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Tracings in The Sand: First hand testimonials

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Tracings in the Sand

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Phil Hadley

Date Posted:

I don't know where to begin, so I'll begin at the middle. In the Navy, I was trained from the word go on the 16 inch guns on the Battleship Missouri. We (6 or 7 people) were transfered to the ship in early January of '91, in the midst of the turmoil. The ship was stationed off of the coast for around a month and was subjected to several incoming missles and clouds of burning oil and other "unknown" substances. Most of the time we were warned to don our gas masks as we already had our CBR gear on (8 or 9 days at a time). We didn't know what was going on most of the time but since I was coordinating Fire Control and the RPV I could see alittle more than most. The shells that we lobbed were devestating to be sure and the many ammo bunkers that we hit burned for days. We'll never know what was in those bunkers and Im sure that there may have been "questionable" materials.

Ever since then I have had problems with memory, nightmares and sleeping problems. I was admitted to the local hospital in '94 for a partial paralysis waist down, after trying to get help from the VA and waiting for 2 days in the emergency room. I have very bad allergies and frequent bloody nose. These things are now, what I concider, commonplace for me and accept them as the way it is now. The VA has not helped me and the regular doctors have stated that "you're fine, here's the number of a good psyciatrist..." People at work state that "it's all in your head" and "the number of cases for the Persian Gulf Syndrome is rare, the rest are just crazy." Yeah, right.

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