Monday, October 24, 2011

VA Releases Draft Gulf War Task Force Report, **SEEKS VETERAN FEEDBACK**

Draft Gulf War Task Force Report Is Released

VA Says Report "Redefines How Care and Services Are Provided
to Gulf War Veterans"

WASHINGTON (Oct. 21, 2011)- Today, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K.
Shinseki announced that the Department's Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses
Task Force has completed the draft of a comprehensive report that will
outline how the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) addresses the
concerns of Veterans who deployed during the Gulf War in 1990 and 1991.
"This report provides a roadmap for our continued enhancements in our
care and services we provide to Gulf War Veterans," said Shinseki. "We
will be applying lessons learned from this report to Veterans of all

Notification of the draft written report is published in the Federal
Register, and the draft written report addresses seven areas where VA
provides services for this group of Veterans.

Over the past year, the task force has examined, evaluated, designated
and adjusted the initial roadmap outlined in last year's report. VA has
designated steps to improve care and services to Gulf War I Veterans and
these improvements are becoming a part of our culture and operations.

This year's report focuses on improvements in the delivery of health
care for Gulf War Veterans. One of the most substantial additions is
modifications to clinical care models used for Gulf War Veterans, which
is the most critical point of service VA provides. There are better
linkages between specialty knowledge and services at the basic point of
care. Clinical research and development is significantly contributing
new concepts and methods to clinical practice and clinical education
throughout VA.

Two new positions were established in the Office of Research and
Development for deployment and Desert Shield and Desert Storm
health-related issues. Both positions have been filled and are enhancing
research efforts for Gulf War Veterans and will continue to do so in the
coming years.

VA is also strengthening partnerships and medical surveillance to
address the potential health impacts on Veterans from the environmental
exposures on today's battlefield. Additionally, VA continues to use
social media to improve communication with Gulf War Veterans.

The Chairman of the Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses Task Force is John R.
Gingrich, chief of staff at VA, a retired Army officer who also served
in the Gulf War.

"To ensure we are tracking the needs of our Veterans, we want to get
feedback from Gulf War Veterans on this draft report," said Gingrich.
"Their feedback is critical to our efforts to understand and serve their
specific needs. Therefore, we hope they take advantage of one of the
different opportunities to provide feedback that we have created for

As a first step, VA is seeking public comments on the draft written
report before final publication. The public notice and instructions for
how to submit electronic and comments via postal mail will be posted at<>, and the draft written
report will be open for comment for 30 days.

 In addition, VA recognizes
that a great number of Gulf War Veterans use the Internet on a daily
basis to share their ideas and concerns, so VA has also created a public
discussion board on the seven recommendations at:

To view the report without
making recommendations, please visit VA's website at

1 comment:

  1. We are the forgotten generation of Gulf War Deployed Veterans, NonDeployed Gulf War Era Veterans, Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom Veterans, and family members that are suffering with illnesses defined by Gulf War Illness (GWI).

    We collectively see areas for immediate change:
    • Transparency from all agencies involved in the Gulf War Illness
    • All GWI research findings be declassified and shared with the public
    • NonDeployed Gulf War Era Veterans need inclusion in presumption laws/research/treament
    • Registry/Network for Ill Gulf War Era Veterans pre 9/11 through current conflict or until the war is declared closed by Congress
    • Train VA practitioners to identify GWI
    • All outside medical diagnoses and nexus letters should carry more consideration than the C&P exams
    • FAST TRACK on claims and appeals with medically trained raters from 3rd party
    • Uphold the benefit of a doubt clause and stop ignoring Part B of the unemployability regulation
    • Repeal the quota system within the claims process
    • Funded research into alternative medicine and its treatments
    • Medical marijuana research funding for GWI treatment
    • Financial assistance given to veterans awaiting claims decisions to help prevent the financial devastation that results from waiting 2-10 years for decisions

    Improve and apply lessons learned from past practices and policies that can improve today’s programs and services supporting all Gulf War Era Veterans. We stand together in solidarity with all the lives lost due to death and disability.


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