Rumsfeld Blinks, Pentagon Will Test Troops

  1. after being 'outed' the Pentagon suddenly switches and will follow the law and give physical exams to troops
  2. 24 Comments

  3. by   jnette
    This is the kind of crap that makes me so mad I wanna spit.
    All the pats on the back to our soldiers willing to lay down their lives don't mean diddly... give the troops the respect and the care they deserve !!! Don't just build them up (rah! rah!) to go to war.. and then dump them when the job is done. This has been going on for how many decades now? Why is the health of our troops not taken more seriously? Are they really just so "disposable"? How despicable.
  4. by   WashYaHands
    I could be wrong, but the source of this information seems like a partisan politics web page. All the stories seem to have an anti-Bush focus, which raises a red flag to me in terms of fair and unbiased reporting.

    If anyone would like I can check with my active duty military friends who work in military health care positions to find out exactly what the protocols are. Might lower all of our blood pressures a bit.

  5. by   pickledpepperRN
    Not active duty. Pro veteran.

    Joyce Riley vonKleist, R.N., BSN
    Spokesperson, American Gulf War Veterans Association
    Ms. Riley served as a Captain in the United States Air Force and flew on C-130 missions in support of Operation Desert Storm. She now serves as spokesperson for the American Gulf War Veterans Association who's purpose is to provide education and information for the Gulf War veterans and their families and to seek treatment for the illnesses that thousands of Gulf War veterans now suffer from.

    The American Gulf War Veterans Association (AGWVA) was established with one goal in mind: To obtain treatment for those service members and their families who experience symptoms collectively known as the "Gulf War Illness". However, there is more to this issue than meets the eye. As this investigation into causation has now progressed into the arena of possible exposure to chemical and/or biological agents, radiation poisoning due to the use of depleted uranium and most disturbingly, the use of our fighting men and women as "Guinea Pigs" in medical experimentation, the AGWVA has now added a second goal: To obtain justice and compensation for all those affected by these illnesses. Our troops returned home after serving their country with an illness that appears to be spreading into the general population, treatment is being denied and to date there are no safeguards of our blood supply. Those responsible have passed the burden of proof onto those that are suffering and least able to fight the enormous bureaucracy of governmental agencies that are more concerned with avoiding admission.
    America wants to know why.
    The American Gulf War Veterans Association (AGWVA) now calls for the resignation of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. In response to questioning by Sen. Robert C. Byrd, (D-WV), Rumsfeld denied any knowledge that the United States had shipped biological weapons to Iraq during the 1980's. Rumsfeld was addressing the Armed Services Committee last week, when he stated that he "...had no knowledge of any such shipments and doubted that they ever occurred."
    There is no disputing the evidence that the U.S. provided bacteria and viruses as evidenced by Senate Report 103-900, "United States Dual-Use Exports To Iraq And Their Impact On the Health of The Persian Gulf War Veterans," dated May 25,1994, chaired by Sen. Donald Riegle (D-MI) of the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. This Senate report was available to all senators and listed among other items, Bacillus Anthracis, (anthrax) Clostridium botulinum, and West Nile Fever Virus as pathogens that were shipped to Iraq in the 1980's with the full knowledge of the Department of Commerce and the CDC.
    There is no question that the Secretary of Defense must be informed and up to date with information about a potential military enemy and his military capabilities. Mr. Rumsfeld's statements demonstrate that this is clearly not the case.
    If our Secretary of Defense is unaware of the sales of biological materials to a country with which we are about to go to war, or if he is in denial over the fact that these sales occurred, the AGWVA believes that he represents a clear and present danger to the lives of our military, our country, and the American people, and should be considered a very serious threat to the national security. It is for this reason that the AGWVA calls for his resignation and removal from office.
    Gulf War Vets Home Page
  6. by   jnette
    Wash Ya Hands, no disrespect... partisan or no, we can't deny that this has been an ONGOING problem... even back to VietNam.

    It is simply wrong, and MUST be first acknowledged before it can be addressed. It is so degrading to EVERYBODY.
  7. by   maureeno
    fact: public law 105-85 requires physical exams and blood checks before and after deployment to a war zone

    fact: pre-deployment, Pentagon officials only used paper questionnaire, a hearing about this was called by Chris Shays [R-Conn] last March.

    fact: the public interest journal Tom Paine has covered this story and had submitted an op ad to the NY times scheduled to be published today.

    fact: at 6:20 EDT on April 29 the Pentagon announced it had reversed itself and will do exams on troops returning from war.

    Tom Paine is partisan and activitst, and accurate.
  8. by   WashYaHands
    It is simply wrong, and MUST be first acknowledged before it can be addressed. It is so degrading to EVERYBODY.
    The article was addressing pre-deployment and post-deployment health assessments. My understanding is that these are done and documented for every soldier, every year, on a four page document kept in the soldiers medical file.

    My offer was to verify the story and clarify the protocols with those people in the military whose job descriptions include providing annual and pre/post deployment health physicals.

    If you want to believe partisan biased news media with no working knowledge of military SOP's, then that is your prerogative. I have to disagree with you, I don't think it's accurate. I'd like to find out the truth of the matter from the horses mouth, so to speak to determine the accuracy of the information.

