25 Action Items to Assist Gulf War Veterans (including CFS research)

ixchelkali

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"Veterans Todays" posts this testimony before VA Committee on Oversight and Investigation, July 27, 2010: http://www.veteranstoday.com/2010/07/28/twenty-five-action-items-to-assist-gulf-war-veterans/
The testimony was submitted by Denise Nichols, Maj, USAFR(ret), RN(ret health), MSN, Gulf War Veteran, and Vice Chairman National Vietnam and Gulf War Veterans Coalition.

Here are some of the action items concerning CFS:

6. There is a problem that has surfaced concerning the deaths that have occurred within the gulf war veteran community. The problem is originally and still is that it has been easier to get rated for PTSD while significant health problems CFS, fibromyalgia, all the other symptoms were not rated and or denied.

11. It is not a problem just involving benefits personnel that need training on rating gulf war illness but also health care providers! I was a professional nurse and was not aware of the problems with undiagnosed illnesses, ME, CFS, multi symptom complex diseases until I experienced my illness. Doctors are the same and that affects the diagnoses, care, and treatment of the Gulf War Veterans. The VA could be the role model and network with medical universities that train physicians to make a change that would benefit veterans and civilian sufferers of CFS, ME, Fibromyalgia.

12. The time is critical now in the past year with the information of a potential XMRV retrovirus that was discovered in research and published almost a year ago. The research to replicate that discovery has to be fast tracked and gulf war veterans with gulf war illness need to be included in those research studies.

22. We need the VA to also accept help from physicians on the civilian side that have worked on the issues of CFS/ME/Fibromyalgia not just for health care but in accepting their input for rating of benefits. The gulf war veterans need their expertise and ability to educate VA physicians.
It occurs to me that #22 could backfire for veterans if they got it, depending on which CFS/ME/Fibromyalgia "experts" they got. I seem to remember that a few years ago William Reeves was working with the VA on fatigue studies (of course, my memory isn't very reliable these days).

I agree that veterans with Gulf War Illness need to be included in XMRV studies. I wonder if there's anything we could do to promote this? It seems like it would be one way for the ME/CFS to honor and help our war veterans. Maybe it could be as simple as trying to remember to include GWI when we are talking about the spectrum of neuroimmune diseases like fibromyalgia and MCS.
 

Frickly

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Thanks for this post. I try to keep an eye on veterans today but missed this one. I am certain that WPI is testing the blood of veterans with GWI. I can see how #22 might be a problem but I also see why this is needed. The top researchers in the field are not in the military and if the military cuts itself off from civilian doctors and researchers then the patients will/are suffering.
 

SOC

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Thanks for the heads up, ixchelkali. We do need to remember, and include, our vets with GWI.
 

HopingSince88

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Yesterday President Obama gave a speech to a Veterans group, which I watched live over the internet. He mentioned better support for veterans with illnesses and specifically mentioned PTSD and for their carers, but there was no mention of Gulf War Illness.