Opening Moment of Silence Recognizes Severity of Gulf War Illness, Impact on Gulf War Veterans Two Decades After War
Written by Anthony Hardie
(91outcomes.com) – Today, the integration panel of the Congressionally directed Gulf War Illness Research Program (CDMRP is a U.S. Department of Defense military medical research funding program) will meet in the Washington, DC area to make its final determinations for funding approximately $8 million in Gulf War Illness research proposals.
The program is focused on treatments and research that will lead to treatments in order to improve the health and lives of Gulf War veterans of the 1991 Persian Gulf War.
The funding, appropriated each year by Congress, in contained in the annual Defense authorization and appropriations acts. This year’s defense authorization bill for has become the subject of news and controversy for several of the proposals it contains, though the media has made no mention of the Gulf War Illness research funding authorization it is believed to contain.
Proceedings of the panel are not public at this stage because the information being discussed includes proposals detailing proprietary intellectual property of the researchers and research institutions involved.
The funded proposals will be announced in the upcoming months, after they have been funded and contracts to perform the proposed research have been completed.
It is customary for each CDMRP panel to begin with a “Moment of Silence”. Having been given the honor of making today’s “Moment of Silence,” below is what I will be saying before the scientists, medical doctors, Gulf War veteran “consumer reviewers” and CDMRP staff and contractors begin this morning.
In recognition of the 250,000 veterans of the 1991 Gulf War who remain disabled by chronic multi-symptom illness better known as Gulf War Illness, may God bless these efforts, all the researchers who have worked so hard to develop proposed solutions to help improve the health and lives of Gulf War veterans, and the CDMRP staff, contractors, and reviewers, and the veterans all involved hope to help.
MOMENT OF SILENCE DEDICATION – Anthony Hardie, Gulf War Veteran
Delivered at the Commencement of the Gulf War Illness Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program’s Integration Panel Meeting at metro Washington, DC., December 2, 2010
The following are real stories from real Gulf War veterans who have written to me in the last few months.
From a A Missouri Navy Gulf War Veteran with PTSD and GWI: “I am a 90-91 veteran of the Gulf War. I have tried to receive help for many years through the Va and other sources. Since my discharge from the Navy I feel as though I really have not had a "good day" , when I am not sick with physical problem I am so withdraw from the outside world. I really don't know why I am writing this to you I just seen this and thought maybe someone would understand. Could you tell me where I could go or what you think Is wrong maybe you have encountered other veterans with some of these same problems.
“I have chronic breathing problems and bad stomach aches and body aches. My nose runs all the time and I have this persistent cough and a lot of time have hoarseness. I hate nighttime I do not sleep. I have severe anxiety and insomnia. I have severe mood swings and most of the time just want to be alone I cannot be around groups of people and really do not ever want to carry on conversations with anyone. I do not have friends and really do not want them. I just feel like life isn't going to be long for me so its hard for me to see the future. Is there any information or advice you could give me to help me and my family before I loose them all. Thank you your fellow veteran.”
And, From a female Gulf War veteran: “I finally (today) filed for VA disability for issues I have been dealing with since 1991 and that have increasingly gotten worse in the last 10 yrs. I filed for Fibromyalgia, Fatigue, tinnitis, headaches, plantar fascitis, and IBS. I did take the little pills and get the shots before deploying, but the military didnt keep records of this! There were also the black pesticide trucks all over Khobar where I lived every night. Main problem is that now, at 42, I can no longer handle the episodes or manage them with rest, diet, supplementation, etc, and new symptoms are cropping up now. I do not think I can work and support myself in a few years when they worsen even more.”
And, after responding to her, “THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU - It is nice to have someone tell me I have a case for my 19 years of suffering!!”
And, from A Medically Retired Army Gulf War Veteran from Kentucky: “ I'm feeling a little crappy, but oh well. I will live. Never had these rashes before the gulf. And they get bad and I get much sicker like I am now . Then my norm. But I have faith, things are going to get better.”
…And so, for the veterans like the Missouri Gulf War veteran with PTSD and GWI who has given up hope…
…For the 42-year-old female Gulf War veteran who is relieved just to know she has a case for her 19 years of suffering….
…For the Gulf War veteran from Kentucky who has faith in what we have been doing and what we are about to do here today…
…And for the approximately 250,000 of our fellow Gulf War veterans still dealing with chronic and debilitating multi-symptom illness not explained by any known psychiatric or medical diagnosis, please join me in a moment of silence before we begin this critically important work today and May God bless our efforts here today.