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Of the 580,400 soldiers who served in Gulf War I, 11,000 are now dead, he said. By the year 2000, there were 325,000 on permanent medical disability. More than a decade later, more than half (56 percent) who served in Gulf War I have permanent medical problems. The disability rate for veterans of the world wars of the last century was 5 percent, rising to 10 percent in Vietnam.
�The VA secretary was aware of this fact as far back as 2000,� Bernklau said. �He and the Bush administration have been hiding these facts, but now, thanks to Moret�s report, it is far too big to hide or to cover up.�
Terry Johnson, public affairs specialist at the VA, recently reported that veterans of both Persian Gulf wars now on disability total 518,739, Bernklau said.
�The long-term effect of DU is a virtual death sentence,� Bernklau said. �Marion Fulk, a nuclear chemist, who retired from the Lawrence Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab, and was also involved in the Manhattan Project, interprets the new and rapid malignancies in the soldiers [from the second war] as �spectacular��and a matter of concern.