Gulf War Syndrome (Updated)
This is not a poem, and I apologise if this offends you. But I feel the need to share this as it needs exposure so more people can understand the problems many ex soldiers are going through whom have served in the Middle East.
It is very real; Gulf War Syndrome! I served in and around first Gulf Operations of 90/91. Prior to embarking in the Middle East, I had a BFT (Basic fitness test) time of 8.20 minutes. Not bad really for running a mile and a half as a squad and then a mile and half at your own pace. 8.20 was my time. My first real Op was in Namibia, where I spent some 6 months on the border with Angola. I came back more or less not affected in any way. But Gulf Operations seen a dramatic change in me. I came back from my first tour a mere 8 and a ½ stone. My body had niggling pains and my mood was one of anger. That was after my first tour. My second tour was more of the same. I left the army and became increasingly unpredictable in nature. My fitness had deteriorated and alas, I became a protagonist of violence against a girlfriend. Violence I just couldn’t locate origins of. I approached a Group known as the NGVFA (National Gulf Veterans and Families Association). It was headed by Major Ian Hall. He was a medic who served in the Gulf. He has passed away now, confirming his concern as to his own health and those of the veterans. Another founder was Tony Flynn, I think he too has now passed away. The Oppo I handed my detachment too at Al Jabayl; Andy Egan, passed away last autumn, he dropped down and suffered sudden death. I know of one or two ex-soldiers who served in the Gulf, who claim to be suffering from various mysterious ailments. I myself have suffered heart attack, migraine stroke which has left me partially blind, and I suffer from mental ill health which alongside PTSD, may be organic in its origins. That is to say, originating from exposure to toxins and chemicals. To put into perspective, what the allies thought of the impending war back in 90. My detachment in Thumrait in Oman sent a Matdem (Materials Demands) back to Donnington UK. The Matdem asked for 10,000 led lined body bags to be shipped to the Gulf. This was not for the casualties of Iraqi forces, this was for our own casualties that we expected. The war did not produce 10,000 allied deaths. But what it did produce is many thousands of allied forces that to this day are suffering. Not only that, but in the region of Kurdistan and the wider Iraq. Babies are being born deformed. Deformities that may be caused by chemical agents in the atmosphere. Gulf War Syndrome is very real. And yet, despite even RAF Crews coming forward after all this time with complaints of their own about their health, we are still going unheard by government and the MoD. The MoD and Government have to acknowledge what the veterans are saying, because we served in faith only to find, we are killing our own!