The Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses Task Force (GWVI-TF) 2012 Report

Late showing of symptoms

Most of returned without signs or symptoms so we did not report to sick call on active duty. Now, with symptoms that are reported in GW reports, vets are denied because of NOT reporting conditions while on active duty.

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    J. SernaJ. Serna shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    18 comments

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      • Butch HawkinsButch Hawkins commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I got out in late 91 after the war. I had symptoms soon after. And I went to the VA. But they weren't overly bad so I never really pursued it much. Now 20 years later I am receiving 80% pension for depression and heart disease. But the fatigue, Joint and muscle pain, Memory difficulties seem to have suddenly exploded. It's tiring just to walk up a flight of stairs. Is there a precedent for the symptoms of whatever it is to take that long to get worse?

        BTW the VA can't find my records from the 90s.

      • James K.James K. commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        It took a lot of figuring out what was wrong with me in the first place. I started out weighing in at 185 pounds before the Gulf War. When I left in April 1991 after being there since August 1990, I weighed at 155 pounds. When I came home the wife and kids thought I was crazy because of the out of the normal things I would do. For instance, challenge or dare to try and cut me off on the freeway and you're dead meat. Leaving my duce gear still in my willy peter bag. MOPP Gear and all. Back in the rear with the REMF's all they did was having Dog & Pony shows and field exercises in the back yard of the C.P. and talking $hit about what they did and how they watched CNN during the war. Anyway after 19 years later and a dozen appeals I finally got rated for what I thought I should have been back in 1994. So, bottom line is keep fighting for your entitlements and earned benefits. I can't work anymore because of all of my disabilities and more. J. K. K.

      • RLeeRLee commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Wow this all sounds so familar!! I was finally given 20% for chronic fatigue, even though I have the same myrid of symptoms ranging from the GI issues to the muscle pains. I have been called a lier and a mallingerer by both VA and civilian docs that I was refered to right after the war. We went, we served, and now we are thrown out like yesterdays trash.

      • RickRick commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        My whole unite looked at me as a scammer.. I was sick when I got there ripped muscles and cartilage while there and seen the Docs when needed, It was all in my records ,They took me 14 years to recover ,after 6 surgeries and finding the proof - SMR's I got my due, But it was not an easy road, and I was sick the whole time there in 1991. thank god my records showed up and They were forced to do the right thing. I still have dreams of that place . The VA is there to send you away if they can, If not and you fight and have proof they will and can help, but it's No easy road.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        My VA Doctor didn't document most of the symptoms I was telling them about for years. I was denied disability for these symptoms twice. The first time there was no such thing as Desert Storm Syndrome, or Gulf War Illness. All I knew was that I was sick. For 18 years I fought for this, but they compensated back to the date when I last filed. So they saved the VA 16 years of money by denying my claim. How criminal. Only after my County VA Rep got involved, and got the VFW involved was I approved. I got out of the military disabled from two other issues, so I was already in the VA system. When you go to the civilian, military, and VA Clinics they give you a questionnaire asking if you have all these illnesses that the average person wouldn't know what those illnesses were, or if have it. They may not have been diagnosed with it by a doctor if they do have it. So it matters not if you have an illness if it hasn't been diagnosed. Instead of asking a person if he/she has the illness, they should if the person has the symptoMs. The stupid questionnaire is later used against you when you file a claim for VA disability.

      • TRoboTRobo commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I was there in the beginning, and after 9 months I was finally medivac'd due to the inabilitity to old anything down. Needless to say I came back looking like a skeleton and the only explanation I was giving was that I had IBS (never had any problems prior to DS). Unfortunately, I have most of presumptive symptoms (headaches, sleep disturbance, chronic fatigue, sinus issues, joint pain, memory loss, hair thinning, depression, female issues, & of course IBS; could be more but I cannot remember them all). Many of the issues I have 0%, but they are service connected. While every condition doesn't bother me at the same time, there is always something reminding me that something just isn't right. I have had two major surgeries (not at VA) in the past three years because of my service connection and was able to use private doctor's medical records as evidence to my claims which had positive results. Who knows what caused these illinesses but they are very real and are worsening with time. My kids used to joke and call me the boo boo lady because I stayed in the bathroom so much; I live with it, but now I plan my outings knowing where's the closest BR - it's no joking matter and is very embarrasing.
        DS Vets - Just keep fighting, go to your appointments, have the VA check your Vit. D level, and have your private records put in your VA records.

