VVA Press Release

VVA SUPPORTS GULF WAR PANEL EXTENSION

WASHINGTON--Vietnam Veterans of America today praised President Clinton¹s decisions to extend the Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans¹ Illnesses and extend the presumptive period for compensation. The committee¹s January 6, 1997, report states, ³Many veterans have illnesses that are likely to be connected with their service in the Gulf² and urges additional research into the possible causes of these illnesses. VVA notes that recent events indicate that DOD cannot police itself on this issue, therefore it is important that this body provide independent oversight. VVA also calls on Congress to step up its oversight activities.

VVA is committed to ensuring proper health care and compensation to Persian Gulf veterans in a timely fashion, because Vietnam veterans waited so long without health care or compensation for Agent Orange-related disabilities. Said VVA executive director Carl Stout, ³Additionally, while we certainly recognize stress as a contributing factor, we are alarmed at the overemphasis the committee placed on it as a primary cause.² VA currently requires that a veteran¹s illness must have begun within two years of leaving the Persian Gulf in order to be eligible for compensation. Since the potential causes and any clear latency period of developing Gulf War illnesses are not yet known, this time limit is arbitrary and unfair. VVA therefore urges Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jesse Brown to extend the VA¹s two-year limit immediately and to expand research on these issues.

For further information regarding Gulf War Syndrome, a comprehensive guide is available from the VVA-supported National Gulf War Resource Center on the internet [www.gulfwar.org] or by calling 202-628-2700 ext. 162.

Vietnam Veterans of America is the nation's only Congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated solely to the needs of Vietnam-era veterans and their families.


Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc.
A Not-For-Profit Veterans Service Organization Chartered by the United States Congress


For Further Information Contact:

Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc.
Attn. Mokie Pratt Porter
1224 M Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005-5183
Tel: 202-628-2700 ext.146
General FAX: 202-628-5880
Communications FAX: 202-783-4942
e-mail: 71154.702@compuserve.com
URL: http://www.vva.org

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