January 10, 2003
Honorable Anthony Principi (00)
Department of Veterans Affairs
810 Vermont Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20420
Dear Secretary Principi:
As a veteran and veterans’s advocate, I strongly encourage
you to investigate the conduct and utility of the VA study
of Gulf War veterans exposed to depleted uranium, known as
the Depleted Uranium Follow-Up Program (DU Program).
In the last few years, Pentagon officials have made false
statements about the health status of the veterans in the
DU Program in apparent attempts to reduce domestic and
international concerns about the use of DU munitions. The
DU Program has facilitated this deceit first through its
silence, and further through its ostensibly subjective and
selective presentation of facts concerning the development
of cancers, bone tumors and other health effects among the
few veterans in the study.
I strongly believe there is sufficient publicly available
evidence to justify a thorough audit of the DU Program.
This evidence also supports the creation of a new DU
study that will more effectively serve the interests of
Gulf War veterans and meet the needs of policymakers who
make decisions about veterans? service connected benefits.
I have outlined my findings and proposals in the attached
After serving in the Navy, I worked as a service
organization representative for six years with Swords to
Plowshares (San Francisco) and Vietnam Veterans of America
(Washington, DC). I know there were myriad problems with
federal research on Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent
Orange, and I am deeply concerned that history is
repeating itself with respect to research on Gulf War
veterans exposed to DU.
I respectfully request a response from your office to the
concerns I have raised. Thank you for your consideration
of the materials I have provided.
cc: Senator Russell Feingold
Senator Jay Rockefeller
Representative Christopher Shays
Representative Lane Evans
Representative Bob Filner
Representative Chris Smith
Representative David Bonior
Representative Nancy Pelosi
Representative Barbara Lee
James Binns, VA Gulf War Illness Research Advisory Committee