It is January 16, 1991, and the green light has be


en given to move out, the Persian Gulf War is now for real. Mark Daniels is among the pilots with the first set of planes that are scheduled to attack Iraq. Mark is one of the top pilots in the Gulf at a young age of 23. Not only does Mark possess the intellectual skills that it takes to be a top fighter pilot, but he also has one of the toughest bodies. He is known to be able to handle more Gs than any other pilot in military history without passing out. Mark is one guy that the U. S. military is glad to have on their side. Mark completes the first air strikes against Iraq with ease. He would have several more days like this up to the 24th of February when the allied forces halted military actions. Kuwait was a mess, but it seemed as though the allies had done their job. There was also another reason to celebrate. The allies only lost 149 troops to Iraqs thousands and thousands. On April 6, it was officially over after Iraq agreed to a permanent cease-fire. Allied troops started heading home, including Mark. There were tears and laughs along with parades and other festivities to celebrate the wars end when troops returned home to their loving countries. As for Mark, he had done his job, he defeated the enemy and kept himself alive. His own personal joy and relief overwhelmed him to the extent of asking his girlfriend for her hand in marriage. She immediately said yes. Within a year and a half upon the years end, Mark and his wife had their first child. Their child was not born as healthy as they had hoped. Mark was devastated at his childs problems. Why did these things have to happen to his child? In the weeks to come, rumors were spreading that many babies of veterans were also born with problems. Veterans themselves were getting sick. Something was wrong, and people went to the government for answers. Those people didnt get what they expected. The governments only answer was that they had post-war stress. That didnt stop many though for trying to find out what was really going on. In reality, Mark Daniels only represents all of those who fought in the war. Just as he thought the government wasnt telling all they knew, so did real life people. Many reasons are now known to show that there is such a thing as Gulf War Syndrome (GWS) making people sick, and that the United States government is not telling the public all the facts.

To understand the controversy surrounding Gulf War syndrome, its best to know a little bit about what it is. The problem with this unknown sickness is that the government doesnt believe it exists. The government believes that if GWS is anything, it is linked to post war stress, not chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons (4). Kenneth Bacon, a Pentagon spokesman states, The Pentagon has made some mistakes in its initial approach to veterans claims, but we still believe there is no such thing as Gulf War Syndrome (17). Studies on GWS, however, point to a different result. After the Persian Gulf War, veterans along with their families started to get sick. Symptoms include the following: muscle and joint pain, mood changes, concentration problems, headaches, insomnia, rashes, blisters, intestinal complaints, fatigue, visual problems, shortage of breath, hair loss, numbness in hands and feet, dental problems, chest pain, fevers, dizziness, sinus problems, sensitive senses, reproductive problems, and cancers. These symptoms alone are nothing to be worried about, but a large number of veterans were experiencing at least several of these problems at one time (Brown). Also, reports indicate that 70% of the troops that served in the Gulf War are no longer serving in the military, and 50% of those claim to have left because of medical problems. About 490,000 troops have gone to Veterans Administration (VA) hospitals because of GWS (ABDC). Studies also show that almost 67% of babies born to Gulf War veterans have birth defects that include Goldenhar Syndrome, missing limbs, chronic infections, failure to thrive,

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