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GULF WAR VETS IN SUPPORT PLEA.

Byline: Chris Henwood

TWENTY years after the end of the conflict, former servicemen said they were still fighting the first Gulf War.

A total of 47 UK troops died in the campaign but campaigners said 9.700 of the 53,000 British Armed Forces personnel involved now suffered from Gulf War Syndrome.

The condition involves a cocktail of health problems, typically including chronic headaches, cognitive difficulties, depression, unexplained fatigue, rashes and breathing problems.

RAF veteran and father-of-three Kerry Fuller, aged 47 and from Dudley, is among those who suffered health problems in the wake of the liberation of Kuwait from the grip of Iraqi tyrant Saddam Hussein.

He was among dozens who took part in a protest walk in London on Monday, from the Union Jack Club in Waterloo to Westminster calling for better treatment for those with Gulf War Syndrome.

"We want independent testing and screening of veterans to lead to a better understanding of our illnesses, so guys can be treated," he said.

"Twenty years ago they said war was over.

"Twenty years later, for us it's still going on and we're still suffering.

"We believe successive governments have engaged with the Ministry of Defence in denial and word-play to negate proper testing, treatment and compensation for thousands who are blatantly ill."

Campaigners said 1,000 British veterans had died because of Gulf War Syndrome.

The Ministry of Defence has described Gulf War Syndrome was a useful "umbrella term," but has argued it comprises too many different symptoms to be characterised as a syndrome in medical terms.

"Research indicates there is no illness specific to Gulf veterans," said a spokesman.

Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990 in a dispute about oil. After a six-week conflict, a ceasefire was declared by then-US president George Bush Senior.S hould there be more support for Gulf War vets? Email letters@birminghammail. net

CAPTION(S):

Service: Kerry Fuller when he was in the RAF. Honoured: Gulf War veteran Kerry Fuller, from Dudley, with war reporter Kate Adie at a party at Buckingham Palace.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Mar 4, 2011
Words:341
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