Photo and text used with permission of David K. Winnett, Jr.
Our moment of silence has arrived once again, one among many, recited by well-meaning panelists, searching for answers, from without and within,
So what good have we done, what good shall we do, how long must these moments go on being observed, how many more Gulf War Illness studies will do?
Years have gone by, millions spent on the task, aiming for an answer to a question that quite possibly has yet to be asked.
How long shall we take, how much time till we're done, how many will die never knowing what made them ill or what took them away from their families so young?
But don't misconstrue these words as desperation or sadness, let them not for a minute deter you from your calling nor ever cause you to consider giving up, for virtually everything of world changing significance was once considered impossible, or so the narrow-minded thinkers and naysayers once thought.
We are together in patience, resolved in our task, waiting in anticipation for that critical question to be asked.
And when it is asked, we'll know precisely what to do; we'll serve as the conduit between salvation from the anguish of hundreds of thousands in pain, igniting the spark that will race through the conductor we long ago laid, like the flow of life-saving blood that restores the pulse to a struggling vein.
Answers that will finally scream out to the world, we've solved Gulf War Illness, once and for all; the questions all answered, the task complete, thousands of Veterans and their loved ones will dance in the streets.
A task they long said too impossible a feat, but for the doggedness and determination of a group of the world's finest Scientists, Physicians, and Veteran Advocates alike, who on their very worst day were nothing short of elite.
In closing I ask that as tradition has held, we observe a moment of silence, each pledging quietly in his or her own heart, that we work towards finishing this noble endeavor, so that relief will come soon to the Warriors whose credo has always been,
Complete the mission, leave no one behind, no price is too high to bring everyone home, no matter the odds, the cost, or the time.
David K. Winnett, Jr.
Captain, USMC (Ret.)
Programmatic Panel Member
Gulf War Illness Research Program
Last updated Monday, January 3, 2022