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Fort Bragg Family Claims Proof of Gulf War Syndrome

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FORT BRAGG — Ever since the Persian Gulf War, a FortBragg soldier and his family have struggled with health problems.All along, they suspected their conditions were tied to the war.

Now, they believe they have proof they're victims of biological warfare.Staff Sgt. Bob Jones and his family just got test results back froman institute in California which point to a bacteria-like infection causedby a group of micro-organisms. The institute thinks the bugs came from abiological agent released in the desert.

Jones doesn't have all the answers to the question of why his wholefamily has had medical problems, but he's now convinced a biologicalagent released during the Gulf War is to blame.

Bob's wife Debi has suffered the most. She's been to hospitals anddoctors' offices more than two hundred times.

Bob Jones has had many of the symptoms consistent with Gulf Warsyndrome. The couple's two older children often complain of headaches, andthe youngest gets a recurring rash.

Frustrated, the family turned to the institute in California, where adoctor analyzed their blood. The doctor diagnosed chronic infection,caused by tiny organisms that may have come from Iraqi weapons.

Bob and Debi Jones say the family now has high hopes for a prescribedbatch of anti-biotics.

Bob Jones says they'll begin receiving the anti-biotic treatment at aVirginia naval hospital next week. The institute says this treatment hashelped many Gulf War vets recover from their illnesses.

It's important to point out that the Pentagon has never acknowledgedany exposure to biological weapons during the war although the White Houseis working hard to answer questions about gulf war illnesses. Earlier thisyear, President Clinton announced a 10-year extension for vets to file forbenefits and accepted recommendations to increase studies into whyso many Gulf War vets are sick.

Finally, the President formed a panel to study lessons learned in theGulf War to make sure future deployments are more safe.