By Michael Donnelly, Denise Donnelly
When Major Michael Donnelly was instructing his U.S. Air Force student pilots, he used to tell them three things: "Timing is everything; it's nice to be lucky; and there is no justice". Highly decorated fighter pilot, proud young patriot, loyal friend with a mischievous sense of humor, loving husband and father of two, he could not have imagined the tragic meaning those words would assume just a few years after his tour of duty in Dessert Storm. In 1996 Major Donelly was diagnosed with ALS, Lou Gehrig's Disease, at the unusually young age of 35; the onset of this illness marked the beginning of a kind of torture beyond the scope of even the most rigorous military survival training. Betrayed by his body, eventually paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair, he experienced another betrayal perhaps even more difficult to comprehend -- betrayal by his country. For despite the fact that over 110,000 Dessert Storm veterans are sick, many dying of mysterious cancers and neurological diseases, including more than ten times the normal incidence of ALS -- and despite all evidence pointing to U.S. troops having been dosed by low levels of Iraqi nerve agents and exposed to chemical weapons' fallout -- the Pentagon adamantly denies any connection between their illnesses and their service in the Gulf War. Falcon's Cry: A Desert Storm Memoir, Michael Donnelly's unforgettable story, is his courageous attempt to unearth the truth and force an acknowledgment of that truth by the government he and his fellow veterans defended with their lives.
- Westport, CT