By W. R. McAfee, Sr.

Copyright © 2012 by W. R. McAfee, Sr.  All rights reserved.

Opinion

The First Gulf war, fought to check Saddam Hussein’s attempt to take over Kuwait and its oil reserves, set off a series of Middle East military conflicts that have lasted more than two decades. Tragically, many veterans of these conflicts have returned home with serious medical problems; both physical and mental.

The VA, charged with meeting the medical needs of these veterans’  has been found lacking; sheer numbers, lack of funding, and incompetence being the most often cited reasons.

Medical problems for a large portion of these veterans  may very well have originated from the handling of—and battlefield exposure to—contaminated areas where U.S. ordinance containing depleted uranium (DU, or U238); used in the First Gulf war and all subsequent Middle East conflicts.

Radiation sickness at first appeared an obvious option for the veterans’ illnesses, but this was quickly tossed into the  Gulf War Syndrome (GWS) kettle, and later repositioned in the public’s mind as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Depression, headaches, weakness, fatigue, and multiple physical complications that varied among individuals, often accompany this exposure.

Yet, federally funded researchers didn’t make the radiation connection  following the First Gulf war—over in a few days because the distribution of the world’s oil supply was threatened—because congress and their handlers knew from the get-go there was not, and would not be, enough money in their U.S. piggy bank to fund the medical needs of these returning veterans’ once lawyers sunk their teeth into the causes of their illnesses, in my opinion.

Investigative reporter Katherine Russ wrote an accurate summary about the results of this  delayed medical care for our veterans , and a May 2011 ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals  directly addressed their mental health needs. More