What is Gulf War Syndrome?

Gulf War Syndrome

Persian Gulf War syndrome (GWS) or Persian Gulf War illness (GWI) is an illness reported by combat veterans of the 1991 Persian Gulf War typified by a range of medically unexplained symptoms. It has not always been clear whether these symptoms were related to Gulf War service, or the occurrence of illnesses in Gulf War veterans is higher than comparable populations.

Gulf War Syndrome Symptoms

Symptoms attributed to this syndrome have been wide-ranging, including chronic fatigue, loss of muscle control, headaches, dizziness and loss of balance, memory problems, muscle and joint pain, indigestion, skin problems, shortness of breath, and even insulin resistance. Brain cancer deaths, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease), multiple sclerosis, and fibromyalgia are now recognized by the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments as potentially connected to service during the Persian Gulf War.

Gulf War Syndrome Government Research

Since the end of the Persian Gulf War, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the British Ministry of Defence have conducted numerous studies on Persian Gulf War Veterans. The latest studies have determined that while the physical health of deployed veterans is similar to that of non-deployed veterans, there is an increase in 4 out of the 12 medical conditions reportedly associated with Persian Gulf War syndrome - fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, eczema, and dyspepsia. They have also concluded that while mortality was significantly higher in deployed veterans, most of the increase was due to automobile accidents.

In the United States in 2008, the federally mandated Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses released a 452-page report, indicating that roughly 1 in 4 of the 697,000 veterans who served in the first Persian Gulf War are afflicted with the disorder.

The report implicated exposure to toxic chemicals as the cause of the illness. The report states that "scientific evidence leaves no question that Persian Gulf War illness is a real condition with real causes and serious consequences for affected veterans."

The tables below apply only to coalition forces involved in combat. Since each nation's soldiers generally served in different geographic regions, epidemiologists are using these statistics to correlate effects with exposure to the different suspected causes.

U.S. and UK, with the highest rates of excess illness, are distinguished from the other nations by higher rates of pesticide use, use of anthrax vaccine, and somewhat higher rates of exposures to oil fire smoke and reported chemical alerts.

France, with possibly the lowest illness rates, had lower rates of pesticide use, and no use of anthrax vaccine. French troops also served to the North and West of all other combat troops, away and upwind of major combat engagements.

Excess prevalence of general symptoms
Memory problems32%28%12%23%
Muscle/joint pain18%17%5%2% (<2%)
Diarrhea16% 9%13%
Dyspepsia/indigestion12% 5%9%
Neurological problems16% 8%12%
Terminal tumors33% 9%11%


Excess prevalence of recognized medical conditions
Skin conditions 21% 4%
Arthritis/joint problems 10% 2%
Gastro-intestinal (GI) problems   1%
Respiratory problem 2% 1%
Chronic fatigue syndrome 3% 0%
Post-traumatic stress disorder 9% 3%
Chronic multi-symptom illness 26%  

Gulf War Syndrome Possible Causes

Nerve gas medication and insect repellents

In 2008, a paper published in the ''Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences'' suggested that excess illnesses in Gulf War veterans could be explained in part by their exposure to organophosphate and carbamate acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. A federal report released in November, 2008, agreed, stating that exposure to two substances "are causally associated with Gulf War illness":

  • pyridostigmine bromide, an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor intended to protect against nerve agents., and
  • pesticides and insect repellents (often acetylcholinesterase inhibitors)

Chemical weapons classified as nerve gases are also strong acetylcholinesterase inhibitors.

Oil well fires

During the war, many oil wells were set on fire, and the smoke from those fires was inhaled by large numbers of soldiers, many of whom suffered acute pulmonary and other chronic effects, including asthma and bronchitis. However, firefighters who were assigned to the oil well fires and encountered the smoke, but who did not take part in combat, have not had GWI symptoms.

