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Tracings in the Sand

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Glenn Hertel

Date Posted:March 24, 2010
Personal Website:Not Disclosed

March 2010 UPDATE

The VA has recently decided to reopen my claim specifically for Gulf War Syndrome.  My understanding is that the VA is re-opening several other veterans claims as well.

After playing "lab rat" for 10 years they have called my irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) an "undiagnosed illness".  I first went to the doctor in 1990 for that. 

My back problem started in September 1990 in Saudi Arabia right around the time I was forced to take PYRIDOSTIGMINE BROMIDE pills every 4 hours.  Finally within the last few years I went to a private pain managment physician and started taking opiate medications, which helped tremendously with the pain.  As a result I no longer had to lay on the floor in agony and was able to get up and walk my dog and excercise. 

With my gastrointestional problems I have found that it is very important to eat.  I have found yogurts go down well,  sometimes I've had to smoke marijuana just to get myself to eat, however this often provokes anxiety attacks so I limit the occassions only to when absolutely necessary.  

I have also been given a mental health diagnosis, but the treatments do not work and only make me feel worse.   I think they need to change my mental health diagnosis to something like "Central Nervous System damage" -- this would explain my symptoms much better than a mental health diagnosis.

I am now considered 40% service connected by the VA due to other non GWS injuries (I do wonder about my back) and my social security has been approved.    It has never been about money for me but rather about getting the government to admit what was done to me.

Lastly, when we hauled tank ammo, and slept on top of the loads, I think we were sleeping on depleated urinium.  I also know the man behind me may be depending on me, it has taken a long time but we cant give up now.   I have managed to talk to one person from my unit -- the mighty proud INFATRANS -- and he also suffered from the unforgivable IBS.

November 5, 2005

I was in the 546 transportation CO., 189 Maint BN. FT. Bragg NC. We left approximately august 20, 1990. We stayed at tent city, and ate in a Saudi military base. The food was ok but we were all getting sick, I was found in a corner delirious, and vomiting. We found out the vegetables from Egypt, fertilized with human waste. We stayed there about 3 weeks, riding with the Philip no truck drivers, learning the roads. From there we went to cement city were we started to run missions by ourselves. A bout a month later we moved to our barricks around the corner, it was full of rats. This is where we were given the nerve agent pills; scuds were being shot down over our barracks. I was ordered to take these pills on at least 2 occasions by SGT. Ochoa, and SGT Dimond. I believe that my friends Spc. Christopher smith and Spc Richard Keisor were present, when orders were given to take the pills. We were supposed to take them every 4 hours; I don't know how many I took. Our mission was to run supplies, ammo, food, fuel, apc, medical supplies water, etc, to the front lines. We hung the chemical paper from our trucks, but it often turned, we were told it was from the truck exhaust. I ran missions such as desert express, looking for units that usually had moved to shooting distance of Iraq. Spending most of my time on msr dodge, I was present during a few scud attacks. When the ground war started I was attached to the 101 airborne, following them in a convoy hauling there howiticer rounds. I don't remember how far we drove into Iraq, but there were destroyed tanks and positions etc, with bodies still in them. We had some apache helicopters escorting us, to take care of business. Later I rejoined my unit the 546. We were camped out by the ammo dump at khamisiyha, Iraq, were the nerve agent was destroyed; the explosions went on for days. Myself I have been battling depression, bi polar, psychotic tendencies, delusions, loss of balance, uncontrollable rages, sleep disturbances, headaches, muscle and joint problems, carpal tunnel in both hands, a service connected neck injury 10%, a back injury, irritable bowel syndrome, gastritis and acid reflux. I live alone and am afraid to be around people, due to my violent outbursts. I sleep for days, to depressed to get out of bed, when stressed I can't sleep for days, and go off the deep end. In closing I received an ARCOM for my service. Forcing myself to work as a truck driver for years, I can't get any help at all. Not working since Oct. 04 I am flat broke, and can't get any help from the government at all. The VA. has turned me down 2 times for gulf war benefits. Social security has also denied me twice. I have repeatedly requested my c file and my medical records, with no answer.

Spc. Glenn Hertel

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