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News Release


Release No: 443-97
August 28, 1997


The Defense Department released today the latest case narrative related to the Department of Defense's ongoing investigation into Gulf War illnesses. Case narratives are part of the Defense Department's continuing effort to inform the public of its efforts to better understand the nature and possible causes of the illnesses being experienced by many Gulf War veterans.

The narrative released today focuses on the reported mustard agent exposure of a soldier who was exploring enemy bunker complexes March 1, 1991 in Iraq. Considering all available evidence to date, the narrative assesses it was "likely" that the soldier was exposed to mustard, a chemical warfare agent, when entering a bunker in Iraq. No other symptoms of exposure to mustard agent were reported by the soldier's unit or other units in the area.

"Case narratives are not intended to be final reports," said Bernard Rostker, special assistant for Gulf War illnesses. "This is an interim report on what we currently know about a specific report of mustard agent exposure." Other narratives about key events and issues surrounding the Gulf War experience are being prepared and will be released as soon as they are completed. These reports, as well as future narratives, along with the documentary evidence and personal interviews will be posted on the GulfLINK Internet site (www.gulflink.osd.mil).

In addition to informing the public, narratives are intended to open up a dialogue with Gulf War veterans who may have additional information or who can clarify these events. These individuals are encouraged to call the Gulf War incident hotline at 1-800-472-6719.

Gulf War veterans experiencing health problems are encouraged to receive a free health screening through the DoD's or Department of Veterans' Affairs health registries. Those individuals still on active duty, military retirees, or those affiliated with the Reserve components can arrange a medical examination through the Comprehensive Clinical Evaluation Program at 1-800-796-9699. Those no longer affiliated with DoD, including reserve personnel, can arrange a medical examination through the VA's Persian Gulf Registry at 1-800-749-8387.

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