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.
VETERANS GROUP CALLS FOR
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.
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