Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America
March 11, 2000 - Issue 05

Kevin Shores Tackles Gulf War Illness
information provided by Kevin Shores

Editors Note: I have been blessed with the honor of knowing Kevin, and of being in the circle with him during Veteran's Honor Dances. He is proud to be a Veteran...he, like many Native Americans served willingly, and did what they were asked to do. Now, it is our turn to do what we can for them....Vicki

In May, one veteran is going to ride over 200 miles in his wheelchair, from Moorhead to the capital of Minnesota, St. Paul to demand answers about Gulf War Illness. Currently there are 186 thousand vets registered with symptoms of the gulf war illness and thousands have died. Since the Gulf War information has been obtained that proves that there are many unanswered questions and the government is withholding the answers.

My name is Kevin R. Shores. I am a Native American that served in the Navy from September 1985 though May 1988. During my enlistment, I was given many inoculations, presuming as preventative measures. I was stationed on the USS Fox CG-33. We were the first ship, sent into the gulf after a missile hit the USS Stark. After receiving an Honorable Discharge, I returned to Minnesota. Within a couple of years I began to notice health problems, muscle aches, joint stiffness, night sweats, major weight loss (70 Pounds), uncontrollable muscle twitching, chronic fatigue, loss of vision in my left eye and many other symptoms. I went to the Veterans administration hospital to find out what was wrong with me. They labeled it rheumatoid variant disease, which is basically an acute arthritic condition in younger people. I then followed their regiment of medications to assist my condition. However, nothing helped and my condition worsened. Within three years I found myself confined to a wheelchair. I can walk with canes but only for short distances.

In 1997, I was introduced to the American Gulf War Veterans Association, With their help, I learned of the cover up that was initiated by our Government. They are with holding important information from me, thousands of other vets and the general public concerning the gulf war. Currently 186,000 vets have registered with the gulf war illness and over 20,000 have died.

I have not been given adequate answers as to why we, my fellow vets and I, are sick. In search of the answers, I am going to ride my wheelchair from Moorhead, Minnesota to the capital located in St. Paul, where I will demand the truth. This trip is roughly 250 miles and will take 6-8 days. I know that I will not be able to accomplish this protest alone, so I am calling on you, my fellow Americans, to assist me. I will need emotional, spiritual and financial support.

If you feel you can help me please contact me. email:

Please forward this to all that you can.

May the creator watch over us all

Miigwetch (thank you)

/S/ Kevin Richard Shores

American Gulf War Association

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