Anthrax vaccine

During Operation Desert Storm, 41% of U.S. combat soldiers and 57-75% of UK combat soldiers were vaccinated against anthrax. The early 1990s version of the anthrax vaccine was a source of several serious side effects including GWI symptoms. Like all vaccines, it often caused local skin reactions, some lasting for weeks or months. While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the vaccine, it never went through large scale clinical trials, unlike almost all other vaccines in the United States.

One study found that deployed Persian Gulf War Syndrome patients are significantly more likely to have antibodies to the experimental vaccine adjuvant squalene (95 percent) than asymptomatic Gulf War veterans (0 percent; p<.001), which raises the possibility that squalene was used experimentally (squalene is not approved for use as an adjuvant in the United States) in the Anthrax vaccine given to soldiers prior to deployment in the Persian Gulf War to better induce immunity.

The potential implication that the Anthrax vaccine given to soldiers immediately prior to the Gulf War was correlated with Persian Gulf War Syndrome prompted the Department of Defense to task the Armed Forces Epidemiological Board (AFEB) to review Asa, Cao, & Garry's methods. The AFEB found several shortcomings that called into question the validity of the results; namely questionable positive controls, the unproven specificity of the ASA assay, and the potential that the researchers were not blind in their knowledge of patient illness/wellness.

The Department of Defense published a study in 2009 which found no relationship between squalene antibodies and symptoms. The researchers concluded "We found no association between squalene antibody status and chronic multisymptom illness. The etiology of Gulf War syndrome remains unknown, but should not include squalene antibody status."

Research into the vaccine used after 1997 suggests that specific vaccine lots used in immunization during the Anthrax Vaccine Immunization Program program initiated in 1997 likely contain squalene because " the incidence of antibodies in personnel in the blinded study receiving these lots was 47% (8/17) compared to an incidence of 0% (0/8; P < 0.025) of the AVIP participants receiving other lots of vaccine."

Even after the war, troops that had never been deployed overseas, after receiving the anthrax vaccine, developed symptoms similar to those of Persian Gulf War Syndrome. The Pentagon failed to report to Congress 20,000 cases where soldiers were hospitalized after receiving the vaccine between 1998 and 2000.

Despite repeated assurances that the vaccine was safe and necessary, a U.S. Federal Judge ruled that there was good cause to believe it was harmful, and he ordered the Pentagon to stop administering it in October 2004. The ban was lifted in February 2008 after the FDA re-examined and approved the drug again. Anthrax vaccine is the only substance suspected in Persian Gulf War syndrome to which forced exposure has since been banned to protect troops from it.

Subsequent anthrax vaccines, however, have met with approval. On December 15, 2005, the Food and Drug Administration, released a Final Order finding that the current anthrax vaccines are safe and effective. The anthrax vaccine currently used is not the same vaccine that was issued during the First Gulf War.

Chemical weapons

Many of the symptoms, other than low cancer incidence rates, of Gulf War syndrome are similar to the symptoms of organophosphate, mustard gas, and nerve gas poisoning. Persian Gulf War veterans were exposed to a number of sources of these compounds, including nerve gas and pesticides.

Over 125,000 U.S. troops and 9,000 UK troops were exposed to nerve gas and mustard gas when an Iraqi depot in Khamisiyah, Iraq was bombed in 1991.

One of the most unusual events during the build-up and deployment of British forces into the desert of Saudi Arabia was the constant alarms from the NIAD detection systems deployed by all British forces in theatre. The NIAD is a chemical and biological detection system that is set up some distance away from a deployed unit, and will set off an alarm automatically if an agent is detected.

During the troop build-up, these detectors were set off on a large number of occasions, making the soldiers don their respirators. Many reasons were given for the alarms, ranging from fumes from helicopters, fumes from passing jeeps, cigarette smoke and even deodorant worn by troops manning the NIAD posts.

Although the NIAD had been deployed countless times in peacetime exercises in the years before the Gulf War, the large number of alarms was, to say the least, very unusual, and the reasons given were something of a joke among the troops.

