(Washington – April 4, 2019) – With scientific advances now regularly breaking related to Gulf War Illness, 97 members of Congress pushed this week for more treatment research for the debilitating condition that affects as many as one in three veterans of the 1991 Gulf War.
Led by Representatives Gregorio Sablan (D-N. Marianas) and retired Lt. General Jack Bergman (R-Mich.), the bipartisan group of 97 members of the U.S. House sent the letter to the defense appropriators calling for “the necessary resources to continue this vital and effective” Gulf War Illness treatment research funding.
“By congressional design, [it] is a unique medical research program narrowly focused on the vision of improving the health and lives of Veterans with Gulf War Illness,” they wrote, calling it “a model of how to conduct treatment oriented research to address a challenging illness” that “is succeeding where earlier programs failed.”
They also noted that, “two-thirds of GWIRP studies are still in progress,” but “there is a growing body of GWIRP-funded study results, many published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, that demonstrate steady advances of GWIRP’s goals of identifying underlying mechanisms, diagnostic markers, and treatments.”
Included among the 97 cosigners were the Chairman, Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.), and Ranking Member, Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-Tenn.), of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, along with most of its subcommittee leaders and a majority of its members.
The request was supported by a myriad of veterans service organizations. With advocacy led by Veterans for Common Sense, they include: the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Veterans for Common Sense, Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), AMVETS, Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), Blinded Veterans Association (BVA), The Enlisted Association (TREA), Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), National Gulf War Resource Center, Bum Pits 360, Sgt. Sullivan Circle, and the National Vietnam & Gulf War Veterans Coalition.
UPDATE: A parallel effort has succeeded in the U.S. Senate. Led by U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), one-fifth of the Senate joined her in supporting continuation of the treatment-focused, patient-inspired Gulf War Illness Research Program.
Read the full signed letters in PDF below, and see which Senators and Members of the House put their full signed support behind ill and suffering Gulf War veterans: