For IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact person: Joyce Riley vonKleist, RN,BSN
American Gulf War Veterans Association
Kevins cell: 612-845-2084 (1:30-3:00pm cst)
NAVY VET TO RIDE WHEELCHAIR FOR GULF WAR ILLNESS
Kevin Shores, a Navy vet and Native American is on a wheelchair ride across Minnesota to draw attention to the severity and significance of the Gulf War Illness. Though he served aboard the USS Fox CG-33 which was the first ship sent to the Gulf after the USS Stark took a missile hit, Kevin is today considered to have many of the same problems that Gulf War vets experience.
Kevin, a thirty-year-old vet has lost 70 pounds, cannot walk and will be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. "The disease I have appears to be a result of experiments and vaccines that were given to us without our consent", says Kevin. The American Gulf War Veterans Association has confirmed that many pre-Gulfwar vets in the Kuwaiti Theatre of Operations are now sick.
Kevin is not concerned about his condition or monetary compensation. "Unfortunately it may be too late for me but I am making this ride to call attention to the plight of other deathly ill GW veterans and their family members. No one seems to care that nearly 300,000 GW vets are now sick and over 40,000 deaths have occurred since the Gulf War. I will ride my wheelchair across the state of Minnesota to help my brothers and sisters who served in uniform and were willing to die for this country. The sad part is that the Department of Defense is contributing to this and not caring for the vets who served."
This has not been an easy trip. During the timing trials in May, Kevin was approaching the Capitol Building in St. Paul and was hit and dragged in his wheelchair by a dump truck. He spent three months in the hospital and was only released ten days ago. Kevin would not be stopped and began his journey across the state on September 9, 2000. He will arrive at the capitol building approximately 2:00pm on September 19, 2000. Kevins itinerary and complete information can be found at his GULF WAR ILLNESS AWARENESS RIDE 2000 website: www.turtletrack.org/Kevin.
Kevins requests for a meeting with Gov. Ventura, Senators Grams and Wellstone have thus far met with deaf ears. He will not be stopped and carries a message: "Jesse, Im coming!"
Joyce Riley, RN, BSN, Captain, USAF inactive reserve and Spokesperson for the American Gulf War Veterans Association will be at the steps of the capitol at 12:30pm, Sept. 19, along with the
Genesis Radio Network and other veterans and supporters to welcome an American hero who wants nothing more than the truth from the Department of Defense.
Recent admissions from the Department of Defense, "Office of Special Investigations of the Gulf War Illnesses conclude that they are aware the vets are sick, that they are not receiving compensation, that their families are now sick (infectious) however they are not planning to do anything about it except research the diseases. These admissions were made by Col. Frank ODonnell, M.D. on the national radio show "The Power Hour," September 8, 2000. (Tapes of this program are available.)
Kevins ten day ride from Moorhead to St. Paul, Minnesota. is a testimony to the dedication to God and Country that these vets, even though they are sick, still stand for. Kevin stated to us: "I was willing to give my life for this country, I didnt think they would take it from me."
As of this date, Gov. Venturas office has stated the Governor will not meet Kevin and does not know if a representative from the office will be in attendance, Senator Grams office states, "No one will be in attendance from our office to meet Kevin and Senator Paul Wellstones office (Member, Senate Veterans Affairs Committee) states, "Paul will send him a letter."
The American Gulf War Veterans Association calls the response of the leaders of this country to the veterans issues, blatantly obvious and unconscionable. For more information about the truth behind the deadly and communicable Gulf War Illness, see www.gulfwarvets.com.
A meeting for all veterans will be held to honor Kevin and learn more about the cover-ups of the Department of Defense regarding Agent Orange and Gulf War Illness will be held at the American Legion, 11640 Crooked Lake Blvd, Coon Rapids, at 7pm September 19, 2000.
KEVIN vs. JESSE
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