According to an article in The Navy Times, in an attempt to secure some solid answers about the general condition of the war area in the Middle East, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is going to study the “medical records and stored tissue samples” collected from 450 military dogs that were deployed to that region. This study is part of the continued effort of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses Task Force to identify sicknesses in U.S. veterans and troops.
Researchers will create a database of information and then use it to locate “trends in canine diseases.” They will then compare those results with human diseases and look for common elements that could be due to the local environment, such as toxic dust.
The canines will serve as the proverbial canaries in the coal mines, but in a more retroactive sense. Researchers hope to be able to use the information from the canines’ tissues to determine if there are any future health problems expected in veterans.
Modern day soldiers are being exposed to “a host of environmental health hazards,” which can and has included low levels of toxic chemicals, as was reported in an earlier VA report, just as Gulf War veterans were in the early 1990s.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, a South Florida disability attorney from LaVan & Neidenberg is ready to help. To learn if you are entitled to certain programs and benefits contact our veterans disability rights firm today – 1-888-234-5758.