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Morning Muster: 1/12/2015: Gulf War illness, vet employment up, vet suicide bill vote today, Agent Orange exposure after war?

The recovery team from the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Sampson signals the boat deck crew while conducting search-and-recovery operations in support of the Indonesian-led Air Asia flight QZ8501 search efforts.  Sampson is home-ported in San Diego and is in the midst of an independent deployment to the Western Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brett Cote)

The recovery team from the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Sampson signals the boat deck crew while conducting search-and-recovery operations in support of the Indonesian-led Air Asia flight QZ8501 search efforts. Sampson is home-ported in San Diego and is in the midst of an independent deployment to the Western Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brett Cote)

Ill Gulf War vets may have genetic difference; 2014 best year for vet employment; planes contaminated with Agent Orange long after war ended; vote expected today on Clay Hunt bill; charges recommended against Petraeus; blind veteran has vision; first African-American female POW applauded; WACO VA clinic says no new patients

Some 1991 Gulf War veterans may have genetic differences that caused them to metabolize chemicals found in anti-nerve agents pills, insecticide and nerve agent differently, finds a new study published in the Environmental Health journal. This potentially helps explain why some veterans were sickened while others were not.

Scientists have long wondered why some 1991 Gulf War veterans developed a series of symptoms, including fatigue, joint pain, indigestion, memory problems and dizziness, after the war ended, while other troops in the same areas returned home healthy. About one in four veterans, or 250,000 people, developed Gulf War illness.

Some wondered if some veterans broke down chemicals differently than others, forcing the chemicals out of their systems before they could do any damage, while others processed the chemicals in a way that caused damage to their nervous systems.

Lea Steele, research professor in the Baylor University Institute of Biomedical Studies, conducted the research, and has also shown that troops who took more doses of anti-nerve-agent pills—which contain small doses of nerve agent so they would build up a tolerance to the chemical—and who used insecticides and bug repellents were more likely to develop the illness.

2014 may have been the best year yet for veteran employment, reports Military Times‘ George Altman.

Service members flying on contaminated planes may have been exposed to Agent Orange long after the Vietnam War ended, according to an Institute of Medicine report, reports the Los Angeles TimesAlan Zarembo. The news could lead to more benefits claims from sick veterans. The Department of Veterans Affairs give automatic service-connection now for Vietnam vets dealing with such issues as heart disease and diabetes.

The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the Clay Hunt veterans suicide prevention bill today, reports Roll Call‘s Paul Jenks.

Federal charges against retired Army General David Petraeus have been recommended for passing secret documents to his former mistress, report USA TODAY‘s Tom Vandenbrook and Kevin Johnson.

A Marine Corps veteran blinded while serving in Iraq explains why “vision” and “sight” aren’t the same thing, reports the Washington Post‘s Dan Lamothe.

Shoshana Johnson, the first African-American female prisoner of war, was cheered at the Student Veterans of America conference, reports the Washington Post‘s Emily Wax-Thibodeaux. Johnson was taken prisoner, along with fellow soldier Jessica Lynch and four others, in 2003.

The Waco VA clinic is not taking patients because it doesn’t have enough doctors, reports News Channel 25‘s Adam Hammons.

Bergmann & Moore, LLC, is a national law firm dedicated to serving the needs of veterans in compensation claims before and against the Department of Veterans Affairs. The firm’s partners are former VA attorneys who are very familiar with the VA system. Bergmann & Moore handles all kinds of cases, but has a concentration in claims involving PTSD, military sexual trauma and complex medical issues, such as brain cancer or degenerative issues, veterans exposed to Agent Orange often face. For more information, to submit news or to sign up for an email version of this blog, contact Kelly Kennedy at kkennedy@vetlawyers.com

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