vindication’ for Gulf War Veterans
(Washington, DC – PRESS RELEASE ) U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison released the following statement concerning the Department of Veterans Affairs decision to reconsider the rejected claims of Gulf War veterans:
“Today’s decision by the VA to reconsider the rejected claims of the Gulf War veterans is a long-awaited vindication for those veterans who have suffered unexplained illness as a result of their service during the Gulf War and for those who have advocated on their behalf for benefits, research and treatment. I want to commend the VA for finally recognizing Gulf War Illness in our veterans and for the pro-active approach they will take in the future in dealing with these veterans, funding research and granting benefits to those who may have been exposed. For too long, our veterans have had their health concerns dismissed as ‘imaginary’ or ‘stress-related’ first by the Department of Defense and then by the VA. I commend Secretary Shinseki for doing the right thing.
“It is also a vindication for the medical researchers at UT Southwestern and elsewhere who have worked tirelessly to identify the connection between the exposure to chemicals and toxins our servicemen and women may have experienced during the first Gulf War and the symptoms and illnesses these veterans suffer from today.
“I fought long and hard for funding for Gulf War Illness research, and to get it I had to fight an entrenched bureaucracy that denied the legitimacy of these veterans’ health issues. No one was a bigger ally of mine nor a greater voice in support of these veterans during those battles than Ross Perot, who has been a tireless supporter and advocate for veterans.”
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