During the Gulf War of 1990-91 the United States Government conducted the largest experimental drug evaluation in its history.
As result, approximately 250,000 of the 697,000 U.S. veterans who served in the 1991 Gulf War are afflicted with a chronic illness. Symptoms include fatigue, muscle pain, cognitive problems, rashes and diarrhea. The compound Pyridostigmine Bromide was considered by the Pentagon as a possible prophylactic for Marines and soldiers exposure to chemical warfare nerve agents.
The use of chemical nerve agents such as Pyridostigmine Bromide being used a prophylactic was and is controversial. The same tactic was not employed during the second series of Gulf Wars which explains why there was not a similar fallout of neurological disorders reported afterward.
Pyridostigmine Bromide is a related chemical to Saren Nerve Gas. The flawed theory was to use it like a vaccine, so the Marine or soldier's system would already be exposed to, and "supposedly" built some sort of immunity to Saren Nerve Gas. Of course none of the Marines or soldiers were advised of the terrible risks and realities of taking a chemical that floods the synapses with artificially high doses of acetylcholine. Troops are only trained to obey orders, not question them.
Gulf War Illness is now considered a "Presumptive Illness" by the Veterans Affairs, in the same class as being POW or exposure to Agent Orange. What that translates to is, if a Veteran was deployed to that theater of operations during that specific time frame, and if that said Veteran contracted any of a list of approved maladies, the same Veteran could be awarded benefits without the same burden of proof for something like Trichloroethylene exposure (Marine Corps Air Station El Toro was condemned because of TCE).
However, the VA has not determined the cause of Gulf War Illness. The U.S. Government is never going to finger themselves as the culprit. The U.S. Government is never going to admit they not just exposed young American boys to the cause of Gulf War Illness, but order them to orally injest it.
United States Marine David Scott Douthit Gulf War Story:
I got out of the Marine Corps in 1987. I was an aircraft mechanic on F-4 Phantoms. We worked with the chemical solvent Trichloroethylene. We degreased aircraft parts, and even cleaned our hands with it. I suffered contact dermatitis all over my arms and legs for two years from it. I often jested that I was allergic to the Marine Corps.
About two weeks after I was discharged my contact dermatitis disappeared never to return. But I had also developed a nagging pain in the right upper quadrant of my abdomen that did not go away. It did not go away after I got out of the Corps, or twenty five years later. I had suffered permanent damage to my liver from TCE exposure. It was stage 3 non-alcoholic steateohepatitis.
In 2012 the VA doctors advised me if I had my gallbladder removed it may help lessen pain. I agreed to have the surgery. Six weeks later I suffered deep vein thrombosis and a full blown pulmonary embolism. Four weeks later I was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis, an extremely rare potentially fatal autoimmune disorder.
Right about the time I was starting to feel really sorry for myself, I got a dose of something that would pale all former suffering.That something was Pyridostigmine Bromide. Medical literature clearly indicates PB will cross the blood brain barrier in cases of multiple chemicals in the bloodstream, or external stressors. That is exactly what occurred with me. The myelin sheath was burned off nerves throughout my body, resulting in constant burning, stabbing, electrical pain.
I reported my condition to all VA doctors, and all reports fell on deaf ears of incompetent clock watching VA doctors. Five months of total insanity that included me arming my family in the middle of the night because I thought the Aztecs were attacking. This kind of behavior was not the exception, but the rule.
My wife repeatedly told the VA doctors I was insane. Once again, the incompetent clock-watching VA doctors totally disregarded her warnings. My VA primary care physician did ask me about it, and I explained to him that I was a bloodlined descendant of King Arthur, and that I had broken the veil of reality and tapped into the Akashic record.
Evidently he either did not think that to be insane, or it was getting close to break time and all he could think about was coffee and doughnuts. If my disdain for VA doctors seems a little over the top, you simply don't understand what I had to live through.
My only other choice was dying, which I tried and it didn't work out. But in the darkness of that morbid act, I loosened the chains which held me. I had tried to kill myself by taking all my medicine at once. I threw it all up. Once the supply of PB was gone I thought for sure I would die, since the VA doctors told me I needed it to see straight, to breath, and be able to swallow and digest food.
The exact opposite happened. No longer being poisoned I was finally able to see straight, to breath and digest food. By the grace of God my sanity was restored. But the extensive neurological damage remains. I am on multiple drugs to try to help control nerve pain. Largely to no avail, I am having metal electrodes surgically implanted in my spine.
Besides the GWI, MG, NASH, I also have Pancreatic Cancer, non-metastatic cancers in my Thymus, Spleen, Liver. After surviving five months of insanity, it took me over a year to even realize how insane I had been. When a person is truly insane they don't recognize it themselves. I harbored delusions in my heart that were hard to let go of. As silly as it sounds, when you are insane, you don't realize how ridiculous your own thoughts are.
THE Few the Proud The Forgotten
Now I truly understand what is like to be disenfranchised, marginalized, ostracized...just like those poor vets after the first Gulf War who reported crazy symptoms and were not believed, lots of times even by those close to them. I imagine many marriages and even lives were destroyed.