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IDENTIFYING EFFECTIVE TREATMENTS
For GULF WAR VETERANS'S HEALTH PROBLEMS
August 14, 2000

Frank E. Sauer Sergeant Major,
United States Army (Retired)
Email: fsauer@ix. netcom.com

BACKGROUND AND MILITARY SERVICE:

Good afternoon Mr. Chairman (Dr. Rosof and Committee) and thank you for allowing me to speak before this committee. I am here today to share my personal experiences as relates to Gulf War Illness.

My name is Frank Sauer. I am retired from the United States Army at the rank of Sergeant Major. Overseas tours include: Vietnam (1970-71); Australia > (1978-81); and, Middle East (1989-91).

I am a Gulf War Veteran. While on active duty, I worked in a nuclear surety program on the Joint Staff. I served as an Intelligence Specialist at an American Embassy abroad. worked in the White House during the Reagan Administration. And, I was seconded to the United Nations as a Military Observer in the Middle East prior to and during the Gulf War. was both physically and mentally fit prior to my assignment to the Middle East. That would change with the subsequent follow-on medical problems I would encounter.

THE IOM/NAS CHARGE:

I have read this committee's charge in the Public Meeting Announcement and would like to spend a minute on that. One of your stated objectives is to, quote "identify illnesses and conditions common among veterans of the Gulf War, using data obtained from the VA and the DoD Gulf War Registries, as well as information in published articles." So I ask - how can you successfully identify illnesses and conditions common among veterans of the Gulf War when you "ONLY USE" data obtained from the VA, DOD, and information in published articles?

My own medical findings and laboratory reports from my own doctors were never validated or recorded by the VA or the DOD! This undoubtedly applies to other Gulf War Veterans as well! There is OVERWHELMING DATA available from other Gulf War Veterans and their private physicians that HAS NOT been documented by the VA or DOD! Subsequently, if you do not have "all the information" from sources outside the VA and DOD, you will not have a clear picture of useful information that veterans like me bring to the table. This outside source of information is invaluable to supplement a validated model of treatment that you plan to document. As the Bible says "seek and ye shall find; knock and the door shall be opened!"

MY SERVICE IN THE MIDDLE EAST:

I served in the Middle East for 18 months (Aug89-Feb91). traveled extensively throughout that region, including Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Sinai Peninsula, Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. During my tour, I was exposed to insects and animals (both alive and dead), atmospheric fallout, inclement weather, sand storms, diesel fumes, infectious and bacterial agents, insecticides and other chemical agents, contaminated local food and water, and residual oxide dust from depleted uranium (welcome to the Middle East!).

MY ILLNESS:

During an operational patrol in the Sinai Peninsula the last week of September 1989, I fell gravely ill with high fever, projectile vomiting, delirium, diarrhea, headache, etc. I was taken to St. Catherines, Sinai where I received emergency medical care from an Egyptian doctor. Treatment included IV antibiotic therapy and hydration. Unfortunately, I could not understand the Arabic speaking Egyptian physician and do not know to this day why I became ill or the associated diagnosis. But, since that day, my health steadily declined.

I am no exception to the long list of symptoms that are commonly associated with Gulf War Illness. My medical problems are multi-systemic. My medical symptoms during and after my Middle East assignment are long and extensive (they include):

I also have a long history of well documented medical findings, laboratory reports, and significant diagnosis' in connection with my illness. They include: WHAT HAS HELPED:

I cannot emphasize enough how much IV ANTIBIOTICS helped me! Oral antibiotics have not been as effective, whereas the powerful, IV antibiotic therapy has resulted in remarkable and vast improvement in my health!

-1995: 12 weeks Rocephin IV therapy by Dr. Delaportis (mid-line IV)

-1995-96: Oral antibiotic therapy by Dr. Delaportis

-1998: 21 + 7 days IV therapy by Dr. Hyman ( hospitalized)

-1998-00 Oral antibiotic therapy by Dr. Hyman

I have been on antibiotics since 1995. In 1995, I received antibiotic IV therapy which resolved about 50-60% of my symptoms. From 1996-98, I regressed. In September 1998, I received antibiotic IV therapy and 100% of my symptoms resolved for a period of about 6 months (6gms Clindamycin; 120 mg Gentamicin: 1gm Cefazolin: 1000 mcg Vitamin B12: 1ml B Complex C - administered 35cc/hr and increased to 60 cc/hr over period of 2 days, for 21 days. Last 7 days included a piggyback of 500 mg Vancomycin daily). Within 10 days of going on the IV, I had enough energy that I started working out with light weights and on a treadmill for 30-45 minutes a day. It was remarkable that I was not exhausted for 7-10 days following exercise. I felt like a new person! IV antibiotics made a BIG DIFFERENCE in my case. So, it's clear I must have been exposed to some bacterial and/or infectious agent in the Middle East which responds to ANTIBIOTICS!

Doctor Hyman has proved that IV antibiotics are very successful in treating Gulf War Illness! You only have to look as far as the results of his treatment study program consisting of 36 Gulf War Vets ( I have personally heard, and in some cases witnessed, the success stories of Tom Lane, Marcus Nerone, Robert Rorick, Loretta Haddes, Brent Roberts and Barry Shaffer -- all who participated in Dr. Hyman's treatment study program! It is also well to note that other gurest speakers that preceded me here today are Mark Maryon, Kevin Messer and Harold Nelson). Given that I was treated with IV antibiotics in 1995, before I met Dr. Hyman, I believe that the antibiotic treatment to date has kept me from succumbing to something far worse, such as MS or ALS; and, that treatment has provided enough recovery in my health to allow me to regain employment in society. I can again function in my day-to-day activities. This is a life today where I am not continually fatigued or constantly fighting a multitude of symptoms such as migrating joint pain, constant diarrhea, shortness of breath, headaches, sleep disorders, etc. However, I am not 100% relieved of my symptoms and continue to fight this insidious disease day-by- day. I believe the oral antibiotics keep this disease at bay. Unfortunately, my wife presents with symptoms of Gulf War Illness as well. She was not treated by Doctor Hyman as his study was limited to veterans. Many other Gulf War Vets, including Dr. Hymen's patients, relate the same story about their loved ones!

Without hesitation, I state with certainty that the IV antibiotic therapy received in September 1998 resolved nearly all of my medical symptoms for about six months. Unfortunately, some of the symptoms did return. But, the symptoms are mild and manageable, given the oral course of antibiotics I continue to take under Dr. Hyman's protocol. So, given that there are other ongoing Government studies that suggest that antibiotics help, Iask that those individuals who can make a difference investigate why this is so. I request that funding and proven IV antibiotic treatment protocols be made available to every Gulf War Veteran. Funding needs to be provided to extend programs such as those started pro bone by Dr. Hyman. Gulf War Veterans need treatment now. Many are dying, others and their loved ones are suffering. Perhaps if you ask "why hasn't the Gulf War Health Center, WRAMC contacted SGM Frank Sauer for a follow-up, since he was last seen over three years ago, if the Government is "really" concerned about Gulf War Veterans and their health? That in and by itself sends a strong message to Veterans like myself all around this nation!

Here we are, nine years later and committees are still listening to testimony such as before you here today. There seems to be little action on the part of the Government to take responsibility and treat Gulf War Veterans! We have been hearing for years now that the Government agrees we are sick. What does it take to get treatment programs in place, such as what Dr. Hyman has proposed to save our Gulf War Veterans from further suffering and death? We need help now! I believe the answer, in part, is long term IV and oral antibiotic therapy!

Thank you.