Senate Report Claims No Evidence Veterans Were Exposed to Nerve Gas
Posted August 31, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT
FAYETTEVILLE — A new Senate report says there's no evidence that Gulf War veterans were exposed to nerve gas or other chemical weapons. But the senators who ordered the report say nerve gas is a significant, contributing factor to the mysterious illness. The senators say the military failed to protect troops from chemical and biological weapons.
Some veterans say the report is hard to buy, because they are 100% certain that nerve gas is what's behind their sickness.
"To my dying day, I'm gonna say it was nerve agent," Gulf War veteran Sgt. Dave Hayworth said.
Hayworth was a special forces soldier who served in the Gulf War. Even though a Senate committee is ruling out nerve gas exposure as a definitive cause of the so called Gulf War Syndrome, Hayworth is standing by his beliefs.
"I know what I know. I saw what I saw. They can look at the condition of my body. At 38-years-old, they can see how tore down it is. Where at one time, it was the most effective machine I could give the army," Hayworth said.
Hayworth says it was just a couple of months after his return from the Persian Gulf that he started experiencing memory loss, loss of hearing and problems with his nervous system.
The latest report is not denying many troops are experiencing the same symptoms. But it does support the military's stance that there is insufficient evidence to reach a conclusion on what's causing it.
Hayworth says the conclusion should be easy.
"Well, they say it doesn't have anything to do with the chemical weapons, and they say that it's all in our mind. But that's enough medication for me for one month," explains Hayworth.
Hayworth says he loves his country and would die for it tomorrow, but he says it hurts that U.S. leaders keep denying the truth.