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Gulf War Veterans Angry, Curious About Chemicals

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FORT BRAGG — After fighting for their country duringthe Gulf War, many soldiers feel they now have to fight for information onwhat, exactly, happened to them in the Mideast.

Top Pentagon leaders now admit a large number of troops may have beenexposed to fallout from chemical weapons. It is believed many of thoseaffected are from Fort Bragg. A Gulf War Health Program hotline has beenset up. The number for veterans to call for help is 1-910-396-4871.

Many of those soldiers have claimed for several years they thought theywere exposed to something that made them and their families sick. Theywant to know what it was and why they were lied to about it.

David Hayworth, of Hope Mills, says he has many questions and that heexperienced many symptoms common to those who have beensick since the war ended, such as moodiness, nervousness and joint pain.Now a firefighter, Hayworth says he's been in pain ever since the war, andhe's tired of being brushed off by the government.

Some soldiers say the number of soldiers affected by chemical warfareis much higher than the 15,000 figure released by the Pentagon. Hayworthsays the threat of chemical weaponry was constant.

Hayworth says he is only one of many who are living with both physicalpain and the pain of not knowing what has happened to them.

For now, the Pentagon is not sharing information with Fort Bragg. Theyare contacting soldiers individually, but Hayworth says he has not beencontacted yet.

He says he, and others, hope the Pentagon's admission is a first steptoward a full disclosure on what's called Gulf War Syndrome.

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