Health Care, Research and Benefits for Gulf War Veterans

The National Gulf War Resource Center, an advocacy group for Gulf War Veterans, spoke to VA Secretary Bob McDonald about health care, research and benefits for Gulf War Veterans. The following is Part One of the discussion, focusing on health care and research:

Part Two focuses on benefits and VA’s accomplishments for Gulf War Veterans:

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Gulf War Illnesses Presumptive Period Extended

The VA’s Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses found a mix of persistent health problems that have plagued veterans for years after their return from the conflict.  After several prior extensions, the presumptive period for considering an illness as being related to Gulf War exposure was slated to come to an end on December 31, 2016.  However, a change has been  published in the Federal Register extending the end date five years to December 31, 2021.

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Gulf War Newsletter – Winter 2016

The current issue of the Veterans Affairs Gulf War Newsletter contains numerous articles of interest not only to Gulf War veterans but to veterans in general.  It includes articles on new Health and Wellness Apps for veterans, on the fastest way to get a disability claim decision, on military exposures and exposure-related benefits and services, on helpful therapy, and on other informative topics.

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Veterans, scientists and VA administrators discuss Gulf War illness

Veterans, scientists and VA administrators met in Washington DC to discuss Gulf War illness, a complex disorder that affects some 250,000 veterans of the 1990–91 military operations in the Gulf. After 24 years, the condition is still the subject of intense controversy.

An extensive article in the international science journal Nature covers the issues in detail:

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Email Alert: 8 August 2014 – Oil Well Fire Exposure During Gulf War

The Veterans Administration and research organizations continue to evaluate possible causes of Gulf War veterans’ chronic multi-symptom illnesses.  As indicated in a recent Veterans Against Myeloma (VAM) Email Alert, the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry is a database of information about exposures experienced by vets and service members.  This update includes oil well fire exposure, not specifically mentioned in the previously referenced article.

Participation in the VA Registry is voluntary and will not affect access to health care or benefits.  Vets and service members …

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Email Alert – 18 July 2014: VA Rejects Link Between Gulf War Service and Some Cancers

The Department of Veterans Affairs has rejected a request from members of Congress and veterans advocates to make brain cancer, lung cancer and migraines presumptive conditions for Gulf War veterans.  Officials said they cannot prove the high rate of these illnesses among Gulf War vets are related to military service.  Although Gulf War veterans already have presumptive status for numerous other conditions, data recently released by the VA show that 80% of disability claims filed by Gulf War vets for conditions related to the war …

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