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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 November, 2004, 12:57 GMT
Gulf vets welcome illness report
Image of Shaun Rusling
Mr Rusling won an appeal after he was denied his army pension
An independent inquiry has concluded thousands of Gulf War veterans were made ill by their service.

Shaun Rusling and Noel Baker, who have experienced a variety of illnesses since serving in the Gulf, are among hundreds of veterans who will be pleased by the report's publication.

They say it vindicates veterans, proving they are not malingerers and have a real condition.

They now want recognition of their illness from the Ministry of the Defence.


Mr Rusling, 42, said: "We are extremely grateful to Lord Lloyd for his independent inquiry and his findings are far more favourable than we expected.

"We fully support Lord Lloyd in his findings and we hope that the MoD will accept the recommendations as they are entirely reasonable and we do not see why they cannot do so."

In 1991, Mr Rusling was sent to the Persian Gulf to serve as an army field medic treating wounded soldiers and civilians.

Image of Noel Baker and Lord Lloyd
It shows that we are not malingerers, we are not making it up - there is a real problem.
Gulf veteran Noel Baker

In May 2003, he won an appeal after he was denied his army pension.

An appeal court ruled that Gulf War syndrome did exist - and was caused by active service.

Gulf veteran Noel Baker, 38, from Medway in Kent, said he had suffered multiple sclerosis, a cyst in his spleen and episodes of skin cancer since serving with the Queen's Royal Lancers in the first Gulf War.

"I am really pleased, almost to the point of being happy.

"I would like to see the Ministry of Defence take up the recommendations in Lord Lloyd's report, but I cannot see them doing a u-turn just yet.


"The cynic in me says they are going to keep their heads down and try to ride out the storm.

"This report vindicates the veterans, the people who have given evidence and it shows that we are not malingerers, we are not making it up - there is a real problem.

"It is tinged with sadness that it has taken us 14 years to get this but it is good news. It gives us another stepping stone to go forward."

Lord Lloyd of Berwick, who chaired the independent inquiry, said: "What the veterans now want above all else is a clear recognition by the Ministry of Defence that they are ill because they served in the Gulf.

"It is not acceptable for the MoD to say 'yes you are ill, but since we do not know which of the possible causes has caused your particular illness, we are not going to admit your illness is due to your service,'" he said.

The MoD said it had always accepted that some veterans had become ill with illnesses which were related to their Gulf experiences, such as post traumatic stress disorder.

A spokeswoman said the MoD would consider the reports findings.

Q&A: Gulf War illness
17 Nov 04 |  Health

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