After the 1991 Gulf War, veterans were returning from theater with unexplained symptoms with no identifiable causation. In the subsequent years, scientific and medical literature have attributed these symptoms to exposure to toxins, chemical weapons, and/or bacteria. On a personal note, I returned to the United States in 2005 to discover that my unit at Camp Ar Ramadi was exposed to untreated and potentially contaminated water from the Euphrates River. See 2006 Senate Committee Hearings. Suffice to say, I can sympathize with my fellow OIF, OEF, and Gulf War veterans.
Thankfully, Congress has acknowledged that establishing service-connection for some of these “medically unexplained chronic multi-symptom illnesses” is difficult and enacted 38 U.S.C. §§ 1117 and 1118. These statutory provisions establish a presumption of service connection if: (1) the veteran qualifies as a Persian Gulf War veteran; (2) the veteran suffers from a “qualifying chronic disability”; and (3) the “qualifying chronic disability” manifested itself during active while stationed in Southwest Asia or to a 10% disabling degree since the veteran returned.
Further guidance on what is commonly called “Gulf War Syndrome” is provided in the linked Department of Veterans Affairs Overview.
If you are a recent veteran with suffers from “Gulf War Syndrome” symptoms (such as fatigue, skin problems, joint or muscle pain, sleep disturbances, respiratory problems, gastrointestinal problems), please do not hesitate to contact me for a free consultation at sdirector@FRE-L.com or (732) 382-6070.