Survivors of the Storm helps vets

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Various private organizations have cropped up to deal with issues arising from military service during Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

One such group is Survivors of the Storm, or S.O.S., which was created by Charlotte (McKay) Doud of Fayetteville who was honored last fall during the 17th annual reunion of Tennessee Army National Guard service men and women who served in Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

The next reunion is to be in Lewisburg on Sept. 27, 2009 at the Tennessee Army National Guard Armory.

Members of the 251st S.&S. Co., National Guard unit from Lewisburg and Tullahoma served during that conflict in 1990-91.

Upon their return to the United States, many of them were experiencing various health related issues, but there were no answers on their cause, according to a report from this year's reunion of the guardsmen and women.

Recognizing that something had to be don, and citing her son, Sgt. LeRoy Veatch a her inspiration, Charlotte Doud founded the support group which she dubbed S.O.S, Survivors of the Storm.

In conjunction with the group's formation, Mrs. Doud and her associates developed a 40-page survey on health issues. Survey results and discussions among the S.O.S. members revealed that 97 percent have health concerns.

Results of the surveys were sent to Washington, D.C., and delivered to the appropriate officials with the assistance of senators and congressmen.

The Ross Perot Foundation became involved when its leaders saw the survey results and, in another step, Doud met with Bernard Rosker, the chief of the Gulf War Illness Board at Fort Campbell, Ky. Along with many concerned veterans and others related to Gulf War veterans to address issues that top leaders in Washington seemed to be ignoring.

"There are still a lot of unanswered questions," Doud said in a statement issued before the Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses issued its report concluding there are grounds for claims stemming from the so-called Gulf War Syndrome.

"Some veterans are, at least, receiving some help medically, but we still need answers," Doud said.