Thursday, December 25, 2014

#DearVA Today I am Tired.

Hello #VA

Today I am tired. I am frustrated that our version of normal is so different than most other families. I am sad that another year has come that involves us putting up the tree, while he sits in the dark in the other room. 

I hate that we have to have a fake tree, because it has to be something my children and I can wrestle into the stand and up ourselves. 

He's in too much pain to lift it. The holidays make him sadder than usual.

No place like home for the holiday's sounds so nice doesn't it?

It would be a great idea for the #NewVA to put together some sort of resource for Vets around the holidays... or if not for them, for the families of vets. It'd be nice to have known years ago it wasn't just our home.

~Blue Christmas


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#DearVA,

I just don't have it in me to fight much anymore. Over the next few days I am going to talk about Gulf War Syndrome. My husband, a Veteran, has asked me to cover this issue, because while you acknowledge that it is a very real thing, you are not covering many of our Veterans.

So what is Gulf War Syndrome?  It is a chronic multisymptom disorder affecting returning military veterans and civilian workers of the Gulf War. A wide range of acute and chronic symptoms have been linked to it, including fatigue, muscle pain, cognitive problems, rashes and diarrhea. Approximately 250,000 of the 697,000 U.S. veterans who served in the 1991 Gulf War are afflicted with enduring chronic multi-symptom illness, a condition with serious consequences.  Suggested causes have included depleted uranium, sarin gas, smoke from burning oil wells, vaccinations, combat stress and psychological factors.

In 2008, an independent congressionally appointed committee recommended that Congress increase funding for research on Gulf War veterans' health to at least $60 million a year. This was denied.

Further strides have since been made by Representative Mike Coffman, a Marine who served in the Gulf War. Congress currently allows funding of $15 million for research on Gulf War Syndrome.

As Gulf War Syndrome is a chronic condition, the VA requires 6 months of documentation to "prove" it is real. There are several problems with this, as I will explain over the next few days.

There has also been requests by Gulf War Veterans to have research done into their children's birth defects and spousal sickness, which I will also go into more detail on in the next few days.

I would like to see the #NewVA take a closer look at what is going on with our Veterans as they return from Combat. There should be a method to follow up with them over the course of years, whether it is as simple as making them a PCP appointment, or even a survey which can lead to a PCP appointment. You can't let them just disappear. Our Veterans need you.

PM
Caregiver

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