From the February 1999 Idaho Observer:
VA study to be $20 million sinkhole?
by Debra Smith
Although a $20 million research project initiated by the Veterans Administration may pacify some members of Congress and the press, it does little to strengthen the trust of the veterans it is intended to help. Some of those that are ill from their deployment to the desert question the results of an exercise and behavioral therapy study. Also skeptical are those suffering from GWI that are still enlisted and trying to perform physical training daily. Behavioral therapy reminds many of the old joke about the doctor...if it hurts when you do that, then don't do that.
Can one be trained 'not' to be sick? Can you change a thought process that is triggered by discomfort and relayed by miles and miles of nerves? And does this truly investigate the cause or provide a cure to the mysterious ailments that afflict almost 200,000 Gulf War veterans?
While adaptation therapy is sound advice for any suffering from a chronic or debilitating illness, it is ludicrous to spend $20,000,000 of tax payers money to train soldiers how to tough it out and divert their pain to hobbies. One must learn to live within the limitations or perimeters their health will allow. But if working an eight hour day leaves a man so drained he goes to sleep without dinner it is implausible to think that an exercise regimen will bring him back to his predeployment health.
Receiving a small part of the appropriations will be the commission of a study which will concentrate on the mycoplasma infection. This investigation has received more support from the veterans as the trials will use veterans that have been identified as being infected with mycoplasma and will use an antibiotic drug treatment that has been reportedly already been used with some success.
While any study that can provide relief to those that are suffering from Gulf War Illnesses will be applauded, it is an affront to the intelligence of those that are ill to squander money on so-called research that fails to address the origins or arrest the disorder. Without consideration to the toxic exposures of Desert Storm, which include depleted uranium and experimental drugs, little can be done for the long-term care of Gulf War veterans.
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