"We felt it was time to create a voice of, by, and for veterans of the current wartime era, which began in 1990," says Mock, a disabled veteran of the 1991 Gulf War and a resource center leader. Any veteran or active-duty member with one or more days of active duty after Aug. 2, 1990, can join the service group. "We needed a direct voice for veterans of the current generation," says VMW Vice President Cheyne Worley, including those suffering wounds most common to Iraq—limb loss and brain trauma. A recent Fort Lewis study found one third of troops in Iraq suffer from migraine headaches; another study revealed a soaring rate of troop suicide there—at least 15 in recent months. Eighty-eight killed themselves in 2005, says the resource center.
U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., recently if belatedly pitched a helping hand on another front by introducing an amendment to study veteran health effects from depleted uranium used in Iraq. It's a companion measure to a House amendment submitted by a fellow state Democrat , U.S. Rep. Rep. Jim McDermott of Seattle.