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The Tiny Victims of Desert Storm

by Open-Publishing - Monday 23 August 2004
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When our soldiers risked their lives in the Gulf, they never imagined
that their children might suffer the consequences—or that their country would
turn its back on them.


Behind the lens again, photographer Hudson shoots the team that got the
Gulf War babies’ story told: left to right, reporter Briggs; senior editor Robert
Sullivan, and contributing editor Kenneth Miller, who wrote the piece

The Kids Are Not All Right Last year, rookie LIFE reporter Jimmie Briggs took
on a tough assignment: investigating a mysterious spate of birth defects among
the children of Gulf War veterans. Briggs interviewed some 50 scientists, veterans’
advocates and federal officials, and collected a towering stack of documents.
And with Derek Hudson, a Paris-based Briton whose "Facing
" appeared in
our June issue, he visited nearly a dozen families.

Those encounters could be wrenching—like the first time Briggs saw Jayce Hanson, pictured on our cover. "Jayce shimmied up to me on his bottom, pushing along a Donald Duck toy, and broke into a beautiful smile," says Briggs. "I was horrified by his condition—and amazed by his courage and strength."

Briggs Initially doubted that the children’s woes had begun in the Gulf. "But whatever had harmed them," he says, "I felt I had to get their stories told." You’ll find those stories in "The Tiny Victims of Desert Storm"—along with some hard questions about the risks of high-tech war, the holes in the American health-care safety net, and our duties toward the volunteers who fight our battles.

You might want to tell your representative in Congress how you feel about these issues. And if you think you or your child has a Gulf-related illness, you can register with the Veterans Administration at (800) 749-8387, the Pentagon at (800) 796-9699, or the Association of Birth Defect Children at (800) 313-ABDC.


Forum posts

  • It is important to mention the Iraqi children as well, and the entire Iraqi people that are forced to live with dust infested Depleted Uranium forever. They don’t get to go home and get away from it.