The Riegle Report said that chemical alarms went off 18,000 times during the Gulf War. The United States did not have any biological agent detection capability during the Gulf War. After the air war started on January 16, 1991, coalition forces were chronically exposed to low (nonlethal) levels of chemical and biological agents released primarily by direct Iraqi attack via missiles, rockets, artillery, or aircraft munitions and by fallout from allied bombings of Iraqi chemical warfare munitions facilities.

Chemical detection units from the Czech Republic, France, and Britain confirmed chemical agents. French detection units detected chemical agents. Both Czech and French forces reported detections immediately to U.S. forces. U.S. forces detected, confirmed, and reported chemical agents; and U.S. soldiers were awarded medals for detecting chemical agents.

Some, including Richard Guthrie, an expert in chemical warfare at Sussex University, have argued that a likely cause for the increase in birth defects was the Iraqi Army’s use of teratogenic mustard agents. Plaintiffs in a long-running class-action lawsuit continue to assert that sulphur mustards might be responsible. Both chemical agents, at the exposure levels required to cause such birth defects, would be likely to produce elevated levels of cancer not seen in Gulf War veterans. Khanisiya was the location of an Iraqi chemical weapons storage facility bombed during the first Gulf War.

There is also speculation that residual chemical agents from the Iran–Iraq war caused environmental contamination and chronic exposure amongst the troops, consistent with the increased observation of birth defects amongst the Iraqis bracketing the period of the Gulf War.

Depleted uranium

Depleted uranium (DU) was used in tank kinetic energy penetrator and autocannon rounds on a large scale for the first time in the Gulf War. DU munitions often burn when they impact a hard target, producing toxic combustion products.

The toxicity, effects, distribution, and exposure involved have all been the subject of a lengthy and complex debate.

Because uranium is a heavy metal and chemical toxicant with nephrotoxic (kidney-damaging), teratogenic(birth defect-causing), and potentially carcinogenic properties, uranium exposure is associated with a variety of illnesses. The chemical toxicological hazard posed by uranium dwarfs its radiological hazard because it is only weakly radioactive, and depleted uranium even less so.

Early studies of depleted uranium aerosol exposure assumed that uranium combustion product particles would quickly settle out of the air and thus could not affect populations more than a few kilometers from target areas, and that such particles, if inhaled, would remain undissolved in the lung for a great length of time and thus could be detected in urine. Uranyl ion contamination has been found on and around depleted uranium targets.

DU has recently been recognized as a neurotoxin. In 2005, depleted uranium was shown to be a neurotoxin in rats.

In 2001, a study was published in Military Medicine that found DU in the urine of Gulf War veterans. Another study, published by Health Physics in 2004, also showed DU in the urine of Gulf War veterans. A study of UK veterans who thought they might have been exposed to DU showed aberrations in their white blood cell chromosomes. Mice immune cells exposed to uranium exhibit abnormalities.

A 2001 study of 15,000 February 1991 U.S. Gulf War combat veterans and 15,000 control veterans found that the Gulf War veterans were 1.8 (fathers) to 2.8 (mothers) times more likely to have children with birth defects. After examination of children's medical records two years later, the birth defect rate increased by more than 20%:

"Dr. Kang found that male Gulf War veterans reported having infants with likely birth defects at twice the rate of non-veterans. Furthermore, female Gulf War veterans were almost three times more likely to report children with birth defects than their non-Gulf counterparts. The numbers changed somewhat with medical records verification. However, Dr. Kang and his colleagues concluded that the risk of birth defects in children of deployed male veterans still was about 2.2 times that of non-deployed veterans."

In a study of U.K. troops, "Overall, the risk of any malformation among pregnancies reported by men was 50% higher in Gulf War Veterans (GWV) compared with Non-GWVs."

