Tuesday, April 23, 2013

EXTREMELY URGENT: U.S. Senate Cosigners Needed Now to Continue Gulf War Illness Treatment Development Program

(91outcomes.com) -- Gulf War veterans and their advocates are grateful that U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has just launched this year's annual effort in the U.S. Senate to fund the treatment-focused Gulf War Illness (GWI) Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP).  

However, there is an extremely short deadline for other Senators to cosign.   Cosigners are needed to help ensure this Gulf War Illness treatment development program is funded this year.  The deadline for cosigning is the close of business this Thursday, April 25, 2013. 

Specifically, the push is to urge U.S. Senators to sign onto the "Sanders Dear Colleague Letter" for FY14 Gulf War Illness CDMRP funding.  The text of the Sanders "Dear Colleague" letter is here.  

"This critically important treatment development program exists because countless Gulf War veterans and advocates contact their Members of Congress to ask that they sign on in support."

Sen. Sanders is Chairman of the U.S. Senate Veterans Affairs' Committee (SVAC) and a longstanding champion on Gulf War and others veterans' post-deployment health issues, including leading Senate efforts on this program for the last several years.

The Senate effort parallels one in the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this month, where Gulf War veterans saw a record level of bipartisan Congressional support.  

The GWI CDMRP has again been in the national news recently as a program that is working.  Here are details that can be shared with your U.S. Senators' staff members:

  • One CDMRP-funded researcher, Dr. James Baraniuk of Georgetown University, has found additional, objective markers of brain damage in Gulf War Illness patients.  
  • And Dr. Beatrice Golomb, whose CDMRP-funded research found that CoQ10 can help relieve pain and some other Gulf War Illness symptoms, continues not only with additional CDMRP-funded research, but is one more of this growing chorus of scientists and clinicians who, despite ongoing VA mismanagement, delays, denials, and obfuscation, recognize and are working towards the goal that effective Gulf War Illness treatments can likely be found. 
  • And, even more GWI CDMRP research highlights are on the CDMRP website.



FY13 Gulf War Illness CDMRP Funding - U.S. Senate


ACTION NEEDED:   Ask both of your two U.S. Senators to sign onto the "Sanders Dear Colleague Letter" for FY14 Gulf War Illness CDMRP funding.  


DEADLINE:  Senators' Sign-On's must be made by Thursday, April 25, 2013 (VERY SHORT DEADLINE)



  1. Read this backgrounder, then Find your two Senators here.
    • [Don't worry about Senators right now]
  2. Check here to see if they signed onto last year's (FY13) request.  
    • [If they didn't, don't worry about it, keep going with the request]
  3. Call the Washington, DC office [not an office in the home state] and ask for the legislative staff person who handles Defense Appropriations.  
    • If you get their voicemail, leave a detailed voicemail.
  4. Explain that you are a constituent, and very briefly (a couple sentences at most) state your connection to Gulf War Illness.  
    • [For example:  "I'm one of the one in three Gulf War veterans suffering from Gulf War Illness".  
    • Or, "I'm the wife/husband/son/daughter/parent of a Gulf War veteran suffering from Gulf War Illness."
    • Or, "I'm one of many other veterans besides those who served in the Gulf War and I'm also suffering for chronic multisymptom illness, commonly known as Gulf War Illness."
    • Etc.
  5. Explain that there is a "Dear Colleague" letter that you are specifically requesting the Senator sign onto.  
  6. Provide the name of the "Dear Colleague" letter:  the "Sanders Dear Colleague Letter" for FY14 Gulf War Illness CDMRP funding.  
  7. State that there is a very short sign-on deadline:  By close of business (COB) Thursday, April 25, 2013... and that you know the Senator will likely want to support the one-third of Gulf War veterans and others suffering from Gulf War Illness.  
    • [If they signed on last year, state that you know they will likely want to sign on again this year]
  8. Ask that the staff person follow-up with you to let you know the Senator's decision.
  9. Thank the staff person for their time.
  10. Follow-up to find out the status, if you haven't heard back. 


  • Be polite
  • Be pleasant
  • Be urgent
  • Be respectful
  • Be convincing
  • Be brief
  • Be SPECIFIC with the REQUEST:  Sign onto the Bipartisan "Sanders Dear Colleague Letter" for FY14 Gulf War Illness CDMRP funding.  


