Veterans who have been suffering for decades from Gulf War Illness, or GWI, were validated in a new report from a research team led by Robert White, professor of environmental health at the Boston University School of Public Health. Published in the journal Cortex, the report concludes that exposure to pesticides and ingestion of pyridostigmine bromide (PB) caused GWI and the neurological dysfunction observed in Gulf War vets.
PB was the active chemical in pills given to troops to prevent the effects of a nerve gas attack. The report also names exposure to sarin, cyclosarin and oil-well fire emissions as contributing factors. The report rules out psychiatric problems as the cause of Gulf War Illness, observing that Gulf War vets have lower rates of psychiatric disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, than veterans of other wars.
As for the “toxic wounds,” James Binns, co-author of the report, states bluntly, “We did it to ourselves. Pesticides, PB, nerve gas released by destroying Iraqi facilities — all are cases of friendly fire. That may explain why government and military leaders have been so reluctant to acknowledge what happened, just as they tried to cover up Agent Orange after Vietnam. Certainly, the government should have been facing the problem honestly and doing research from the start to identify diagnostic tests and treatments.”
But instead of demonstrating humility, introspection and transparency, the U.S. government maligned many Gulf War vets, accusing them of having imaginary or fraudulent symptoms. Twenty-five years later, the government can no longer ignore the truth. As with Agent Orange, the government must admit culpability and provide Gulf War vets with the benefits they deserve.
At Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban, our accredited attorneys fight so that veterans can get the benefits they deserve. If you or a loved one who served suffers from GWI and has had trouble getting a benefits claim approved, we can help. Call us from anywhere in the nation at 866-866-VETS or contact our office online.