      • LarryLarry commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I retired in 1995 after Desert Shield/Storm with joint ant back problems. My exit physical recorded no problems. I am now having chronic joint and back problems. Surely a delayed reaction. I am trying to get VA appointment now.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        i am a gulf war veteran recieving compensation for fibromylgia, i started having headaches while on active duty and went to sickcall several times but stopped going after the way another gulf war veteran was being treated. when i left active duty i filed for compensation based on my service in the gulf war. and i was denied appealed and denied again they said there were no record of me going to sickcall about my headaches. so around 2001 i started having severe muscle aches in my back neck legs etc. i started going going to the va and i again applied for compensation due to this problem and after a year i was approved for 40% fibro. and 50%ptsd once a person is new to the va it is a nightmare trying to maneauver between one clinic to the other but stick with it and hopefully all this will be straightned out i see new guys at the va and i do whatever i can to assist in making there transtition as easy as possible. thanks for everyones service.

      • Earl WhitakerEarl Whitaker commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Even though I currently experience chronic fatigue, sleep apnea, joint pain and heart arythmia I was denied GWI with a determination that it's not linked to my service. How do you determine that? I served. I went when I was asked to go. My advice to current soldiers is to go on sickcall for every little issue to make sure it can be linked to your service. If you get an ache in your pinky, go get it checked out.

      • Jim BunkerJim Bunker commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Illness like Fibro and IBS and CFS do not have to even be in your records. if the VARO wants they they are braking the rules. I just did a case in KY that was like this.

      • Margaret Jo MaddoxMargaret Jo Maddox commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        As a Gulf War veteran, we were only able to stay on active duty for six (6) months after returning from Saudia Arabia before being released. Now veterans, have a five-year window to report any war-related illness. Even though we have all of the signs and symptoms we are constantly told that they are not war-related. We were exposed to chemicals, given anthrax shots, lived, ate and slept in bad conditions, and treaded in sand for close to a year. Is this really fair? How do we get our sick call slips?

      • James K.James K. commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        True, A lot of us veterans were not your sickbay commando's. We had a mission to do, we completed that mission and returned back home to our love ones. We either stayed in the military or got out. Three years after the PGW had supposedly ended, veterans who served in the Combat Area of Operations were getting ill and sick. So sometime in the early 90's the Gulf War Registry was developed to help find out how bad things really were. Well, 22 years later their still trying to figure that one out. Maybe it will be another 22 years before that say it was always in the water over there! James K.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Agreed! Many of us had issues directly related to service that fully manifested 5, 10+ years post service. These were not 'lifestyle' or genetic problems but minor hinderances that worsened significantly over time, most likely due to GW toxin exposure. WE NEED GW PRESUMPTIVES.

      • CraigCraig commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Examiners need to be trained better. Many GW vets are denied things like Migraines, because they are not in their medical records.

        Look up in our records, Migraines, and sleep apnea affect almost all of us.
        Those that do not have them now, will soon, its just a matter of time.

      • johnjohn commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        . Ever since I connect with VA once i was off active duty I have been telling my docs about symptoms I have been experience - at first they told it was all in my mind and that Gulf War Syndrome (as it was called early on) was a myth. I later signed up with the Gulf War Registry hoping that would help to validate my symptoms as being related to the Gulf War - I was wrong. I still complain every time I go. I have to say that once I was flagged during at PTS screening things turned around. However - PTS is not the only thing that has affected me. I continue to experience memory issues, sleep issues, back

      • Bill SmithBill Smith commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        That has been my experience too. Ever since I connect with VA once i was off active duty I have been telling my docs about symptoms I have been experience - at first they told it was all in my mind and that Gulf War Syndrome (as it was called early on) was a myth. I later signed up with the Gulf War Registry hoping that would help to validate my symptoms as being related to the Gulf War - I was wrong. I still complain every time I go. I have to say that once I was flagged during at PTS screening things turned around. However - PTS is not the only thing that has affected me. I continue to experience memory issues, sleep issues, back (I fell off a M577 command post carrier and landed on my back and broke my wrist) and other general pain/fatigue, etc. I was able to get a 30% disability rating for PTS that was later upgraded to 60% after I submitted another claim to increase PTS and add severe tension headaches and my wrist. The issues the VA still will not give me a rating for my back because I did not report back problems when I went to the TMC after falling nor will they rate my memory and sleep issues. It is frustrating but at least I was able to get a 60% rating. I'm not looking for a hand out but it took me nearly 20 years to come to terms with the fact that I have been experiencing PTS since the Gulf War and I just want my experience validated.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        There are many Veterans of Operation Elf One that return with those of Desert Storm Veterans. The fatigue, skin disorders, etc. Is the VA addressing these issues for these Veterans as well?

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