(You can cut-and-paste this to share with your Senators' staffers)

There has been quite a bit of recent media coverage of the latest successes of this small, nimble program, made possible through the Congressionally directed funding of this unique Gulf War Illness treatment development program: 
   Boston Globe, 4/24/2013:  “After two decades of waiting, Gulf War Vets see new hope
   USA Today, 3/20/2013: “Researchers tie Gulf War Illness to brain damage
   Reno Dispatch, 3/21/2013: “One thing our government is doing right for veterans”
   NBC7-San Diego, 3/22/2013: “Researchers look to cure Gulf War Illness
   Palm Beach (FL) Sun-Sentinel, 3/7/2013: “NSU putting mystery diseases under microscope
   NPR Science Friday, 3/22/2013, “Scientists search for Gulf War Illness Answers
   New Scientist, 3/21/2013, “Brain circuits uniquely disrupted in Gulf War Syndrome”
   Army Times, 3/20/2013, “Study: MRI could diagnose Gulf War Illness
   Newser, 3/21/2013: “Gulf War Syndrome Discovery is ‘Huge’
   Maine Public Broadcasting Network, 4/22/2013, “Gulf War Syndrome Study: Maine Soldiers Hope for a Cure”

1 comment:

James Halstrum said...


“ The Therapeutic Process “
For individuals and family members dealing with personal issues.
+ Reoccurring Negative Dreams & flashbacks.


A father and son, living on the West coast of Canada (in the Vancouver area ), loved to go sailing between the mainland and Vancouver Island.

The father, over the years, had upgraded from a small boat to a larger sail boat and the son was intending to follow his example, but, at the time the son only had a small boat.

One day the son went for a sail in his boat and a major storm came up which caused his boat to capsize. The son drowned on that day and his body was never recovered.

As result, the father kept having a reoccurring dream regarding the loss of his son and the lack of closure. ( no funeral for closure because the sons' body was never recovered )

In the dream the father would go out in his sail boat to where his son had drowned and he would dive over the side and swim down to the bottom. When he would get to the bottom he would find a treasure chest and when he opened it up it would, always, be empty.
( it can be said that the father treasured his son )

At that time, I was a co-facilitator of a therapeutic group in which the father
( as a participant ) told the story of his reoccurring dream and to address the problem the following potential solution was proposed to him.

Write up his story including his emotions, feelings, appreciations, anger, resentments, positives and negatives of the relationship with his son and with his death, etc.
Buy a small tree ( hopefully his sons favourite kind of tree).
Take the write up, the tree and some pictures of his son ( + small personal objects / reminders of his son ) and take them to his sons favourite place.

NOTE: His sons favourite place was up on a forested knoll over looking Horse Shoe Bay on the North Shore of Vancouver where he could see the marina that he and his father used to dock their sail boats.

The father was to take the write up, the tree, the pictures and the personal
objects to the knoll.
Dig a hole for the tree / then read the write up ALOUD..
Set fire to the papers ( write up ) pictures and personal items.
Let the smoke go up into the air, the ashes and personal items fall into the hole.
Plant the tree over them. ( burying them and the problem in order to gain closure )

The father never had the reoccurring dream again...

NOTE: People and their family members can, by using these principles and practices, gain closure in relation to various kinds of personal and family issues = re: the loss of a loved one, abuse, addiction, PTSD = reoccurring dreams / flashbacks, suicide prevention, anger management, beginnings and endings, unfinished business, closure, etc.

Some guidelines:

Use your own imagination and creativity when you apply
these principles and practices to your own personal and family issues.
This can be done alone and/or with others who can appreciate their attendance and find value in the process.

NOTE: This therapeutic process can stand alone and/or be an addition to
existing individual or group therapy programs.

Helpful hints:

You can bury and get over your own personal / family issues and start an anger free life.
Planting ( a living memorial, a bush, shrub or a crop ) represents hope for the future.
“The obstacles in life, often, become precisely what is required”...

Warm Regards: to family members who are dealing with the loss of a loved one(s) and related personal issues ( past, present and future ).

Author James L. Halstrum ( The Stone Shadow )
P.O.Box1326 Montague, PEI C0A-1R0
Note: If this helps or saves the life of one person, I'll be pleased.