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Some Iraq troops reporting "ill-defined" illnesses

Washington(AP)_A Pentagon official has told a Senate Committee that some troops returning from Iraq are reporting "ill-defined'' illnesses.  Dr. Michael kilpatrick tells the Senate Veterans affairs committee that 15 to 20 percent of the returning Gulf War II Veterans are reporting problems.

But, he says that unlike returning veterans of the 1991 Gulf War, Gulf War II Vets are getting medical treatment.  The Senate Panel is hearing testimony on health problems faced by veterans of the first Gulf War. Kilpatrick is the Defense Department's Deputy Director for Force Health Protection and Readiness.

Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans are guaranteed Veterans Affairs Health care and treatment for two years after they return and leave the military.  Witnesses have told the panel that Gulf War I Vets continue to be told by physicians that Gulf War Illness doesn't exist or that their illnesses are psychological. That's 16 years after the war ended.

Kilpatrick told the panel more needs to be done to educate physicians and the Defense Department needs to be more transparent about Gulf War Illness studies.

(Copyright 2007 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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