Another Advocacy Opportunity for U.S. Veterans with Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders
IFFGD is asking U.S military veterans with functional gastrointestinal disorders, including IBS, to contact the organization regarding a Veterans’ Advocacy Taskforce it is forming. To learn more, please go to this page on the IFFGD website.
For background information on recent developments in VA disability benefits for U.S. Gulf War veterans with functional gastrointestinal disorders, including IBS, and additional links, please see IBS Impact’s previous post from August 12.
In any advocacy effort, it is important for those who are directly affected to make their voices heard. It is a basic tenet of IBS Impact’s mission to encourage people with IBS to speak for ourselves. Therefore, we encourage veterans, in particular, to consider participating in IFFGD’s task force.
Concerned U.S. citizens who are not veterans with IBS or other functional gastrointestinal disorders can still help by urging your legislators to support research funding and other initiatives on behalf of veterans. As stated in the August 12 post, U.S Gulf War veterans are disproportionately affected by these conditions, which are already extremely common in the general population. Support for research, benefits and other programs for affected veterans may eventually translate into scientific insights and gains in public awareness and social support that also come to benefit civilians in the IBS/functional disorders community, and by extension, the many family members, friends and colleagues who often experience their own stresses and unmet needs related to having a close relationship with a person with moderate or severe IBS, veteran or not.
Judging from the disproportionately high number of hits on this blog specific to the August 12 post, as well as many incoming searches related to service-connected disability for IBS and functional gastrointestinal disorders, this is a major issue of interest and concern. If the functional gastrointestinal disorders community uses this momentum skillfully, it can potentially be a force for much positive change for all of us who struggle with these conditions and hope to return to more productive lives.