Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) secured a major victory for veterans of the first Gulf War by garnering $8 million for Gulf War Illness (GWI) research in the Fiscal Year 2010 Appropriations bill that passed the House yesterday.
“This research will build on previous studies on Gulf War Illness.” Kucinich said. “This funding will take giant steps forward in identifying a treatment or a cure for Gulf War Veteran’s illness.”
In its landmark 454-page report delivered in November, the Congressionally-mandated Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans Illnesses at the Department of Veterans Affairs (RAC) reported that “Gulf War illness is real, that it is the result of neurotoxin exposures during Gulf War deployment and that few veterans have recovered or substantially improved with time.”
For the first time, the report identified several suspected causes and two known causes: exposure to pesticides and a drug given to troops to protect them from nerve gas.
“There are currently no effective treatments for these conditions. With research, we learn the true causes of GWI and the possibilities open up. We must continue to attack GWI and fund the research with an amount commensurate with the scope of the problem,” said Kucinich.
Kucinich’s request for funding received bipartisan support from Reps. Henry Brown, Holt, Filner, Michaud, Baldwin, C. Brown, Conyers, Edwards, Grijalva, Hall, Maloney, McDermott, D. Moore, G. Moore, Pascrell, Pingree, Ross, Sestak, Stark and Yarmuth.