Retired Gen. Eric Shinseki (former US Army chief of staff) is the head of the US Veterns Association. He has made a number of changes to finally help the Gulf War Veterns. This man realizes that the US military did little to nothing for these very sick and deserving people. So Shinseki has really pushed a great deal of good into place for our GW veterns.
When I was first sick and very terribly sick, my husband encountered about five Gulf War Vets that were in very bad shape. There were a couple of guys that actually died. I thought that their symptoms and issues were actually far worse than my symptoms were. The similarities between CFIDS/ME/FM and Gulf War Syndrome are strong, which does make one wonder about the military's involvement in our disease.
It could be that something(s) damaged all of our immune systems and whacked the rest of the neurological/endocrine/Gi/etc etc out and hence similar symptoms, but, I just have that strange gut feeling that there is more to this whole thing than different agents/pathogens setting the fire off in the body and getting pretty much the same symptoms/odd test results, and so on. Just a gut feeling.
I and many others were at the Pentagon during the Gulf War. We also had Reservists coming and going at my company. As noted elsewhere, there were at least 15 names of people (from an email) that I knew had CFIDS. That does not take into consideration the other people at that time that also had similar CFIDS/GWS symptoms. I would bet my house that my company had a cluster outbreak and that probably other defense/Federal contracting companies also saw an uptick in the very sick but did not see a link or trend. I know the nurse/MBA that was at my company to save the company money on health care did not keep names or other data on the sick, etc. and I would assume that personel at other companies (and Federal orgs) did not bother to keep track of that sort of data either. So, no way to know how many clusters there were following the Gulf War in the Civilian group. I got sick in the summer of 1994 along with the rest of the group of civilians. The others also were under immense stress and some did get sick from a simple virus (from what little I was able to find out). Just rather curious. No real way to find out about the clusters that broke out after the Gulf War in other areas of the civilian population, which is a shame. Well, there is some data on the families of those with Gulf War Syndrome who also were stricken so there does appear to be some contagious element to GWS.
I said I would stop lumping CFIDS/ME in with biological warfare or lab accidents, but...maybe soon enough we will find out if this theory that I and many others hold is true. I would hate for this theory to be true though.