Thursday, May 17, 2007

16 years later...Veterans exposed to sarin gas

This comes out about our Veterans who were exposed to sarin gas during the first Gulf War.
Scientists have found evidence that the kind of low-level exposure to sarin gas
experienced by more than 100,000 U.S. troops in the first Gulf war can cause
"lasting brain deficits,"

Chris Lavone shared stories like this at St Cloud State a few years ago. An 82nd Airborne "All American" Infantry paratrooper, showed us photos from a US airstrike near An-Nassariah in 1991. Plumes of smoke rose from the bunkers of ammunition US forces destroyed.

No one had their chemical detection equipment working, the war was "over".

Unfortunately, they did not inform units in the area of this operation and thousands of our troops were exposed to sarin gas.

Chris got a letter in the mail from the VA several years later telling him he was probably exposed to sarin gas and to go to the nearest VA for an examination and possible treatment.

This letter answered a lot of questions about how Chris felt, about the effects of Gulf War Syndrome from which Chris suffered from.

Beyond the suffering from GWS, it began his nearly decade long battle with the VA.

Reading the story today and knowing the inefficient bureaucracy led by Jim Nicholson, the VA, it leaves me pondering many questions.

First and foremost in my mind is...

What will we find out about the suffering of our Veterans 16 years after this war ends?

I shudder at the possibilities.

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