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News Release


Release No: 512-97
September 25, 1997


The Defense Department released today the latest case narratives related to its ongoing investigation into Gulf War illnesses. Case narratives are part of the 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.

One narrative focuses on reports by U.S. Marines of suspected Iraqi chemical warfare agent use during combat operations to retake the Kuwaiti Air Base of Al Jaber Feb. 24 through Feb. 26, 1991. The other narrative is on reported chemical agent detections by the U.S. Marines at an ammunition supply point located southwest of Kuwait International Airport on March 1, 1991.

The narratives assess the presence of chemical warfare agents in each case as "unlikely," based upon interviews of Marines in the two areas, documentary evidence, the lack of evidence of chemical weapons delivery means, chemical injuries, or chemical weapons storage; and the assessment of the United Nations Special Commission that Iraq did not move chemical agents to Kuwait during the war.

"Case narratives are not intended to be final reports," said Bernard Rostker, special assistant for Gulf War illnesses. "These are interim reports on what we currently know about these two cases." 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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