GulfLINK becoming more responsive

WASHINGTON, February 26, 1997 (GulfLINK)- New emphasis has been placed on improving the value of the GulfLINK Web page as a means of communicating with veterans and others.

"I want GulfLINK to be a real vehicle for communicating to veterans and the public what it is we're doing to tackle the issues," said Bernard Rostker, Special Assistant for Gulf War Illnesses. "But more than that, I want it to be a means for Gulf War vets and the public to communicate with us in the Pentagon-to provide us with information, criticism and commentary."

Rostker said, " We made some revisions in GulfLINK in January to reflect both the new directions of the program and the comments we were receiving from veterans and others. We will continue to change as we hear from you."

Rostker outlined four key changes that will be phased in over the next several weeks:

The renewed emphasis on GulfLINK is part of Rostker's effort to form a partnership with the veterans community. "We need their help," Rostker said. Citing one specific, Rostker said the case narratives will be published as drafts. "We will post them on the GulfLINK showing what we know about, say, the chemical incidents reported during the Marine Corps breaching of the Iraqi lines. We want the people who were there to read that draft narrative and get back to us. We want them to tell us when they feel we have overlooked a point or misconstrued something. Then we can fix it. And it's only with their help that we can build the most complete picture possible. That means that what you'll see on GulfLINK is a work in progress." Rostker said, the news stories you'll see on GulfLINK are essentially summaries. A hundred-page report may get an 800-word news story. "If you're following a topic closely, you'll want to go beyond the news story to the document or documents behind it," Rostker said. "But unlike your daily paper, GulfLINK will let you shift from the crisp but brief news story straight to the full document from which the news story is drawn."