The below report by Denise Nichols of the Gulf War Veterans certainly deserves a WELL DONE BY ALL VETERANS, WIDOWS, AND ORPHANS.
Vietnam Veterans certainly need to be envious of the dedication and hard work this group has put into trying to resolve the Gulf War Illness that so many Veterans were and still are affected.
At least this seems to be out of the hands of the IoM at present with their finger pointing at stress in this 100-hour war created this what has to be considered a form of “immune system syndrome” although the VA likes the term illness better.
Cautiously very cautiously and with many reservations, I thank those at the VA and our government that has at least entertained the idea of funding these independent efforts.
It seems in our Veterans Issues this is nothing but a chess match between Veterans and our Government. No different than Congressman Shays recanted in 2000 in oversight questions with Mr. Butler of the IoM, “I feel like I am playing chess with you here.”
Funding Announcements Relevant to Research on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses
Report on Gulf War illness for November 2006
We are awaiting this week hopeful the signing of the contract between VA and UTSWMed (Dallas,Texas).
The collaborative agreement was announced around May. UTSWMED will become the hub of action for GW Research. We thank Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson, Ross Perot, and DR Robert Hailey for being there for gulf war veterans. This is a first in history for veterans! WE are definitely winning some. It seems slow at times but once things get in place can get done even if it is 16 years of hard work for the gulf war vets from Operation Desert Storm.
WE also have the Announcement of the VA Brain Bank located in AZ. 1Million dollars finally made this happen. The first brain has been donated was from a Gulf War Vet (we thank that family and honor that veteran) . For now they are concentrating on Gulf War veterans with ALS. They have nurses trained that go to the family and the veteran as they approach the end to present this option to them. It is an opportunity to get real answers for Gulf War Veterans. Veterans have been pushing for this since Jason Whitcomb Gulf War Veteran from Oklahoma died and the family was willing to donate but no resources had been set up. Also same thing happened when Fred Willoughby another gulf war veteran died and his family offered to donate his brain since he had been in the Seabee group that Dr Hailey had studied.
It took the spark of Dr Paul Greengard making the statement of if we had one or two brains donated it would help the gulf war veterans to get answers and treatment potentials.
Dr Greengard is world renown and Nobel award nominee. This is a world class first of its kind ever brain depository. WE must congratulate the VA for finally hearing the veterans, DR Greengard's statement, the VA_RAC_GWI initiative to push this issue, and the VA Research and Mr. Nicholson, secretary of the VA for making this happen within a year! Quite a historical accomplishment.
WE also have this announcement to get out to any DRs or researchers!
This is critical to get to any doctors and researchers so all help in doing this! WE have a short deadline to get letters of intent from researchers to apply! Please spread to VA or Civilian doctors and researchers!
Department of Defense (DoD)
Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses Research Program (GWVIRP) (Issued: October 30, 2006)
Find Grant Opportunities http://www.grants.gov/applicants/find_grant_opportunities.jsp
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Department of Defense (DOD) Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses Research Program (GWVIRP)
The synopsis for this grant opportunity is detailed below, following this paragraph. This synopsis contains all of the updates to this document that have been posted as of 10/30/2006. If updates have been made to the opportunity synopsis, update information is provided below the synopsis.
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Document Type: Grants Notice Funding Opportunity Number: W81XWH-06-GWVIRP
Opportunity Category: Discretionary Posted Date: Oct 30, 2006 Creation Date:
Oct 30, 2006 Original Closing Date for Applications: Feb 02, 2007 Current
Closing Date for Applications: Feb 02, 2007 Archive Date: Mar 04, 2007
Funding Instrument Type: Other
Category of Funding Activity: Science and Technology and other Research and Development
Category Explanation: Expected Number of Awards: 27 Estimated Total Program Funding: $5,000,000 Award Ceiling: Award Floor: CFDA Number: 12.420 -- Military Medical Research and Development Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement: No
Unrestricted (i.e., open to any type of entity above), subject to any
clarification in text field entitled "Additional Information on Eligibility"
Additional Information on Eligibility:
Dept. of the Army -- USAMRAA
The primary objective of the GWVIRP was assigned to the USAMRMC CDMRP by Congress with a $5 million dollar budget. The intent of the Program is to fund research focused on chronic illnesses affecting veterans of the 1991 Gulf War.
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We have had significant improvement in the compensation of gulf war veterans with gulf war illness but it is still a battle that each individual has to fight. WE have plans to go after legal presumptions next to include ALS, MS, other neurological diseases, Cancers including brain, acute and chronic leukemia, thyroid and testicular. So that means going back to the hill! We have to get sponsors to introduce, hearings, and the inevitable cosponsor drive, and forcing action on the floor for votes.
We also are pushing for a new advisory committee centering on the Health Care side of the VA to improve the care of gulf war veterans with illnesses since serving in Operation Desert Storm. This could be done through the action of the Secretary of the VA but may take another bill to get it done. The Clinical Guidelines for the VA physicians on Gulf War illness is out of date and we need outside medical experts and veterans to have full input to any revision! The advisory committee on Clinical Care of Gulf War Veterans would be set up similar to the current ongoing VA Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War illness but with more veterans that were medical care professionals that served in theater in the gulf war, civilian experts in the neuro field, oncology field, cfs, mcs, fibromyalgia, environmental medicine and toxicology, and VA clinicians that could offer cutting edge advice of what is currently done in the civilian medical field to diagnosis and care for these veterans of the first gulf war. This is the bridge we need to bring the VA up to speed and make lasting improvements for the gulf war veterans. Each day these are veterans reporting problems in getting care at any and all VA hospitals in the nation. It would also be a bridge to implement breaking research findings for Gulf War Veterans. WE also want to push for local VA hospitals to form Gulf War Veteran and medical advisory groups at each VA as initially started by the Whitcombs of Desert Storm Justice Foundation in Oklahoma. This would show commitment from the VA from the national headquarters down thru each local VA hospital/clinic to address the gulf war veterans needs finally! This would bring the clinicians and the veterans face to face to resolve the problems, to improve communications, and all flows of information. A good idea would be to have gulf war veterans serving as liaisons at each VA and at the national VA headquarters.
