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Tracings in The Sand: First hand testimonials

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Tracings in the Sand

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Kylie Thompson

Date Posted:September 09, 2001
Personal Website:Not Disclosed

First of all, I must admit that when the Gulf War was fought, I was barely five years old. Neither of my parents nor any of my immediate relations remotely participated in the conflict, yet still I feel compelled to add my voice to the cause.

I first stumbled onto the Gulf War Syndrome a few months ago, doing research for a novel I am writing. At first, I scoffed at the idea of the government denying medical attention-and even information-to the citizens who had so loyally placed their lives on the line to defend out ideals. I don't trust the government, and wouldn't have voted for the last three presidents, but I pride myself on my respect for the military branches. They are the ones who do the moving and shaking in this country, quietly and subtly, but the influence is there. The thought of the government denying that its war had caused these real-life heroes to become deathly ill disgusted me. I would have hoped that politicians valued the GIs more than that. It was inconcieveable-to me, at least-that that was not the case.

But as I dug deeper, I realized that this was a drama far more serious than any crazy conspiracy theory I had ever read. This isn't about aliens, or spies. It's about people. Average people, who went to war, and came back dying. This is about children inheriting the poisons from their parents, and spouses passing the chemicals on to their partners. I still don't understanding why the government is denying medical care to many of these individuals, but I have read too many testimonials not to believe that they are.

Having done extensive research on chemical weaponry, and the chemical agents used specifically by Iraq in the last few decades, there is no doubt in my mind that the collection of illnesses known as the Gulf War Syndrome was caused by these man-made horrors. I can think of no worse way to die than of having the very air I breathe tainted and made toxic.

Why am I writing this? Perhaps it is to let those out there suffering know that the rest of America hasn't forgotten them. I am only fourteen, but I am old enough to comprehend what's going on around me. The people who fought in the Gulf War did their duty, and the government is paying them back with secrecy and lies. After the Agent Orange fiasco of the 80's, the government should know that when it wrongs its citizens, it will eventually have to pay. What started out for me as a routine research project has made me reconsider the way America treats its veterans.

So I say to those of you who have fought for this country: don't give up, and don't lose hope. I know how you've sacrificed, and I will remember.

Kylie Thompson

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