Friday, February 26, 2010

SCUD desert storm wounded survive

I was there and glad to see that the Vast internet and history has not forgetten this event. What has gotten forgotten is the survivors of this event.

DHAHRAN, Saudi Arabia, Tuesday, Feb. 26— In the most devastating Iraqi stroke of the Persian Gulf war, an Iraqi missile demolished a barracks housing more than 100 American troops on Monday night, killing 27 and wounding 98, the American military command in Riyadh said early today.

Greg Siegle, a freelance writer, said he saw "a gigantic explosion" 100 feet off the ground, then another as bits of glowing metal fell to the ground and set fire to the barracks, which is situated in Al Khobar, a city a few miles from Dhahran and its big air base. He said the building caught fire at once. Within an hour, it was a charred skeleton.

Many of the occupants of the barracks, a corrugated-metal warehouse that had been converted into temporary housing for British and American troops, were eating dinner or relaxing when the missile hit. Others were apparently working out or sleeping, and many survivors wandered around, in sweatsuits or gym shorts, stunned, during the rescue efforts.

This morning, under the pitiless glare of portable floodlights, excavating equipment began plowing through the blackened remains of the building. Servicemen joined in the search for the missing, using picks and shovels, as some of the survivors milled about. Many wept.

In a dormitory-turned-morgue, four pairs of boots protruded from under blankets. Sleeping bags and military uniform belts were scattered about on the charred floor.

There was little left of the building but its steel girder frame.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

VA's Gulf War Taskforce - Gingrich

February 17, 2010
Rockefeller, VA secretary meet with local veterans

Lawrence Pierce
Eric Shinseki (center), secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, talks with Justin Wilcox (right), a Marine who served in Iraq, as Sen. Jay Rockefeller looks on at the Charleston Vet Center on Wednesday.

Lawrence Pierce
Shinseki (right) and Rockefeller discuss the VA's Gulf War Illness Task Force after meeting with veterans in Charleston.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- It was just another group therapy session for a handful of veterans at the Charleston Vet Center on Wednesday, except that this meeting had two unusual guests: a cabinet secretary and a U.S. senator.

Eric Shinseki, Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., met with a small group of veterans and listened to those Rockefeller described as members of "a community of pain, and a community of pride."

The meeting is a part of a larger effort by the VA to reach more veterans and provide better, more specific services to the 8 million Americans who have served in the military, Shinseki said. In September, his agency launched the Gulf War Illness Task Force, designed to take a comprehensive look at veterans from that conflict and identify areas where treatment can be improved, he said.

In the upcoming weeks, the task force, chaired by VA Chief of Staff John Gingrich, who is a Gulf War veteran, will submit its final results.

VA's Open Government Program

If the current VA administration is transpartent, they why hasn't
the FINAL report of 2009's Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans
was not published to the public or the (congressional) HOUSE
Committee on Veterans Affairs which has prosmised to hold meeting
since last November. It is still under a cloak of mystery if
anyone beside the chairman of the VA Advisory Committee GW Cragin
is speak ? Where are Veterans Organation Reps or NGWRC and Veterans
of Modern Warfare ?
Dear Mr. Chairman

My name is Kirt Love. I am a disabled Gulf War Veteran and long
standing advocate for GW vets healthcare as well as benefits. I
have a small organization that I have run since 1997 that has
participated in countless government events on behalf of GW vets.
The Desert Storm Battle Registry. Then I managed to get a VA
advisory committee together through Congress and later get on
that committee. It concluded in September 2009 and filed its final
report with VA.

In November Kerri Keehn was talking to me to put me on the
stand before your committee to talk about my dissenting vote
on that final report. The problems with that report were orchestrated
by Chairman Charles Cragin who forced his will on the committee
and censored me as much as possible to produce a thin report.
In the end it would endorse the PDICI which is a psychiatric
program in Seattle that is not appropriate for Gulf War care.
Yet, Keeri then preceded to tell me what my testimony would
be and that I was not to antagonize Cragin. Then after that
she dropped me from the testimony list citing that they could
not justify the transportation budget.

In December I called VA asking Col John Peters about the progress of the
Gulf War Illness Task Force. He told me many things to include
that VA would announce service connecting 9 diseases from
the Persian Gulf. That announcement would be in December.
Then just as quick he retracted that remark. They had said there
would be a public disclosure of the report they would send to
the Secretary in January. Then in January VA pulled back on that and
decided to keep the report from the public. No website, or anything
to show the progress or details of this Task Force.

