Tuesday, May 13, 2008

VA Names Members of Gulf War Veterans Advisory Committee Secretary Peake to Hear Their Concerns, Issues

VA Names Members of Gulf War Veterans Advisory Committee Secretary Peake to Hear Their Concerns, Issues

WASHINGTON (May 13, 2008) -- Veterans who served in the Southwest Asia
theater of operations during 1990-1991 will have their own special
advocates before Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James B. Peake,
thanks to a new advisory committee Peake established to respond to
issues unique to them.

The 14-member, independent panel will advise the Secretary and the
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) on the full range of health care and
benefits needs of those who served in the conflict.

"Gulf War veterans made an invaluable contribution to national security
and peace in a volatile region," Peake said. "This new panel will ensure
that VA benefits and programs adapt to the needs of these veterans, just
as our services have adapted for veterans of other conflicts."

Serving on the committee are Gulf War and other veterans, veterans
service organizations' representatives, medical experts, and the
survivors of Gulf War veterans. Members were selected to provide a
variety of perspectives, experiences and expertise.

The committee will be chaired by Charles Cragin, a retired Navy captain,
who has had several senior level positions within the federal
government, including Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel
and Readiness and Chairman of VA's Board of Veterans Appeals.

In January 2002, the Department created an advisory committee to assist
VA's secretary on research into the medical problems of Gulf War
veterans. That older committee will retain responsibility for research
involving veterans of the 1990-1991 conflict in the Middle East.

This committee's first meeting will be held in mid-June in Washington,
D.C. It is expected to complete its work within 18 months. Committee
meetings will be open to the public.

A list of the members of VA's Gulf War Advisory Committee is attached.

VA Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans

* Charles Cragin, (Chair) of Raymond, Maine. Currently serves a
senior counselor for Maine Street Solutions, LLC.

* Martha Douthit of Ashburn, Va. Surviving spouse of Gulf War
Army veteran, member of the Gold Star Wives of America, currently an
international trade analyst with the U.S. Department of Commerce.

* Dr. Henry Falk of Atlanta. Retired rear admiral and former
Assistant U.S. Surgeon General. Currently director for the Coordinating
Center for Environmental Health and Injury Prevention with the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention.

* Mark Garner of Lorton, Va. A retired Marine Corps chief warrant
officer-three and Gulf War veteran who served as a Nuclear, Biological,
and Chemical Defense Officer.

* Dr. Lynn Goldman of Chevy Chase, Md. Vice chair of the
Institute of Medicine Gulf War and Health Study; currently professor of
environmental health sciences at Johns Hopkins University.

* Dr. John Hart of Plano, Texas. Past president of the Society
for Behavioral and Cognitive Neurology, currently professor of neurology
and psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

* William (Rusty) Jones of South Riding, Va. Retired Marine Corps
colonel, and veteran of Gulf War and Vietnam War.

* Kirt Love of Crawford, Texas. An Army veteran of the Gulf War,
currently serving as director of the Desert Storm Battle Registry.

* Daniel Ortiz of Whittier, Calif. An Army veteran of the Gulf
War, currently serving as department service director with the Veterans
of Foreign Wars.

* Daniel Pinedo of Oceanside, Calif. Marine Corps colonel
currently serving as the comptroller for First Marine Expeditionary
Force at Camp Pendleton, Calif.

* Thomas Plewes of Annandale, Va. A retired Army lieutenant
general and former chief of the Army Reserve. Currently a senior
program officer with National Academy of Sciences.

* Valerie Randall of Savage, Md. A retired Army sergeant first
class; currently with the Department of Homeland Security.

* Edward (Randy) Reese of Washington, D.C. An Army veteran of the
Gulf War; currently national service director for the Disabled American

* Steve Robertson of Fredericksburg, Va. A Gulf War veteran who
served both in the Air Force and Army National Guard. Currently
director of the national legislative commission for The American Legion.

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