I really should make that appointment with the VA for tests. Before something pops out of my chest, hisses, and skitters across the table. . .
Although, you have to admit, that would be pretty fucking cool. . .
AlterNet: Oops, More Unexpected Casualties
But within weeks after our warriors took off their boots and hung up their rifles, dozens, then hundreds, of Gulf War vets became casualties. And as the years tick by, this figure has already grown to tens of thousands.
It wasn't bullets that took them down, but a casualty-producer the experts didn't count on called Gulf War Illness. So far, according to an April 2002 Veterans Affairs report, an additional 7,758 Desert Storm vets have died, while 198,716 vets have filed claims for medical and compensation benefits. Of the claims filed, 156,031 have been granted as service-connected, with more vets being designated casualties as each day passes. The 198,716 figure represents a staggering 28 percent of the 696,579 vets who fought in the Gulf War conflict!
Ties in rather nicely (or badly, depending on your point of view) with the article George linked a week or so back about Black men and health care. I don't wanna go to the doctor.
Especially if they're going to lie. Still not sure if I'm permitted to donate blood, since last time I tried, "Gulf War service" was right up there with needle-sharin' IV drug use and unprotected sex as a discouraged category. . .
On the other hand, since I haven't written much about the trip to Chi because I don't remember that many of the details, perhaps a brief chat is in order.
Update: From Media Channel's News Dissector Web Log:
Dear President Bush, Majority Leader Daschle and Speaker Hastert:
We, the undersigned veterans of the Gulf War, seek to inject common sense into the debate over a possible U.S. war against Iraq by placing the debate in the context of safeguarding our liberty, constitutional values and our freedom.
As veterans, we know firsthand the effects of war, and the meaning of sacrifice. The decision to go to war is a serious one which could have far reaching and unforeseen effects for Americans.
The National Gulf War Resource Center is an international coalition of advocates and organizations providing a resource for information, support, and referrals for all those concerned with the complexities of Persian Gulf War issues, especially Gulf War illnesses and those held prisoner or missing in action.
For those who remember there are actual human beings involved in these things. Warbloggers, obviously, may ignore this, and go back to playing Risk.