Germ Warfare Against America: Part V –
The Sad Death Of A Gulf War Veteran
by Donald S. McAlvaney, Editor,
McAlvaney Intelligence Advisor (MIA), August 1996
The following letter to the American Legion Magazine (8/6/96) from the parents of a Gulf War veteran who died from GWI tells a very sad story:
Our son may be unique. We really don’t know. We’re desperate for information that is extremely hard to come by. We are very frustrated that what happened to us may have already happened to other families – – or will – – before something is done.
We were a patriotic family. Forty years ago my husband served in the U.S. Army. We raised six children. Four of them served a total of 16 years in the U.S. Navy.
This is for Scott, our only son, who said, “Go for it mom, when I told him I’d never quit trying to find out what made him so ill.
He was sent to the Persian Gulf with the 1133rd Transportation Co., National Guard, of Mason City, Iowa. He left for Saudi as a very healthy young man and he returned in much the same physical condition. Just tired, but not unusual considering where he’d been and what he’d seen.
After two years after he returned home in the summer of 1993, he developed a rash on his torso. It would erupt, disappear and then come back again. It didn’t always look exactly the same. We thought it was a heat rash, something he ate, new laundry soap, etc.
In the fall of 1993 he developed huge sores in his mouth. He could eat very little and quickly lost about 40 pounds. He went from specialist to specialist, who sent tests many places to try to find a cause. he was put on steroids and depending on the dosage, it would get a little better and then flare up again. By winter he could eat only pureed food and liquids. He could not use a straw as it hurt too much. Many doctors, many tests, many different medications. Nothing helped very much. And no concrete diagnosis.
In May 1994 he was examined by the VA Hospital in Des Moines. They were not able to find a cause for the terrible sores in his mouth and the rash that now also affected his feet, hands and arms. He made many trips to Des Moines – a three hour drive.
In early August 1994, the VA Hospital in Des Moines came up with a diagnosis of lupus. My heart just broke when I heard those words, but he was thrilled to know there was finally a name and treatment for his symptoms.
By mid-August he was hardly able to walk, his feet swollen and so extremely sore from the rash that seemed to get worse by the day. He went to the VA hospital on Friday, August 19 (he worked at his job as a mechanic up to August 18) and was admitted. The rash had now become blisters about the size of a 50-cent piece and were breaking and bleeding. He was running a fever.
Aug. 20, he was so ill they wanted him transferred to a burn unit in Texas. We stopped with the help of an Iowa House Representative, Bob Brunkhorst. How were we going to see him in Texas? His wife was also about seven months pregnant. He had two sons, ages 10 and 3.
The doctors later told us he would have never made the trip to Texas. He was transferred to University in Iowa City and taken to surgery that very night. They removed all of his skin and replaced it with what is called pig skin. Out of surgery, bandaged from head to toe, he was given a five percent chance of survival.
[ED. NOTE: Skinning a person alive to treat them for an unknown ailment seems bizarre and medieval to this writer!]
Our family gathered together to give him all the love and support we could. Ten days later the pig skin was removed. Infection had been found. It was too risky to take him back to surgery, so it was removed in a sterile room close to his room.
The next seven weeks are a blur. We had many ups — a good day for Scott – – and many downs – – a bad day for him. We lived in Iowa City. He had to endure burn baths every day. Water jets removed sloughed skin. He’d grow a tiny patch of skin only to lose it in a day or so later. He was fed through a tube. Many antibiotics were given in hopes of warding off infection; morphine for the tremendous pain. We read to him – – he’d correctly pronounce words we missed. His sense of humor never left him. He worried about all of us.
The doctors and nurses were frustrated. Never did they find a solid diagnosis. It was an “unknown”.
Scott’s life ended at 3 a.m. on October 5, 1994. He went to bat for his country two times. He lost the battle!
We are convinced beyond anything we’ve ever felt as parents that Persian Gulf Syndrome killed our only son. We want someone to tell us the truth. We won’t quit until we have believable answers to our questions.
What do we tell his oldest son, now 11 years old, who has nothing but pictures of his daddy? All he has are precious memories of fishing, playing ball and all the things that lads and dads do together.
What do we say to a three-year-old whose wish is to build a rocket so he can go get daddy and make everyone happy?
What do you say to a son who was born two weeks after his daddy died? He looks like his dad but will never have the chance to learn his great qualities.
What do you say to a wife who longs only for her husband’s love, strength and support?
Our son would want us to help others, which is what we are trying to do. So, this is a warning: If someone you know served in the Persian Gulf, make them go to a VA hospital to be examined. Don’t think any symptom they may have is minor.
Autopsy results said:
— Carcinoma. From what?
— Kidney failure. He wasn’t a drinker and never had any kidney problems.
— Bacteria in his blood. What origin?
What could make a very healthy 37-year-old so ill that the last two months of his life were such a hell? He’d smile and his lips would bleed. We couldn’t kiss or hug him or he us. He couldn’t see. Glasses were set aside and antibiotics put in his eyes several times a day to try to ward off infection there.
What does one look like without skin? Something indescribable. Horrendous. His children couldn’t see him. But his wife, his parents, his five sisters and a very few select few friends absolutely cannot forget.
We’re angry. We’re frustrated. We’re so scared this may happen to another family. We’re trying to get answers before it’s also too late for you. Unless we speak out — nothing will be done.
If chemicals and gases were used over there, tell us the truth. It kills innocent people and destroys innocent families. We are real people with real feelings and we deserve the truth. This was not easy to write. We did in hopes it may help someone. Only then will Scott’s death make sense to us. He would have wanted it to be that way. He was that special.
Signed: Ardie and Rollie Siefken, Plainfield, Iowa
This entire report is available for $5 from McAlvany Intelligence Advisor, P. O. Box 84904, Phoenix, AZ 85071 Phone 1-800-528-0559. The Copyright has been lifted from this report so that it can be distributed widely – especially to Gulf War Veterans, physicians and health care providers.