> Victory for Gulf veterans
> Ian Craig
> THE Ministry of Defence is to officially recognise Gulf War
> Syndrome following a 17-year campaign by ex-servicemen.
> Defence Minister Lord Drayson made the admission in a `grovelling
> apology' to Manchester peer Lord Morris, who has led the way in
> highlighting problems faced by veterans of the 1990-91 conflict.
> Lord Drayson said: "The issue of Gulf War Syndrome will be fully
> recognised by the Ministry of Defence and I accept on behalf of the
> MoD that this issue has not been handled well from the beginning.
> "The department was slow to recognise the emerging ill- health
> issues and to put measures in place to address them. We have
> apologised for this and I repeat that apology today."
> Some peers believe that what Lord Craig suggested was a `belated
> apology' was influenced by Gordon Brown who took a different view
> to his predecessor Tony Blair about the `undiagnosed' illnesses
> suffered by veterans.
> Lord Morris, former MP for Wythenshawe, called for official
> recognition of the syndrome in the Lords, saying it was disquieting
> that 17 years on from the conflict wrangling with veterans over
> pensions still drags on, with no visible sign of closure.
> He said it was deeply shaming that one Gulf War veteran, Terence
> Walker, had his pension slashed from 100 per cent to 40 per cent
> and died shortly after `in financial ruin'.
> Lord Drayson said the MoD had written to veterans to tell them they
> can use the label Gulf War Syndrome and are now working with
> experts to develop a rehabilitation programme.
> Lord Morris said later: "Nobody has ever before now said sorry to
> those veterans left in broken health and those bereaved after the
> most toxic war in British history."
> Following a landmark ex-serviceman's pension tribunal appeal in
> October 2005 the MoD has accepted gulf war syndrome as a "useful
> umbrella term" for conditions which are linked to the 1990/91 gulf
> conflict however they do not accept it exists as a separate disease.
> An MoD spokesman said: "We have long accepted some veterans of the
> 1990/91 gulf conflict are ill and some of their ill health is
> related to their services."
Congratulations to us all and especially those of you on the leading edge....I am ever please to have given you my little support. It has been a long time coming. And I pray and bless those brave military men like Doug Rokke of whom "It required courage to utter truth; for the higher Truth lifts her voice, the louder will error scream, until its inarticulate sound is forever silenced in oblivion"…Mary Baker Eddy, Christian Science
October 12, 2007