GUTIERREZ, Il Unois SCOTTY BAESLER, Kentucky SANFORD BISHOP, Georgia JAMES E. Bob Clement 6 Prepared statement of Congressman Clement 160 Hon. Ronald R., Commanding General, Walter Reed Army Medi- cal Center, Department of Defense 118 Prepared statement of General Blanck 314 Canady, Hon. Joe Kennedy and Bob Clement have also provided strong support and encouragement for this hearing; their support, assistance, and cooperation are particularly appreciated. It seems that we were headed a year ago for a repeat of the Agent Orange fiasco. And, lastly, there are obvious discrepancies between the numbers of affected individuals linked to service reported by service organi- zations and advocacy groups and those presented by the VA and the individual branches of the Armed Forces. Chairman, I have been pleased by recent statements by Sec- retary Brown indicating his willingness to look into all areas, in- eluding multiple chemical sensitivity, and reaffirming his commit- ment to provide access to the best available resources. LONG, Indiana CHET EDWARDS, Texas MAXINE WATERS, California BOB CLEMENT, Tennessee BOB FILNER, California FRANK TEJEDA, Texas LUIS V. Each and every member of this committee is concerned about the health care problems of Persian Gulf veterans, but two members in particular, Joe Kennedy and Bob Clement, have been in the fore- front in recognizing and responding to the problems of Gulf War veterans. You and I have had, I think, a joint concern about the fact that, dating back from the initial hearings over a year ago, we did not feel that the VA was looking into this issue, nor the Penta- gon looking into this issue, with near the vigor that the complaints warrant. Second, the question is not whether the soldiers are being seen at the VA and DOD facilities, but whether or not they are truly being treated. Are they described as similar to, say, an allergic drip from allergies? r PERSIAN GULF WAR VETERANS AND RELATED ISSUES Y 4. CLYBURN, South Caro Una MIKE KREIDLER, Washington CORRINE BROWN, Florida BOB STUMP, Arizona CHRISTOPHER H. Steve Buyer 7 WITNESSES Ange, Michael Ray, Congressional Liaison, MUitary Families Support Net- work, Inc 47 Prepared statement of Mr. Charles T., a Representative in Congress from the State of Florida 9 Prepared statement of Congressman Canady, with attachment 165 Ensslin, Jr., Maj. Robert F., Executive Director, National Guard Associa- tion of the U. D 368 Hester Adcock 378 Written committeee questions and their responses: Congressman Clement to Department of Veterans Affairs 381 Congressman Bachus to Department of Veterans Affairs 386 V Page Chairman Evans to Dr. Numerous news media accounts have reported on the health problems encountered by some Gulf War veterans. We saw the same individual hired by the military to study this issue of Persian Gulf syndrome sicknesses as was hired to investigate Agent Orange, and I think it sends a mes- sage throughout all of the veterans' community that are feeling the terrible sicknesses that somehow the government feels that they are malingerers. In fact, re- cent movement with the VA appears to indicate that the tide is slowly turning. V 64/3: 103-17 — — — _ Persian Gulf Uar Ueterans and Relat... SMITH, New Jersey DAN BURTON, Indiana MICHAEL BILIRAKIS, Florida THOMAS J. S 79 Prepared statement of General Ensslin 281 Gordan, Dr. Today we hope to gain a better understanding of the health care problems and con- cerns of these veterans. There is a sense that if they come forward, they are going to be punished. I have been further encouraged in that the VA appears to be moving away from the solely PTSD, or general population diag- nosis, and is now considering other causes and means of treatment. Rea 299 Robertson, Steve A., Director, National Legislative Commission, The Amer- ican Legion 66 Prepared statement of Mr. Unfortunately, however, not everyone could be accommodated in person today. That neglect is something that reflects poorly in many respects on the military and certainly on our society, when it fosters mis- trust, cynicism, and alienation of government, in general. For instance, many of the soldiers who were sent to serve in Desert Storm already had medical problems. That combined with what could be called the witch's brew of toxic substances and a hostile environment have caused us to have thousands of claims filed with the VA. Now, when we first had these hearings a year or so ago, there were indications that there was only a couple hundred, 250 soldiers that had been complaining of these symptoms, and yet we now know that there are literally thousands and thousands of soldiers that have these complaints. But I believe that we must pursue every possible explsination, leaving no stone unturned. Kennedy from Massachusetts, for tak- ing a lead at this time where I, like many other veterans, was suf- fering from some ailments, but had no idea what was wrong with my body. I think some of them have experienced the drip that has been described earlier. Robertson 242 Schneider, Richard, Director of State A^eterans Affsdrs, Non Commissioned Officers Association 77 Prepared statement of Mr. In some cases individuals have been invited to submit written testi- mony for possible inclusion into the printed record. Only individuals who have been for- mally invited in writing by the subcommittee to testify will be called today by the chair to present their views. The veterans of our Nation are entitled to receive medical care and, certainly, be recognized for standing up to defend our country, but they have reason to feel at times that they have been betrayed when certain things are not recognized appropriately. We have a lot to do in this subcommittee, and I again appreciate very much you making this hearing possible. So the question is whether or not we, as the Congress of the United States, are going to make the presumption that when these soldiers are exposed to chemical contaminants that are very dif- ferent than the kinds of wounds that have been experienced in past warfares; it seems that we are now dealing with a whole new ele- ment of modem warfare. Therefore, every possible exposure, such as reactions to inocula- tions, effects of depleted uranium, contaminated water supply, and pesticides, must be scrutinized in the same manner. There are many S3miptoms out there that veterans have, and they are discounted due to medical ignorance, due to a lack of a specific cause and a specific solution. In order to properly address the problems being experienced by former members of the 325th and other units which served in the Persian Gulf, I believe that two changes must take place. One, the VA needs to acknowledge and medically address the problems arising from Operation Desert Storm.