I was the one that drew attention to the large numerical errors in the
GWVIS report in February 2009. My committee didn't support my
pursuit of this fact until May 29th when I got angry that VBA would
make me start over on my request for a answer on this problem.
After that point Cragin put me on a subcommittee to get answers
from VBA which lead to a meeting in June to discuss it. This would
be abbreviated in our final report. VBA's Steerling Stokes assured
me that the reports would be corrected soon. Yet, its now February
2010 and there is nothing on the VBA website to explain any of this
much less any 2009 report. They claim its a coding problem but
they have had 8 months to resolve that.

When my committee got its response letter back on February 12th,
it had been around 120 days to what was supposed to be a 30 day
response to us. The letter wasn't from the Secretary of VA, it was
from the Chief of Staff John Gingrich. It was barely one page and had
no details of any pending programs or ideas. Worse yet, it made
reference to a private meeting between Cragin and himself to discuss
the Task Force conclusions. This gives Cragin a opportunity to
push his program in secret with Gingrich and not even give any
one else the opportunity to know any details. The need for
secrecy here is not called for.

There is also the rumor that the IOM is planning to hand over a
non-disclosure prepress copy of the Gulf War & Health: Health Effects
of Serving in the Gulf War-Update 2009 250 page report to the
subcommittee to re-enforce certain unfavorable VA elements heading
into 2010. Though the IOM itself is saying the report wont be ready
till late March or early April.

But, what makes this all even more suspicious is that the HVAC
subcommittee is not even posting the pending hearing to the
Congressional website so that others can attend. Now with the
hearing 9 days away this will guarantee a small turn out because
of the transportation expenses to attend at the last minute. Then
on top of that Todd Chambers and Dionne Trahan do not answer
thee phones or return phone calls related to this hearing.

There are a variety of reasons I should have been asked to testify
at this hearing but I have been censored from it. VA gives the
appearance of gearing up to shut out any unwanted veteran
opinions in favor of pro-government supporters. Transparency
is in effect not been the case with VA, and I fear this is to push
a less than savory program they are trying to slip by rather than
working with outside interest on more beneficial solutions.

Mr. Chairman, this hearing taking place should be fair - but it
doesn't look like it will come off that way. There is more to this but
I need to wrap this up before it gets to long winded. Please look
a little deeper than the surface on this as I don't think your getting
the full story from everyone on this. VA is NOT being transparent
about these GW programs or the route they are taking.

Thank your for your time.
Mr. Love
Director, DSBR
Former member of the VA Advisory
Committee on Gulf War Veterans

Friday, February 12, 2010

Silence from Congress and AV gulf war

why ACGWV report was filed in September not been publicly released yet.
Why did the House Committee on veterans affairs
Allow veterans on this Committee to come forth and speak
at a subcommitte hearing this month ???

Are they afraid to hear what ACGWC recommend ?
Does the House CVA not want to hear what GW vets have to say ?

VA didn't post the report with an fanfair or press release.
This is information GW vets should take to there medical appointment,
C&P exams and Congresssional Representives.

This is an official who deined Gulf war exposures

Please write your Congress person !

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

First black female POW sets the record straight

As a sister Southwest Asia Army vet, I salute Shoshana Johnson
for addresses misconceptions about her captivity in Iraq.
I remind women of Desert Storm to demand the full report of
Dept Veteran Affairs on Advisory Committtee on Gulf War Veterans
to be published at the House (congressional) Committee Veteran Affairs
this month hearing.

Now discharged from the Army, Johnson is back in the news because
of the publication of her book about her experiences.
“I'm Still Standing:
From Captive U.S. Soldier to Free Citizen - My Journey Home

was published by Simon & Schuster.

Johnson told, she wrote the book to clear up a number of
misconceptions people have about what happened to her.

Johnson had to fight to get the same disability pay as Lynch.
It also took two years before the Army recognized her PTSD,
she writes. But, she says, she remains friends with Lynch and
understands why she got more attention than the other captives.


PTSD Vets Win Retirement Deal

Veterans of the first Gulf War were diagnosed with PTSD
yet very few of those over the years have obtained over
50% rating. Is that because they did not sue for
legislation. I too live with this issue.

PTSD Vets Win Retirement Deal

As the dates indicate, the deal doesn’t include even all PTSD veterans discharged since Sept. 11, 2001. That’s because the lawsuit was brought under the Tucker Act, which has a six-year statute of limitation from the date a complaint is filed against the government, which was in December 2008

Misty said a doctor at Fort Carson finally prescribed proper medication for Michael after some terrible times. Though he is able to work, every day remains a struggle due to memory loss, headaches and nightmares.

“It’s very hard for him, and us, because he has no memory,” said Misty. “Yesterday was our daughter’s birthday. He totally forgot. He doesn’t like to be around people, which makes it really hard with a big family…And he does not sleep because of the nightmares.”,15240,209720,00.html