Magazine article VFW Magazine

Persian Gulf Vets: Top Priority

Magazine article VFW Magazine

Persian Gulf Vets: Top Priority

Article excerpt

On this I0th anniversary of Operation Desert Storm, we should all take time to remember their service and sacrifice.

It's been 10 years since the coalition offensive was launched against Saddam Hussein's occupying troops in Kuwait. In a precision air and swift ground campaign, they were driven back into Iraq. The world breathed a sigh of relief when a dictator's expansionist schemes were thwarted in this strategic region.

Persian Gulf War veterans came home to a welcome seldom matched in U.S. military history. Streets thronged with cheering crowds as GIs proudly marched past them confident that all was well. While the spectators returned to their routines and soon forgot the war, some Gulf vets were destined never to so easily dismiss their war experience.

Society certainly bestowed the appropriate symbolic rewards and material benefits on the vets. Yet for a significant number, service in the Gulf would remain a recurring nightmare. Their health devastated by ailments of unknown origins, they rightly demanded answers to these medical maladies.

That's where VFW entered the picture. With enthusiastic support from the field, VFW's National Legislative and Veterans services began initiating bills in Congress and calling for care from the VA. Initiative paid off, resulting in a string of laws and agency directives designed to provide. treatment and compensation to those in need-veterans, spouses and children alike.

As this issue of the magazine points out, legislative victories were numerous and substantial. …

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