Former VA researcher criticizes work on Gulf War illness; lack of follow-up with troubled vets
By Associated Press
Published: March 13 2013
WASHINGTON — At a hearing examining the state of health research into Gulf War illness, a former VA researcher accused the department of minimizing the problem and voiced concerns that it was not following up properly with veterans who indicated in research studies they are potentially suicidal.
Dr. Steven Coughlin, who worked at the VA until December, said nearly 2,000 participants in a recent VA study of 60,000 tracking the health of veterans told researchers they had thought they would be better off dead. However, only a small percentage got a call back from a clinician. He said he was successful in getting the VA to call back on a separate study, but only after going to higher authorities within the department and complaining to the VA’s inspector general.
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"They'd be better off dead" comes after they survived combat, years of service and risking their lives. Think about that. When they come home they should be glad to be alive but the conditions back home are far from what we say as a "grateful nation." They fight for this country, risk their lives for one another, prepared to suffer any outcome for the sake of someone else, so how is it we want to remain deaf, dumb and blind to their suffering back home?