Bob's Links and Rants

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Sunday, May 11, 2003

Under a law passed in 1997, the military is supposed to collect health data on troops before and after deployment to a war zone. The bill was passed because of the terrible experience that Gulf War I vets had (and continue to have) getting help for their ailments (such as Gulf War syndrome). Without before and after medical data, it has been difficult for those vets to prove that their illnesses were related to their service in the war. By requiring before and after examinations, the 1997 bill gave military personnel the opportunity to demonstrate changes in their physical conditions because of exposure to depleted uranium, dangerous chemicals, or other possible sources.

Just one catch--the Pentagon didn't obey the law. Soldiers in Gulf War II were not examined beforehand, and, until a recent reversal apparently precipated by a TomPaine.com campaign, the military was not examining them when they left the combat zone, either.

Warons expect everyone to "support our troops" by waving flags and shutting up while the Pentagon breaks the law and refuses to give soldiers support they may really need.