Report: New vets showing Gulf War illness symptoms

WASHINGTON — Veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan may be suffering from the 20-year-old set of symptoms known as Gulf War Illness, according to a new report released Wednesday by the federal Institute of Medicine.

“Preliminary data suggest that (chronic multisymptom illness) is occurring in veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars as well,” the report says.

This may be the first time that the symptoms suffered by veterans of the 1991 Gulf War have been linked to veterans of the current wars, which started in 2001 and 2003, said Paul Rieckhoff, CEO of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

It also means the Department of Veterans Affairs’ definition of who qualifies for Gulf War veterans’ benefits should include those who served in Afghanistan, said Paul Sullivan, a 1991 Gulf War veteran and founder of Veterans for Common Sense.

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About Charles Sheehan-Miles

Charles Sheehan-Miles served in the 1991 Gulf War as a tank crewman with the 24th Infantry Division. A bestselling novelist, he co-founded Veterans for Common Sense in 2002 and served as the organization’s executive director from 2003-2006. Charles currently lives in Bethesda, MD, where he is employed with a law firm assisting disabled veterans with their VA claims.
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