Today is the day we remember and honor our veterans for serving our country. We shouldn’t just fly a flag and make a toast, we should do something to make their lives better.
Gulf War Syndrome affects between 250,000 and 700,000 veterans. Many of the symptoms are similar to what I experience with MCS. This is from the US Department of Veterans Affairs:
A prominent condition affecting Gulf War Veterans is a cluster of medically unexplained chronic symptoms that can include fatigue, headaches, joint pain, indigestion, insomnia, dizziness, respiratory disorders, and memory problems.
VA refers to these illnesses as “chronic multisymptom illness” and “undiagnosed illnesses.” We prefer not to use the term “Gulf War Syndrome” when referring to medically unexplained symptoms reported by Gulf War Veterans. Why? Because symptoms vary widely.
Some of the symptoms of GWS include but aren’t limited to:
Muscle Aches and Pains
Neurological Symptoms – e.g. tingling and numbness in limbs
Cognitive Dysfunction – short-term memory loss, poor concentration, inability to retain information
Mood and Sleep Disturbances – Depression, Anxiety, Insomnia
Dermatological Symptoms – Skin Rashes, Unusual Hair loss
Respiratory Symptoms – Persistent Coughing, Bronchitis, Asthma
Gastrointestinal Symptoms – Diarrhea, Constipation, Nausea, Bloating
In short, the mass exposure to toxins while serving overseas had made many veterans very sick. To help our veterans, let’s cut down on the toxins we introduce into the environment that we all share. Here are a few ways to help…
Choose fragrance free products and ask businesses to exclusively use fragrance free. Many fragrances are toxic petro-chemicals.
Say no to highly toxic masking fragrances (like Febreeze).
Drivers with diesel engines… please turn off your motors, that exhaust is horrid. Sometimes due to extreme weather you may need to leave it running but whenever you can turn engines off, please do so.
Choose natural methods of pest and weed control over chemical pesticides and herbicides which are destructive to veterans, children, animals and marine life.
Ditch the chemical fertilizers for good and switch to a natural compost tea. It’s cheaper, works better and won’t harm veterans or their families and pets.
Check your products on the Environmental Working Group’s database to see how safe it is… if it isn’t safe for the environment, it isn’t safe for veterans!
Give to charities that help veterans. Serving can be a life altering experience, not always for the better. Help when you can.
Use your votes to support Veterans programs and ask your elected representatives to support them.
This link goes to a fantastic article about the symptoms and causes of Gulf War Syndrome if you’d like to read more.
Thanks for helping and have a happy Veterans Day!