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IAVA addresses OIF vets exposed to chemical agents

Today, in a New York Times article, Under Secretary of the Army Brad R. Carson apologized to veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom for their treatment after exposure to chemical weapons during the conflict.

“To me, the scandal is that we had protocols in place and the medical community knew what they were, and yet we failed in some cases to implement this across the theater,” he said. “That was a mistake, and I apologize for that. I apologize for past actions and am going to fix it going forward.”

The Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs are working simultaneously to ensure that servicemembers and veterans who demolished or handled explosive ordinance have an opportunity to address the health effects of that exposure.

IAVA encourages its member veterans to request a Gulf War Registry exam through the VA, if they believe they were exposed.

This NO COST program is available to veterans, even if they are NOT enrolled in VA healthcare. However, a veteran must prove their participation in OIF or Operation New Dawn.

For our active duty members that feel they have been affected, and have not been contacted by someone in DoD, we encourage you to voice your concern via your chain of command, and through the available medical resources, e.g. sick call, hospital, unit medic, etc.

Most importantly, if any of our members do not feel that DoD or VA is addressing their concerns they should contact IAVA via our website.

For information about the health effects of exposure, applying for the Gulf War Registry Program, and compensation for related health issues, go to :
http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/chemical-warfare-agents-oif.asp.

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