The Pentagon and Department of Veterans Affairs claims mounting evidence is inconclusive, that Middle East tours to Iraq and Afghanistan cause 10’s of thousands of cases of permanent respiratory injuries. While they acknowledge that there is a problem, they claim the injuries are usually temporary.
Try saying that to New York veteran Gary Durham. Prior to his 2003 deployment, Durham was running 6-minute miles. During and after his deployment to Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division, he noticed a significant decline in his endurance. Now, he can’t even mow the lawn without wheezing, 8 years later.
Thousands of veterans are having similar problems. According to the Millennium Cohort Study, veterans who were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan are much more likely to develop breathing problems than their non-deployed counterparts. 14 percent of all deployed veterans will develop some sort of significant breathing problem.
Dr. Robert Miller, of Vanderbilt University, has performed biopsies of numerous Army soldiers from Fort Campbell, KY. According to Dr. Miller, most of these problems are caused by irreversible scarring of the airways in those who suffer from the condition. The scarring makes breathing during moderate exercise extremely difficult, similar to breathing through a straw. The condition is called “constrictive bronchiolitis.” The condition is only found in people with lung transplants, rheumatoid arthritis and/or those who work with industrial chemicals suffer from the illness.
This condition is very rare in the population. Meanwhile, for those who serve in the U.S. military, you have a 10 percent likelihood of developing the illness if you don’t deploy. If you do, then you have a 14 percent chance of getting sick for the rest of your life.
Currently, Senate hearings and Pentagon studies are focusing on burn pits around bases in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, many researchers have concluded the problem is likely more complex than just smoke.
Perhaps these conditions are a result of experimental vaccines that cause arthritis and breathing problems when combined with chemical exposure… Who knows?! After all, I’m just a disabled veteran who was forced to take experimental vaccines, and who now has breathing problems, but what do I know.
Note: Once Dr. Miller reached his conclusion, the Army stopped referring sick soldiers to his practice.
Editors Note: DisabledVeterans.org is compiling database of stories from veterans suffering from these symptoms as a reference point for this illnesses. Veterans believing they suffer from this illness are asked to contact DisabledVeterans.org.