Monday, March 21, 2011

California Gulf War Veteran Tells His Story

Seeks to connect with other Southern California GWI Veterans

I would like to first thank you for your work and dedication in the fight for Gulf War Veterans and their families.

My story sounds a lot like many that I have read about on 9loutcomes and other sources.

I first started having health issues after our pre-deployment vaccinations becoming physically ill then having odd behavior which I was aware of but didn't seem to be able to control. During deployment I went on sick call 2 times that I can recall once for kidney stones (so I was told) and once because I was having difficulties breathing. Neither of these are there records for nor are there records of my pre-deployment shot records.

After returning from deployment with my unit l was discharged 4-5 weeks later having past my date to exit and no longer feeling the Army was where I wanted or needed to be. As a side note before deployment I had maxed out my P.T. Test and had recently take a physical for Special Forces which I have a copy of along with my services and medical records.

Once returning home I continued to struggle with numerous health issues but was unable to get any real help so I dove on and coped to the best of my abilities which at times was not very good. I put myself through college at California State University of Sacramento where I earned a B.S. in Physical Education along with a Teaching Credential in Phys. Ed and a Teaching Credential in Adapted Physical Education, which is Physical Education for children with disabilities. Before the end of my credentialing program i secured a teaching position with L.A.U.S D. (Los Angeles Unified School District) and began working with them when I finished my program.

Over the year I have had many health issues. Chronic respiratory issues to include upper respiratory infections chronic bronchitis and asthma, shingles then post herpetic neuralgia which never went away, some unknown burning sensation on my entire left side of my body and at times on my right foot, leg and arm which the VA neurologist call a chronic pain syndrome which is a mystery, diverticulitis, almost constant rash on my chest neck arms and other parts of my body, chronic fatigue and serious sleep issues.

These are a few of the health issues I have been dealing with and continue to deal with. My wife became pregnant with our first daughter who was still born at 34 weeks into the pregnancy and I have a daughter who had heart surgery for a double aortic arch at 3 months old then another surgery to remove her adenoids and tonsils at 2-3 years of age because they were abnormally large and she had difficulties with her breathing.

I was recently rated in at 70% for panic disorder and anxiety but was denied for all of my physical issues even though I have years of medical documentation from the VA system and outside medical agencies.

I have had many medical procedures Brain MRI’s, body MRI’s, lumbar puncture procedure, nerve conduction test just to name a few. I’m always told the results are normal and usually told to take a pill. One of the issues with that is that I’m sensitive to many medications and extremely sensitive to chemicals in general.

I’m not sure why I’m writing this letter but I felt I should contact you and maybe you could give me some advice. I also would like to help other GW Veterans in any way possible. If at all possible I would like to connect with other ill GW vets in my area. I currently reside in Ventura, California. Sorry about the rambling of this letter.

Thank You

Leo (Email -

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