The IOM reports have not been a surprise since they were basically literature reviews of published researched that had already been reported and analyzed. The problem has been that stress and psychological studies were funded from the start in 1992 and it has taken a long time and considerable work to turn that ship and sink it! We needed the work as is being reported in the early paragraphs of this report. WE also did not need the spin PR from the IOM reports that only hurt the gulf war veterans seeking care at the VA.
If you read the reports you will find over and over again that the veterans are ill at a greater rate. The answers were not there because the right direction had not been there since 1991. The right direction would be looking at the damage in the neurologic and immune systems. The hard science is finally getting the even battle field after 16 years.
We need to focus on education and updates on research developments to VA doctors.
It is amazing that the VARACGWI met at the DALLAS VA on Monday and not one VA doctor or any nurses were seen taking in the ability to get this valuable update in the area of gulf war illness. I am thankful that we had a few more gulf war veteran attending in the audience were Kevin Smith of Florida, Connie G from Corpus Christi, and John P from Irving Tx with his sister and mother. Plus myself and Kirt Love the persistent gulf war veteran advocates as ever! We also thank Dr Ruth for being in attendance.
Monday session had the full UTSW Medical team and associated Research survey group present in attendance and making presentations. On Tuesday we had excellent updates on research and an overview of the Gulf War illness RAC's work to the present from DR. Lea Steele from Kansas. WE had ample time for comments, questions and concerns to be addressed by the veterans and others in attendance. It is a shame that more local and Texas VSO service officers and regional benefits adjudicators did not avail themselves of this first ever meeting of the VARACGWI outside of DC! It is also a shame that civilian medical practice and other researchers from other TX and OK research universities did not attend.
We had Dr Joel Kuppersmith and Dr. Bill Goldberg VA office of Research and Development, Dr Louis Fiore (VA Boston) and Dr Anil Prasad (VA Tucson) (Gulf War Tissue Repository), Kathleen Considine and Vince Iannacchione from the Research Triangle Institute, and Dr Jeffrey Spence, Dr Patric Carmack, Dr Richard Briggs, Dr Christopher Sinton, Dr James Bibb, Dr George DeMartino, Dr Philip Thomas, Dr Ilya Bezprozvanny and Dr Robert Hailey of Univ of Texas Southwestern plus the full RAC GWI committee and we thank them all and regret that more individuals as mentioned above did not show but I am sure there is Interest in this issue despite the IOM reports and press releases.
Congressman Shays got reelected so we are hoping for hearings again soon to pick up from where we left off with his hearing from NOV 2005! Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson got reelected and that is much appreciated. We will now have Democratic leadership, committee chairmanships and members of committees changed but let us hope we can bring them up to speed rapidly so we can deal with the Gulf War illness as quickly as is possible.
We need to continue to survey and communicate with our current troops of OIF and OEF
to see if they are experiencing symptoms of ill defined nature. So we need to continue to reach out to our newest groups as you the Vietnam veterans did for us when we returned in 1991 and since.
Please I am available refer them to me at DSNurse@aol.com or 303-726-0738.
Our troops are still not getting the hands on DR physicals and blood and urine sampling etc pre and post deployment that would document their health and comes from the lessons learned in Operation Desert Storm. We fought to get a law that mandated those physicals but the DOD seems to ignore the full extent and spirit of that law.
The VARACGWI schedule for 2007 meetings in DC are April 24-25, July 18-19, Oct 22-23. That is the schedule for 2007 so plan now!
Also any clinical trials for gulf war illness can be found at www.clinical <http://www.clinical/> trials.gov
Information on Research Study Enrolling Veterans of the 1990-1991 Gulf War
The following federal research project is currently enrolling veterans who served in the 1990-1991 Gulf War. For more information contact the research team at the number below.
³Patterns of Microarray Gene Expression in Gulf War Illness²
Miami , FL, VA Medical Center
The purpose of this research is to identify mechanisms that underlie Gulf War illnesses. The study will use recently-developed methods to identify markers potentially linked to these conditions.
Nancy Klimas M.D.
Healthy veterans, as well as veterans with chronic symptoms such as fatigue, cognitive problems, and muscle or joint pain
Male or female
Local to Miami area; no travel or lodging reimbursement is provided
Compensation provided for veterans¹ time
Lottie Cason, telephone: (305) 575-7000, ext. 6706
Also a reminder: http://www.dignitymemorial.com/DignityMemorial/HomelessVets.aspx?id=COR
This Dignity Memorial company should be utilized by veterans. They have preplanning folders for veterans that are the best I have seen for veterans and many veteran service organizations have teamed up with them.
That concludes my brief report for now.
Action request for all gulf war veterans we need all veterans and others to help push CSPAN
to cover gulf war illness meetings, this is one example.....Need all to help push CSPAN to do this!
send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org make your comments attn to assignment desk
The gulf war veterans that are ill need to have you all cover the Veterans Affairs Research Advisory Meetings on gulf war illness this is a public meeting.
They meet quarterly at the VA headquarters building in DC.
Their schedule for 2007 meetings are:
There website where announcements of meeting dates and locations is
This would certainly help if you would cover this meeting. We need help in keeping veterans, doctors , and researchers updated and your coverage would be a definite help!