Silvester 221 Wall, Gary C, President, New Jersey Vietnam Veterans of American State Council, accompanied by William F. CUne, Executive Director, Enlisted Association National Guard of the United States 348 Rjuth A. Witnesses recognized to present an oral statement today are, again, requested to limit their presentation to five minutes. Now we look at a situation where perhaps the oil fires in the Gulf, the depleted uranium, the endemic parasites and diseases, certain environmental and combat stresses are causing new illnesses. So we do not know exactly what the outcome of those exposures are going to be, and the question is whether or not we as a Con- gress are going to make ourselves open and available to the sol- diers so that they feel that they can come forward, make the com- plaint, and have a presumption that if there is a body of knowledge that indicates that excess chemical exposures are going to provide you with symptoms that might indicate things like hair loss, things like stomach cramps, things like vomiting, things like extreme chronic fatigue, that there would be a presumption that those ill- nesses are directly related to the service that you provided to your country because you were exposed to those kinds of chemicals in your service to your country, and that is the crux of this issue. The dissenters should prove that it is not linked by eliminating every possibility. Chairman, thank you for providing this opportunity for the committee to hear first hand from those affected by the mysterious illness and key individuals which have been involved in the treatment and/or study of this mysterious illness. The chair is very pleased to recognize the gentleman from Indi- ana, a Persian Gulf veteran himself. For someone who went off to the war, who for the first 32 years of his life was of excellent physical health — I did not lift as many weights as you did, Joe — but I was in very excellent physical health; I came back and then to begin to have problems. a wide, wide range of respiratory symptoms have been described to me.
William Johnson on the health care problems reported by some members of this unit. CANADY, A REPRESENTA- TIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF FLORIDA Mr. Members of the unit report conditions were primitive.
So we are very pleased to hear from you today, and we will let you proceed at this time. Safety equip- ment was virtually nonexistent, and their protest to commanders in the Army and National Guard were ignored.
Crandell, Legislative Advocate 69 Prepared statement of Mr. Without objec- tion, the complete written statement submitted by each witness will be included in the hearing record. We do not know the answer, but we are starting to seek out those answers. It seems to me that what we are trjdng to accomplish here today is not just to hear directly from the VA and the Pentagon, as this committee has done in the past, but to use the initiative of this in- vestigative subcommittee to say that there is a whole array of dif- ferent views on this issue; that doctors and health experts fi-om outside the VA have experience, and as a matter of fact, many doc- tors within the VA. I am hopeful that this hearing will draw attention to a continuing problem and result in a better understanding of this situation. And you raised a question when you said that the VA only has 4,000 of these veterans in the registry while over 600,000 went to the Persian Gulf War. It is difficult to get a fix on the particular symptoms, but there is a wide range of symptoms.
Wall 258 Zuspann, Betty, National Director, Desert Storm Veterans Coalition 44 Prepared statement of Ms. Our many visitors today are welcome and I would like to remind all in attendance that this is a formal congressional hearing. Both of these gentlemen served in the Gulf War as a part of the Naval Reserve unit in Huntsville, AL. I am an optometrist, and I was a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve who was activated as a part of my Army Reserve hospital unit to support military personnel going to and coming back from the Gulf, and in that capacity I certainly recognize that medicine does not know all the answers to the questions in front of us. There are some disorders and illnesses that we know very little about. It is the first time that we will have heard directly fi-om Persian Gulf soldiers themselves, to hear about what they feel and the kinds of problems that they sense that they are incurring, and I think that this is a very important hearing, Mr. I really want to thank you very much for your willingness to take on this issue. And I ask that my full testimony be incorporated into the record as if read. When I came back and was personally strug- gling with many different physical problems, there was a study done in Indiana of the 123rd ARCOM, and over 100 of my com- rades went and participated in that study. What tj TDe of respiratory problems are they having?