Gulf War Illnesses
Wisconsin as a leader in state benefits and services for veterans was one of the first states to raise awareness of the injuries and illnesses suffered by our soldiers in the Gulf War. With Wisconsin Act 37, the State of Wisconsin declared that the governor shall annually proclaim January 17 as Gulf War Illnesses Recognition Day as a public expression in recognition of the members of the U.S. armed forces who develop illnesses from exposure to Gulf War-related risk-substances.
It is estimated between one-quarter and one-third of Gulf War veterans suffer some illness from exposure to toxic substances, diseases, protective pills and vaccinations, etc. WDVA annually holds a conference or ceremony to help bring awareness and information about Gulf War Illnesses to veterans and the public.
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Wisconsin Veterans Home at Chippewa Falls
- Rules Liberalized for Veterans with Undiagnosed Illnesses (Dec. 29, 2011) [Full story]
- VA Posts Draft 2011 Report of the Gulf War Veterans Illnesses Task Force [Draft Report] [Online Forum]
- Secretary Shinseki Announces Gulf War Task Force Report. (Feb. 27, 2010) [Full Story]
- "Byrd adds provisions to defense bill" (Charleston Gazette, Dec. 23, 2009) [Full Story]
- "State recognizes vets living with Gulf War Illness" (Wisconsin Radio Network, Jan. 16, 2009) [Full Story]
- “Hopes Raised After US Recognizes Gulf War Syndrome” (Sydney Morning Herald, Australia, Jan. 15, 2009) [Full Story]
- “Govt Urged to Recognize Gulf War Illness” (ABC News Australia, Jan. 15, 2009) [Full Story]
- “Study Finds: Gulf War Illness is Real” (DAV Magazine, January/February 2009) [Full Story]
- “Report to Congress: Gulf War Syndrome is Real” (Los Angeles Times, Nov. 18, 2008) [Full Story]
- “Gulf War Illness is Real, Report Finds” (Reuters, Nov. 17, 2008) [Full Story]
- “Help Urged for Gulf War Veterans: The Royal British Legion has urged the government to aid sufferers of Gulf War illnesses after a report blamed their ailments on exposure to neurotoxins” (BBC UK, Nov. 17, 2008) [Full Story]
- “Gulf War Illness is Real, New Federal Report Says” (CNN, Nov. 17, 2008) [Full Story]
- “VA Names Members of Gulf War Veterans Advisory Committee: Secretary Peake to Hear their Concerns, Issues” (VA News Release, May 13, 2008) [Full Story]
- **RESEARCH VOLUNTEERS URGENTLY NEEDED**
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA), the primary provider of health care and benefits for U.S. and select other veterans, including veterans of the 1991 Gulf War, also provides information specific to the interests of Gulf War veterans on its website at www.va.gov/gulfwar. Additional USDVA resources include:
- Gulf War Review newsletter. The USDVA has occasionally published this newsletter in recent years for veterans of the Persian Gulf.
- Gulf War Registry health exam. All veterans of the 1991 Gulf War are encouraged to undergo a Gulf War Registry health exam at their nearest VA medical center.
- Depleted Uranium information. Includes evaluation protocol for DU exposure for veterans of the Persian Gulf, including the 1991 Gulf War and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in Veterans. ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, has been shown to occur at substantially greater rates among veterans of the 1991 Gulf War than their non-deployed Gulf War era veteran counterparts.
- Presumptive Period for Compensation for Gulf War undiagnosed illnesses. This USDVA federal rule change extended presumptive compensation for U.S. veterans of the 1991 Gulf War by an additional five years, to a new December 31, 2011 deadline. Unless the deadline is extended, veterans of the 1991 Gulf War must submit service-connected disability claims for presumptive conditions, including claims for unexplained illness, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and/or irritable bowel syndrome prior to this date or risk denial under more stringent rules thereafter. [Federal Register text]
- USDVA Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans, an Advisory Committee established by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA). The Committee has an 18-month charter to develop a report regarding the full spectrum of health and benefits issues affecting veterans of the 1990-91 Gulf War. The Committee is holding public meetings around the United States in 2008 and 2009, and oral and/or written testimony may be submitted by 1991 Gulf War veterans, their loved ones, and members of the public regarding health and benefits issues as it affects 1991 Gulf War veterans.
- Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses (RAC), a Congressionally-chartered committee of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA) created through an act of Congress, reviews and advises regarding scientific and medical research related to Gulf War veterans’ illnesses. The Committee holds several meetings annually in various locations in the United States.
- Gulf War Illness Research Program (GWIRP), a Congressionally-funded scientific research program and part of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) of the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), funds scientific and medical research aimed at improving the health and lives of veterans of the 1991 Gulf War with Gulf War Illness through annual Congressional appropriations.
- DeployMed, an activity of the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), was established to inform Service members, researchers and health care providers, leaders, and interested others about DoD and other federally funded research on deployment-related health issues. DeployMed presents information on deployment medical research conducted and supported by federal research programs within DoD, USDVA, and HHS. The purpose of this website is to be a central resource of information on federally funded medical research related to deployments from the 1990-91 Gulf War forward.
- Gulf War Veterans Information System (GWVIS) reports, published by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA), provide key demographic data regarding veterans of the 1991 Gulf War. GWVIS reports are consistent with the requirements of the “Veterans Health Care Act of 1992” (Public Law 102-585) in identifying Gulf War service members and reporting on various aspects of their VA healthcare and benefit activity.
- County Veterans Service Office, located in each of Wisconsin’s 72 counties, can provide information and assistance in accessing the full array of federal and state veterans benefits, programs, and services.
- WDVA Claims Assistance Office, a Veterans Trust Fund activity of the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs to assist veterans with disability and other claims before the USDVA.
- American Legion
- CFIDS (Chronic Fatigue) Association
- Disabled American Veterans (DAV)
- Fibromyalgia Network News
- International Association for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (IACFS/ME)
- International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IBS.org)
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome Self Help and Support Group
- National Fibromyalgia Association (NFA)
- National Gulf War Resource Center
- Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)
- Veterans of Modern Warfare (VMW)
- The remarks and presentations of the 2008 State of Wisconsin Conference on Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses, held in Madison, Wisconsin on January 17, 2008, were preserved by Wisconsin Eye and the Full Video/Audio of most of the portions of the conference are available for public viewing. (2008)
- Frontline: “The Gulf War–An in-depth analysis of the 1990-91 Persian Gulf Crisis” by PBS, provides a chronology and history of the events leading up to the war and the war itself. [Full Multimedia]
- The State of Wisconsin Gulf War Illnesses Recognition Day was the first of its kind in the nation. The original legislation was introduced as 2005 Senate Bill 193 by Senator Ron Brown, Representative Gabe Loeffelholz and 31 other bipartisan cosponsors, passed unanimously by the Wisconsin State Legislature, and signed into law by Governor Jim Doyle on August 17, 2005 in the Wisconsin Veterans Museum, in front of the 1991 Gulf War exhibit, as 2005 Wisconsin Act 37. (2005)
- “The Health Impact of Chemical Exposures During the Gulf War: A Research Planning Conference,” a conference held by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), provided a framework for recommended health research related to Gulf War veterans’ illnesses. (1999)
The report stated: “On February 28 through March 2, 1999, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other agencies of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) brought together scientists, clinicians, veterans, veterans’ service organizations, Congressional staff, and other interested parties to discuss and make recommendations regarding the direction of future research on undiagnosed illnesses among Gulf War veterans and their links with multiple chemical and environmental exposures….The concurrent workgroups were asked to develop research recommendations in four areas: pathophysiology, etiology, and mechanisms of action; assessment and diagnosis of illnesses; treatment; and prevention of illnesses in future deployments.... This report summarizes the outcome of each of the four workgroup sessions.”
- S. Rpt. 105-39, Report of the Special Investigative Unit on Gulf War Illnesses, was a pivotal report released in 1998 by the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs following a series of investigative Congressional hearings on the wartime exposures and health outcomes of 1991 Gulf War veterans. (1998)
The report concluded: “Nearly eight years ago, on August 2, 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait, marking the beginning of what is now known as the Gulf War.... At first, the significance of these health problems was minimized by many inside and outside of the government.... In many ways, the story of the Gulf War experience can be seen as a microcosm for continued concerns regarding our nation’s military preparedness and ability to respond effectively to health problems that may arise after deployments. This investigation found that in the Gulf War, U.S. military forces were not fully prepared to fight a war in which chemical or biological weapons might be used, and that this lack of readiness continues today. Both the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs have given insufficient priority to matters of health protection, prevention, and monitoring of troops when they are on the battlefield and thereafter when they become veterans. The Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs have been negligent by failing to collect information adequately about, keep good health records on, and produce reliable and valid data to monitor the health care and compensation status of Gulf War veterans who are now ill. These agencies must find effective ways to manage and share information and work together to ensure that Gulf War veterans who face troubling health problems are helped—not hindered—in getting the health care and assistance they deserve. This report tells the story of the events of the Gulf War that potentially have affected the health of some who served there and of the government’s actions in response to those health problems. It is about foresight, it is about bureaucracy, and it is about accountability....”
- GulfLINK, an activity of the Office of the Special Assistant for Gulf War Illnesses of the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), was established in August 1995 to provide online access to medical, operational, and intelligence documents from the 1990-1991 Gulf War. Its purpose was and is to provide Service members, veterans, and any interested person with information on what happened during that war that might have affected the health of those who served. (1995)