In the Balkans war zone where depleted uranium was also used, an absence of problems is seen by some as evidence of DU munitions' safety. "Independent investigations by the World Health Organization, European Commission, European Parliament, United Nations Environment Programme, United Kingdom Royal Society, and the Health Council of the Netherlands all discounted any association between depleted uranium and leukemia or other medical problems." Since then, there has been a resurgence of interest in the health effects of depleted uranium, especially since it has recently been linked with neurotoxicity.

Increases in the rate of birth defects for children born to Gulf War veterans have been reported. A 2001 survey of 15,000 U.S. Gulf War combat veterans and 15,000 control veterans found that the Gulf War veterans were 1.8 (fathers) to 2.8 (mothers) times as likely to report having children with birth defects.

Although not identifying Gulf War syndrome by name, in June 2003 the High Court of England and Wales upheld a claim by Shaun Rusling that the depression, eczema, fatigue, nausea and breathing problems that he experienced after returning from the Gulf War were attributed to his military service.

A 2004 British study comparing 24,000 Gulf War veterans to a control group of 18,000 men found that those who had taken part in the Gulf War have lower fertility and are 40 to 50% more likely to be unable to start a pregnancy. Among Gulf War soldiers, failure to conceive was 2.5% vs. 1.7% in the control group, and the rate of miscarriage was 3.4% vs. 2.3%. These differences are small but statistically significant.

In January 2006, a study led by Melvin Blanchard and published by the ''Journal of Epidemiology'', part of the "National Health Survey of Gulf War-Era Veterans and Their Families", stated that veterans deployed in the Persian Gulf War had nearly twice the prevalence of chronic multisymptom illness (CMI), a cluster of symptoms similar to a set of conditions often called Gulf War Syndrome.

On November 17, 2008 a congressionally appointed committee called the Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses, staffed with independent scientists and veterans appointed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, announced that the syndrome is a distinct physical condition. The committee stated that the condition was likely caused by a drug given to troops to protect against nerve gas, known as pyridostigmine bromide, and pesticides that were used heavily during the war.

It said other possible causes could not be ruled out. The committee recommended that Congress increase funding for research on Gulf War veterans' health to at least $60 million per year.

Tests of 5 Gulf War Veterans in 2007 and analyzed by Wayne State University Medical staff revealed the 5 Veterans studied have severe chromosome damage. The damage uncovered is 10 times the level found in the normal population. The chromosome damage is similar to that seen when exposed to Alpha radiation and could be related to Depleted Uranium munitions exposure. Further, more widespread tests need to be conducted before conclusions can be drawn from this research.

Evidence against

Similar syndromes have been seen as an after effect of other conflicts — for example, 'shell shock' after World War I, and ''post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)'' after the Vietnam War. A review of the medical records of 15,000 American Civil War soldiers showed that "those who lost at least 5% of their company had a 51% increased risk of later development of cardiac, gastrointestinal, or nervous disease."

A November 1996 article in the New England Journal of Medicine found no difference in death rates, hospitalization rates or self-reported symptoms between Persian Gulf veterans and non-Persian Gulf veterans. This article was a compilation of dozens of individual studies involving tens of thousands of veterans. The studies did find a statistically significant elevation in the number of traffic accidents suffered by Persian Gulf vets vs. non-Persian Gulf vets.

An April, 1998 article in Emerging Infectious Diseases found no increased rate of hospitalization and better health overall for veterans of the Persian Gulf War vs. Veterans who stayed home. James D. Knoke and Gregory C. Gray, Naval Health Research Center, San Diego, California, USA, Emerging Infectious Diseases 1998 Oct-Dec;4(4):707-9, Hospitalizations for unexplained illnesses among U.S. veterans of the Persian Gulf War.

The US Institute of Medicine, released their conclusions in a September 2006 report further casting doubts on the validity of Gulf War Syndrome, writing that although roughly 30% of service men and women who served either have suffered or still suffer from symptoms, no single cluster of symptoms that constitute a syndrome unique to Gulf War veterans has been identified.

