82 year old WW2 Navy veteran speaks out against Depleted Uranium

Presented at a workshhop at the VETERANS FOR PEACE national convention August 15, 2007, in St. Louis

I am Bud Deraps, an 82 year old WW2 Navy veteran and member of Veterans For Peace and Military Families Speak Out. I now spend all of my time researching, writing and speaking on the subject of Depleted Uranium under the title," What Are We Doing To Our Own Loved Ones?"

You have just viewed Poison Dust and so you are now familiar with the informed beliefs of several internationally recognized nuclear scientists with respect to the short and long term effects of (DU) on human beings exposed to it on the battlefield and in the air they breathe.

Please let me share with you what I learned when I visited Iraq in 2001 with the Veterans for Peace Iraq Water Project. A major purpose of our trip was to visit sewer polluted water plants in the Basra area which were being rebuilt in part with VFP funds.  We also spent time looking at other public institutions, in particular hospitals, where I saw for myself the misery and devastation our weapons and sanctions had caused. For example, we visited the Basra Children's Hospital where we saw rooms and hallways overflowing with children seriously ill from drinking polluted water. Many more were dying from leukemia and other cancers. The doctors said they would all surely die there because they could not obtain the many medicines needed due to the sanctions. We stood in the midst of this disaster feeling stunned, ashamed, and entirely helpless.

You may wish to briefly stop the following pictures for further viewing. The doctors gave us dozens of photos of extremely deformed babies. Here is just one sample of the thousands born in Iraq since the Gulf War. They were convinced the babies were the result of exposure of either parent to DU.(PICTURE)

Prior to the current war, the Birth Defect Research for Children based in Florida produced a study showing 31 specific birth defects that radiation and other Gulf War exposures could cause in birth defects. They found that the Gulf veterans parented on average 2 to 4 times more defected babies than those who had not served there.(PICTURE)

The Medical Journal of the Basra hospital reported that from 1991 to 2001, there was an increase of 426% in general malignancies, 366% in leukemia’s and 600% in birth defects. With respect to birth defects, the doctors explained that when a person becomes DU contaminated, his or her DNA can be altered, thus, the person is potentially subject to parenting a child with minor to extreme birth anomalies.

Here is a US Veterans Administration Health chart of over 630 thousand veteran illnesses that have occurred from fiscal year 2002 through Aug. 2006.(PICTURE)

Lung CA is our #1 cancer killer in the nation, claiming more lives than breast,  prostate, colon, kidney, melanoma , and liver cancers combined.  In Jan. 2006, the Lung Cancer Alliance issued a study on government funding for lung cancer research. They revealed that underfunding had kept survival rates as low as in 1971 while improving on all the others. The Dept. of Defense spent$33M from 1999 to 2004 with just $2.1M in 2005 for research. The Centers for Disease Control, (CDC) budget for 2005 included ZERO for lung cancer research while spending $204M for breast and cervical cancer. Does this tell us something about their concern?

We have learned that DU was first used in our 1991 Gulf War and that inhalation is the major cause of DU contamination. It has long been believed that it takes 10 years of more for lung cancer to form from smoking. The NY Sun reported in an Aug. 6, 2007 article that there are increasing cancer cases being found in US troops that have served in the Gulf for as few as 2 to 3 years. For example, 40 year old Army chaplain Fran Sturart served in Iraq for a year after Mar. 2003. In Mar. 2006, she had a rare form of ovary germ cell cancer seen only before in teen age girls. Army Sgt. Lauderdale went to Kuwait in Jan. 2005. By the end of Mar. they found he had Stage 2 cell cancer of the mouth and tongue. Taken to Walter Reed on April 1, a doctor there said he had seen a 21 year old just back from Iraq with a similar cancer. Lauderdale, 59, died at Reed on July 14, 2006. a year and a half after arriving in Kuwait.

Currently, the State Dept. Web says the US military cites four separate studies by NATO, the Rand Corp. the European Commission and the World Health Org- that found NO evidence of adverse health effects from Depleted Uranium!

It is reported that we used over 320 tons of DU weapons in the brief Gulf War and over 2000 tons in the years 2003 and 04 alone. Massive bombings continue to this day.

The Iraq environment minister confirms 350 sites DU contaminated by heavy bombing, saturating much of that destroyed nation. Frequent sand storms, helicopter take-offs and landings carry the deadly dust size ceramic particles aloft where they are being spread far and wide. Counting the Gulf and our present wars, we have had well over a million troops, contract and government workers cycle in and out of the region, many on their 4th tour, all possibly DU contaminated.

We may soon be facing a cancer and birth defect epidemic here.

Do you ever wonder why so many of our veterans are returning home emotionally devastated? Let us see what they have  experienced. NEJM CHART.(PICTURE)

Far too many of our loved ones are coming home to a disabled life of joblessness, homelessness, alcohol, drugs, suicide, homicide and some to jail.

I am proposing to leaders of congress that they consider and pass legislation that will offer early prenatal screening to any military family where one or more of them have served in the Gulf region from 1991 until these current wars are ended.

Heat not a furnace for your foe, so hot, that it do singe yourself.
Wm. Shakespeare, 1612

Bud Deraps

peacebud@earthlink.net
314 645 0883
6605 Clayton Ave. #203
St. Louis, Mo. 63139

Bud lost his youngest grandson, a Marine, in Iraq in May, 2006

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