navigation...see below for text links
Join the Discussion

Dear FRONTLINE,

As an Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician during Desert Storm it was my job to "blow-up" or burn any captured or unexploded ordnance found in order to protect lives and property. My one question over all this senseless arguing is;why aren't more troops that were with me on the 'front lines' in Kuwait and Iraq (tank crews, Special Forces, etc.) getting sick? We were right there in the middle of the oil fires, DU rounds all around, explosives cooking off, and yet I can still run 5 minute miles.

Also, older nerve agents such as GA and GB (that were in the Iraqi inventory) have cumulative effects. This means that after even a tiny exposure (hoping you survive the atropine and 2PAM-chloride injections) the evidence of exposure will be with you forever.

Overall, a good and balanced piece Frontline.

SSgt Michael Kohler
Arlington, TX

Dear FRONTLINE,

What motive do you have to make one of our nation's top scientists look so foolish? Dr. Garth Nicolson's finding of HIV-1 env gene within the Mycoplasma is the story, not that he treated one uncureable veteran. Why didn't you talk about his findings rather than his theories? Your no better than The New York Times that you also critiqued. Why are scientists finding antibodies to Squalene? Why did the DOD say that they didn't even know what Squalene was (highly experimental adjuvant) but now we know that they even produce it? And about the hospitalization study (The Postwar Hospitalization Experience of Persian Gulf Veterans)-Didn't Dr. Rostker work at the DMDC when those records were gathered for the study? Isn't he now in charge of the investigation of the illnesses? Isn't he responsible for the Manpower and Reserve Affairs? (Isn't this a conflict of interest?) When you interviewed Joseph, you let him get away with comparing our CHRONIC ILLNESS with a large city's population which would have the same number of hospitalizations, but WE ARE STILL GOING TO THE HOSPITALS! WE ARE STILL SICK! (and dying) And didn't the hospitalization report find that prior to the war we were at less risk of hospitalization? NOT NOW! And didn't that study contradict itself about how many service member's records were used? VA's literature for September 1993 shows that the study's number of participants would have to be 120,000 less than reported. Who did those other 120,000 records belong to? Start asking the real questions!

Mark Langenkamp
Ozark, AL

Dear FRONTLINE,

I'm a former Marine who served time in the Gulf from start to finish. Over the past years my health has turned poor. I'm 28 years old and feel like I'm 80. I went to the VA for help but it was no good. I have a bad heart and stomach. Were do we go for help? We served our country with pride but now they have turned their backs on us. If we were locked up at one of the many Federal Prisons the government would have to take care of us!!!

Mark Prater
Memphis, TN

Dear FRONTLINE,

I am a Gulf War Vet and am currently 60% disabled. I was in perfect health prior to going to the Gulf. I believe that we were exposed to something that is causing us to age rapidly. The current investigations only make conjectures that it was a combination of things we were exposed to. I do not believe this as I did not use pesticides, PB, etc. I did, however, receive the anthrax vaccine. This is the only difference I have found between those in my unit who are ill and those who are not.

Vera Roddy
Milwaukee, WI

Dear FRONTLINE,

As much as one must sympathize with the suffering of many gulf war vets, I strongly believe that there is no physiological basis fo a "gulf war syndrome". I think frontline's very balanced report showed this clearly.

It is a fact of life that when bad things happen to people, one of the first responses is to try and place blame. How sad that so many have fueled the fire on this subject, only adding to the suffering already being experienced by those involved.

It should be clear to any OBJECTIVE observer that the "syndrome" has been manufactured by those seeking to advance their own interests. Shame on them! They are providing much more damage than comfort!

Washington, DC

Dear FRONTLINE,

After seeing the program this evening I feel even stronger now that this was a major cover up by the US government. All the special panels set up to review the situation were only created as smoke screens to take the public's focus away from the cover up. The government stands to loose public support for any future military action in the Gulf in the event that the UN weapons inspectors cannot properly verify Saddam's weapons capabilities. Here we are seven years later and we still cannot get this thorn (Saddam) out of our side. I have a very high distrust for our government. It's amazing the level of incompetence at the Pentagon, and our taxes are paying for this.

Bill Hoddy
Tempe, AZ

Dear FRONTLINE,

I spent seven months in the Gulf where I served as the Chemical Officer for the 11th Air Defense Brigade ( the SCUD Busters). If chemical agents were used I would have known since had units form my Brigade stationed all over the theater of war. Not a single soldier ever reported a single incident. How do you hide a chemical incident? This would be the Mother-of-all cover-ups of which, by default, I would be a part of. Let's stop the hype and distortion and find what is causing the health problems that Gulf vets are having.

Earl Henderson
Rome, New York

Dear FRONTLINE,

I am completely shocked that Frontline would stoop to a new low in tabloid journalism. Your entire hour of one-sided coverage on Gulf War Syndrome was nothing more than propaganda for the military-industrial complex. Where were the many, highly-respected medical researchers who have shown with numerous brain SPECT and PET scans, immunological testing, brain-mapping, balance-testing, and so forth, that the symptoms of the Gulf War vets could not have been caused simply by stress. You gave that "spin" doctor from the DOD about half an hour of air time and the only opposing view was a few minutes from some flaky doctor.

I am really sick that PBS would have the gall to present this program as "journalism." I guess when your bills are paid by ADM, we have to be a lot more skeptical about your biases.

Laurel Ballou
Bothell, WA

Dear FRONTLINE,

The things that I noted in the show had more to do with what the "scientists" didn't do with regard to investigating the causes of this syndrom. Mainly, they didn't even make an expedition to those sites to gather data about the conditions, soil samples, etc.

I would say that what they were accompishing was more of a debating society than proper scientific methodology. I'm curious as to whether or not these esteemed (sic) individuals have any notion of what proper scientific investigational techniques are. They seemed to place more credence in the literature of the past and their own theories than today's data and letting that create the theory. They might also be well advised to realize that Gulf War Syndrome may be a variety of sources rather than a single one. Anything can be a factor right down the powdered camel dung dust stirred up by the passage of armored vehicles. NO factor is too insignificant.

Rick Fallstrom
Bremerton, WA

 
continue

 
home . join the discussion . analyzing the major theories . five interviews . the veterans . a closer look . examining the media's role . a guide to the site . comparing gulf veterans' health with other veterans . tapes & transcripts . press reaction

web site copyright 1995-2014 WGBH educational foundation

PBS Online

SUPPORT PROVIDED BY

RECENT STORIES

FRONTLINE on

ShopPBS