    Last edit by WashYaHands on Apr 30, '03
  9. by   jnette
    Wash... I'm just speaking in general terms here(about the above topic).
    I WAS in the service during the VietNam era. My dad was retired AF Col. My entire life was military. I do believe I know what I'm talking about when I say that our vets have been degraded, used and abused.

    It is demoralizing and shameful.

    I know too many vets who have been cast to the wolves after doing their part. I happen to be working with one now.. 3 years later and nothing but red tape and getting screwed frontwards, backwards, and upside down. He's 27 years old and his life will never be the same. He gave his all. Shouldn't our gov't. do the same ?

    Promise you the moon when they need you to do a job. But when you've done your part, where's the integrity.. the decency.. to follow through on theirs? Surely you're not suggesting this is a new problem. It goes waaaaaaay back.

    I remember my dad shaking his head in disgust. And he gave his life to the military.. and did a da** GOOD job, I might add. You couldn't have found a more dedicated, patriotic man.
  10. by   jnette
    And why is it SO WRONG to be disappointed in our gov't. at times?

    I just don't get it. We are far from perfect.. we have WONDERFUL qualities and GREAT potential, but doggone it, we are NOT beyond reproach, beyond corruption.. by ANY stretch of the imagination. The sooner we accept this, the better off we as a country shall be.

    I refuse to be swooned and lulled into thinking that we are so trustworthy.. VERY dangerous. It's OK to question and to see the blemishes. Let's be real.
  11. by   pickledpepperRN
    Was Ya Hands:
    Please post the facts here. I would be glad to know.
    The Department of Defense did change their protocols yesterday.
    United States Department of Defense
    News Release
    On the web:
    Media contact: or +1 (703) 697-5131
    Public contact: or +1 (703) 428-0711

    No. 288-03
    IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 29, 2003

    The Department of Defense announced today its plan to enhance the post-deployment health assessment process. One improvement is a more comprehensive examination that will better assist medical personnel in evaluating the health of returning servicemembers. The new form is an enhanced version of the previous tool, designed to gather more information from deployed servicemembers about events that occurred during a deployment. Health assessments will be conducted face-to-face with trained health care providers and will include discussion and documentation of specific items. In addition to the health assessment, blood samples will be taken within 30 days of leaving the theater. The blood samples will be forwarded to the DoD Serum Repository for archival purposes. These enhancements are just one piece of the total force health protection program that includes increased environmental surveillance, electronic medical record keeping and improved unit location data.
    "The Department of Defense's force health protection program is constantly evolving based on advancements in medical practice, new technology and lessons learned from deployments. The enhanced post-deployment health assessments and the new blood draw procedures are a result of that process," said William Winkenwerder, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs. "The physical and mental health of our servicemembers is essential to overall force readiness."
    This is a commander's program. Commanders are responsible for complete redeployment processing of their personnel and helping each individual to make a smooth, post-deployment transition, according to DoD guidelines. Because deployment health concerns often evolve over time, commanders also encourage their returning servicemembers to visit with health care providers to address all deployment related health concerns.
    The complete force health protection program, including regular blood tests, regular physical examinations, annual dental examinations, annual medical record reviews and pre- and post-deployment health assessments, assists DoD in providing a world-class continuum of care from accession to separation.
    Further information regarding the DoD force health protection program can be found at
  12. by   WashYaHands
    I agree with you about veterans benefits. I understood the conversation to be about current active duty pre-deployment and post-deployment health assessments. Perhaps I misunderstood.

    I'll quote from the original article, "But troops headed to Iraq were not examined as the law specifically requires -- through physical exams and blood tests" This is what I question, and why I do not consider this article in accurate. The above article Spacenurse posts, states these assessments are "enhanced", says nothing about them being non-existant from the get go.

    It's not wrong to be disappointed in your government. Why is it so wrong for me to be optimistic about my country and view the glass as half full instead of constantly posting negativity about America?

    Last edit by WashYaHands on Apr 30, '03
  13. by   jnette

    You are correct in saying that I swayed off the real topic there.. I just bunched it all together with the usual veterans' issues and health care. Sorry about that. I get pretty intense about this issue, I know.

    And if you read back, many, many, MANY of my posts are more than appreciative of our country... I do make great attempts to be fair. I am NOT negative or "down" on our country.. far from it.
    I would die for this country in a heartbeat.

    That said, I also feel it's ok to see the blemishes and call them as I see them.... without ppl saying I'm being "negative". I see both sides.. or try to see ALL sides of this great country... the good AND the bad.

    What stands out to me, however, is that a lot of the "positive posters" hardly ever say ANYTHING negative about our actions of lack thereof... this is scary to me.
    It's ok to be pro something, but not blind or in denial. And I do applaud your standing up for your country.. I'm certainly not slamming anyone that does. I just wonder if they don't see the same things I see, don't WANT to see them, don't WANT to discuss them, or am I the one who's really so far off-base? Don't know.

    I apprecaite your patience with me. And my "tone" is a well-intended one. Shake?
  14. by   maureeno
    WasYaHands, when you check it out you will find the TomPaine info accurate; blood tests were not done before deployment, that is why the Republican from Conn. held Congressional hearings last month.

    with the BushII administration looking to borrow money to give tax cuts, amassing deficits, alienating our allies, destroying envionmental protections, and limiting civil liberties I am like Mark Twain who said something like..patriots love their country always and love their government only when its deserved.

    I am too worried to see the glass half full yet I envy your perspective.