From 1991 to 2003, hundreds of thousands of our bravest men and women sought help from the Veterans Administration,
from the Defense Department,
from the White House, all to no avail.
The official word was that Gulf War Syndrome did not exist.
So they suffered in silence.
Tens of thousands died from these conditions.
Many lost their homes because of the high costs to pay for medical care themselves.
Independent investigations, including those conducted by many of the Gulf War veterans themselves,
showed multiple causes behind Gulf War Syndrome,
including experimental vaccines,
and toxicity from biological and chemical weapons,
and other environmental contaminants.
The current wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are manifesting with an entirely new series of physical and mental illnesses and diseases.
Some are being recognized, such as post traumatic stress (PTS), but many others are not.
Hundreds of thousands of our veterans are living in destitution,
have attempted or committed suicide,
and can no longer fit into a normal family life.
And yet the government once again,
as it did to previous Gulf War vets,
turns its backs on them.
This is an American tragedy,
and that is where our story begins.