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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 159-98
April 08, 1998

DOD ANNOUNCES MORE GULF WAR ILLNESSES TOWN HALL MEETINGS

Bernard Rostker, special assistant for Gulf War illnesses, will hold town hall meetings at three military installations this spring to provide the latest information on the Department's efforts and to receive feedback directly from current and former military members and their families. Rostker will visit Fort Sill, Okla. April 23; Fort Riley, Kan., May 13; and Fort Campbell, Ky., June 18.

These are the first Gulf War illnesses town hall meetings held on military installations. Last year, the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars hosted Rostker at meetings in 13 major metropolitan areas across the country. More town hall meetings will be scheduled for later this year.

"Last year, we concentrated on large cities to try to reach the most veterans possible," said Rostker. "This year, we're focusing specifically on large military installations to reach Gulf War veterans still in the military. We also plan to address force protection measures taken since the Gulf War, so the meeting should attract servicemembers who aren't Gulf War veterans," said Rostker.

In addition to town hall meetings, Rostker and his staff will spend one-to-two days at each installation to brief smaller groups separately. Convention-style displays will be placed at high traffic areas on the installations during the visits. "We may not reach everyone, but we'll be readily accessible to almost everyone," he said.

The town hall meetings are open to the public. Meeting times are tentatively set for 7 p.m. Public affairs offices at each installation will release more information locally prior to each meeting. News media interested in covering any of the meetings should contact Maj. Tom Gilroy at (703) 697-5134.