KCUR News
5:00 am
Mon November 17, 2008

Zero To Sixty: Gulf War Vets Aid Is Urged

Kansas City, Mo. – For Veterans of the 1991 Gulf War, it's not too late to treat mysterious illnesses among them. A research report ordered by congress has gone to Veterans Affairs Secretary James Peake. Some of its driving force came from Kansas City, Kansas.

More than 8 years ago, the National Gulf War Resource Center on Southwest Boulevard pushed for a Kansas study which linked veterans ailments to the places and times they fought. The newest study, created by a panel mandated by congress, proposes a minimum $60 million a year for more research. Center vice president John Shwertfeger says funding dwindled to nothing last year and it should be 200 to 300 million, "we haven't even been able to scratch the surface as far as what actual agents all were present in there. We're just talking about a few in this report."
He talks about nerve gases and smoke from chemical dump fires and spent radioactive fuel used on tank piercing shells affecting troops. The study estimates as many as 210 thousand Gulf Veterans are affected by illnesses ranging from ALS to Parkinson's disease that appear to have root causes in the war.