While an increase in birth defects has also been attributed to Gulf War Syndrome, a study on members of the Mississippi National Guard deployed to the Persian Gulf, conducted in 1996 found that of a total of 55 births, five children were born with birth defects.

The study concluded that “The rate of birth defects of all types in children born to this group of veterans is similar to that expected for the general population.” In another study of 75,000 births conducted by the New England Journal of Medicine, 7.45% of the Gulf War veteran children were born with birth defects, compared to 7.59% for children of veterans not deployed in the Persian Gulf

Iraq War

Many U.S. veterans of the 2003 Iraq War have reported a range of serious health issues, including tumors, daily blood in urine and stool, sexual dysfunction, migraines, frequent muscle spasms, and other symptoms similar to the debilitating symptoms of "Gulf War Syndrome" reported by many veterans of the 1991 Gulf War, which some believe is related to the continued United States' use of depleted uranium.

New research from the United Kingdom, published in the medical journal the Lancet compared the health of thousands of service personnel who served in Iraq with the health of thousands who did not, stated:

"If we had found an increase in morbidity after the Iraq war equivalent to that before the Gulf War we could say that these changes were not related to the occurrence of symptoms; all we can now say at this stage is that our new data add to the evidence that there was some relation between the specific pattern of medical countermeasures used in 1991 and ill health."

After 10 years of research worldwide, overseen by the veterans' lawyers and funded by the UK's Legal Services Commission, no evidence was found which established any specific cause for the range of the health problems of over 2,000 British troops who were seeking disability pensions for Gulf War Syndrome.

This article is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article on "Gulf War Syndrome" All material adapted used from Wikipedia is available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Wikipedia® itself is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

Last Updated: Jan 7, 2014

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  1. david Hill david Hill uk says:

    Simon Wessely of Kings collage London has done a lot to help governments not to pay out compensation to veterans calling gulf war syndrome  rumor he has also worked on ground zero  and lung problems in firefighters caused by the collapse of the twin towers and calls it hysteria for his work he was awarded a knighthood by the British government .

    Rumors shaped veterans' view of Gulf War ills: syndrome was defined by informal communication.
    After the bullets stopped flying the rumors took off among British veterans of the 1991 Gulf War. Early accounts of physical and emotional reactions to wartime experiences spread from one person to another through networks of veterans. Within a few years, these former soldiers had decided among themselves that the symptoms they were suffering from collectively amounted to the controversial illness known as Gulf War Syndrome, a new study concludes. Simon Wessely of King's College London and his colleagues analyzed extensive written accounts provided in 1996 by 1,100 British Gulf War vets. The research team doesn't regard the rumors as necessarily untrue or misleading, Rumor proved to be critical among the British Gulf War vets because it counteracted a lack of communication from military and government authorities, Wessely says. Vets turned to their own social grapevine for answers, Wessely's group reports in a paper to appear in Social Science & Medicine.

    What's Causing 'Mass Faintings' at Cambodian Factories?
    By Andrew Marshall Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011
    Sufferers of World Trade Center syndrome, meanwhile, blamed proximity to Ground Zero for coughs and other respiratory problems long after airborne contaminants posed any health threat.
    All these are examples of mass hysteria, a bizarre yet surprisingly common phenomenon that is increasingly recognized as a significant health and social problem. For centuries it has crossed cultures and religions, taking on different forms to keep pace with popular obsessions and fears. In our post-9/11 world,
    Simon Wessely King's College London

    • Dawn Thomas Dawn Thomas United States says:

      I can say with all clarity of mind that the symptoms the veterans are experiencing are real. What is not clear is the methods used to study the veterans. An error has been made in trying to find a single common cause of the illnesses presented. Any one with a medical background should now understand that genetic makeup of the personnell is a definitive factor as to how a causitive agent may present as an illness. It is not apparent that this has been included in the studies.
      If we continue to try to use studies that do not clarify this factor it will obviously be flawed in the outcome or results. Any quality study is only as good as the data used hence the old expression "garbage in garbage out."

