Town Meetings in Indianapolis and Columbus added to Rostker schedule


WASHINGTON, MAY 5, 1997 (GulfLINK) - The Pentagon’s special assistant for Gulf War illnesses has scheduled two more Town Meetings with veterans -- in Ohio and Indiana.

Bernard Rostker, who has headed the Pentagon investigation into the origins of Gulf War illnesses since November, began a series of Town Meetings April 20. They have been hosted from coast to coast by the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

The two added meetings bring the total to 11. The new meetings are:

Indianapolis, Monday 12, hosted by the national American Legion at the Indiana War

Memorial on North Meridian Street in Indianapolis, starting at 7 p.m.

Columbus, Tuesday, May 13, hosted by American Legion Post #164, 3363 McDowell Road in Grove City, Ohio, starting at 7 p.m.

Rostker sad the town meetings are designed chiefly to answer questions and promote discussions among Gulf War veterans, but are open "to anyone and everyone. We want to answer as many questions and address as many concerns as possible."

The Town Meetings held so far have covered everything from basic questions on how Rostker is investigating possible causes of Gulf War illnesses, to concerns about inadequate attention to veterans’ health concerns, and poor maintenance of medical records.

Rostker is directing the Defense Department response to the Gulf War illnesses challenge. He is accompanied at each meeting by a representative of the Department of Veterans Affairs to handle questions related to its programs.

In one of the first Town Meetings, the one in Atlanta, Rostker told the audience of about 150, "We have not done the full job we should have done in responding to the needs of our veterans," and said his task has been to fix that.

The nine previously scheduled Town Meetings are being held in: Cleveland; Atlanta,; Boston; Independence, Missouri; Dallas; Colorado Springs; San Diego; Seattle; and Chicago.