  2. Phil Gardner Phil Gardner United Kingdom says:

    I served in thr RN during the Gulf war and had the vaccines and naps tablets.I developed sleep apnoe and have a heart nerve block plus other health issues.I was super fit whilst serving in the Gulf and came back with all these health problems.Now don't tell me that these things are a figment of my imagination.

    • Sherry Chestnut Sherry Chestnut United States says:

      my husband juts had to have a pacemaker installed due to a nerve block issue and he has sleep apnea now where he was ok while in service. Its been a while sicne but he also has had a tia stroke and suffers from unaccounted headaches that last just a few minutes and then leaves him tired for a while after it. He was told he has to prove these are from the gulf war. How does he do that?

  3. Dawn Thomas Dawn Thomas United States says:

    I developed the first symptoms of Fibromyalgia in 1995. I was a nurse corp Officer in the Navy. I was healthy as could be prior to my service. While in the service in 1995,  I developed pain in my right shoulder. At first I thought it was related to packing too much weight on my shoulder but I had been weight lifting and was quite strong able to bench press my own weight. So it was curious to me. I didnt think anything was wrong and waited several months to even visit my PCP. Unfortunately the pain began to progressively get stronger and began to radiated down my arm to my hand. I the sought help from my PCP. It continued to progress the pain now presenting in both arms to hands and my neck. I was continuously having to draw on diagrams of the human body where and how my symptoms presented themselves. After two years the pain traveled to become bodywide. I had no hx of depression for the record.
    One day after describing my symptoms for the nth time now to numerous PCP'S, unbeknownst to me a Rheumatologist was sitting on the sidelines and heard me talking to the PCP. He saw me and in 1997 I wad given a diagnosis of "Fibromyalgia." I didn't believe it. I hadn't even heard of this disorder never mind understanding what it meant.
    My pain progressively worsened. I had a high pain toleranced as evidenced by having both of my children by natural childbirth methods not having any form of pain control. My first child was 8pds 12oz.  Now though my pain on a 0 to 10 scale was an 7. I later developed sleep disorders and cognitive memory problems. I had graduated from my BS degree in Science with a major in Nursing with a 3.86 g.p.a. But by 2000 I had to utilize flash cards to remember many of my patients info.
    By 2003 I was deployed to Iraq. I had been given a smallpox vaccine and my 6th? Anthrax vaccine on the same day. I became so ill I couldn't make it to sick bay which was four decks above my quarters. My commander found me  24 hrs later after not reporting to work for my shift. I was escorted to sick bay, an I.V. was placed and I was given something via the line. It did nothing to relieve the excruitating migraine, photophobia or nausea  I was experiecing. I was medivaced off the ship to Rota Spain. I remember the helo that removed me from the ship but I can't recall how I got from there to the C130? that transported myself and other patients to Spain. I dont remember much but I remember being in Rota Spain and waking up in a bed in a tent. I recovered from the migraine attack within a few days.
    As a side note, I did develope PTSD in 2003 but only after being locked in a room with enemy prisoners of war known as  EPW's for 12 hour shifts. But that is another story.
    In 2005 I was given a medical discharge from the military but denied my military retirement. I developed Reflexive Sympathetic Distrophy or RSD in 2000 after having both of my first ribs surgically removed. This progressed........or was my Fibro dx wrong.....not sure but to end the story the NOW BODYWIDE RSD was dx'd in 2013 by an internationally known neurologist. On the McDill  pain scale RSD or CRPS is rated as the most excrutiating pain a human being can experience. This has left me with Chronic fatique, sleep disorders, and never ending torturous pain. I am bedridden often times more than not.
    I am attempting Ketamine I.V. F. for the neurological disorder labeled CRPS. It is helping me to stop my Opioid patch but I still need oxycodone each day. Today I am bedridden for the third day in a row this week this is Thursday.
    My exhusband was deployed in the Airforce in 1990 to Iraq. He was very healthy when he left but developed MCS after that war. It was the first time I had ever really seen him sick and we had been married since 1978. I wish there were research truly done well for both the veterans and their family members. There are many crosses to bear in our lives but none heavier than being denied recognition that the one you carry is not visible to others eyes and understanding......

  4. Sergio Lainz Sergio Lainz Spain says:

    Sorry, my english is not alot ok!
    I am photojournalist from spain, I was working into Saudi Arabia and Kuwait from Jenuary to March ..I'am working in the capital, pipeline road, and Hafar el Batin fist one. And then,  when troops entry in Kuwait, we going into Kuwait City by the deseert after de Desert Rats. I'am living in the hotels whit no one something to eat, except the Iraquian 'rice' rest in the hotel. also, i was work in the road to Iraqui frontiere and i take the pictures in the middle of the iraqui caravan take to pullout Kuwait. She was destroyed by low-uranium bombimg. The Desert Rats gave me pills and injection for the case of a chemical attack, but did not use it.
    I also provided some ranch USA packaging, and snuff tobacco, which use the first days in Kuwait.
    I'm not a soldier, not kill anyone, and I do not think I've suffered post traumatic stress, but I have the symptoms of "GWS".
    I'm always tired since. I have muscle and tendon pain. And the non-alcoholic 'fatty liver'.
    As yet my 59 years, no doctor has prescribed me anything useful.

    • Michael Bailey Michael Bailey United States says:

      Sergio, my company was one of the first in and one of the longest serving at the time. We set up all of those Convoy Support Centers. Remember the CSC camps? Each had a name, CSC Vulture, CSC Wombat etc. I drove through Hafr al Batn every day or two. I spent a lot of time between Dharan, KKMC, Riyadh and west towards Jordan where the French were at. I also was there for the "Death Valley" destruction and drove through the oil fires frequently. Some of us saw nearly everything that happened, others were left to sit for month after month without ever leaving their camp. Yet very high proportions of personnel grouped around KKMC, Hafr al Batn and CSC Vulture, and most of those that went in with them on the feint to the west, the actual thrust to the north and the sweep to the east exhibit confirmed symptoms at a rate of 42 percent. The rest of the deployed report and confirm at a rate of about 16 percent.

      Deployed personnel that were not vaccinated with experimental vaccines (our AZ Guard unit received as many as 70 different vaccines, for some people) only report at about 3 percent, less than the general population. Those that received vaccines- but did not deploy -report and confirm at about 12 percent.

      It's not commonly known, but the Dept of Defense was ordered by a Federal judge to cease use of the experimental Anthrax vaccine after failing to report to Congress that over 20,000 hospitalizations resulted from complications attributed to the experimental Anthrax vaccine. The Army was banned from using that vaccine, and was forced to develop another and to obtain FDA approval. That new vaccine, being used on today's troops, is not the same Anthrax vaccine we were given in the Gulf War.

      In addition, my best friend, even though he is 16 years younger than I am, was in that unit with me. He suffers from the same symptoms, for the same length of time, and we both share the same rare vitamin D deficiency, developed since our return. He was in charge of the M9 chemical alarms. They went off over 25 times a day, over 18,000 times for the American military and over 9,000 times for the British. The official response when an alarm was reported was that it was a false alarm caused by "diesel fuel and exhaust".

  5. Cindy Mcdanel Wentz Cindy Mcdanel Wentz United States says:

    I have been with my husband for 20yrs and he was always healthy now at the age of 49 he has had a neck surgery for bone deteriation and knee surgery and shoulder surgery, and now he is having sever pain in his knees and shoulder again . also he has dizzy spells where he passes out and lets not forget his mood swings . I need answers to what is wrong with him and his testosterone levels are off the charts low . first we were told he was fine and 3 months later they are so low they offer Viagra com on something needs to be done with our veterans..

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