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Gulf war vet says health woes ignored

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Gulf war veteran Alvis Yonce showed a presidential committee a binder full of medical records and notes from doctors.

"We have been shoved from one place to another . . . and treated like trash," the former minister said Wednesday. He said he suffers from immune problems, vertigo and other ailments.The Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses, which held a public hearing in Charleston Wednesday, plans to look into reports U.S. troops might have been exposed to Iraqi chemical land mines during the ground offensive in the Persian Gulf War.

"It's very clear we're going to have to be following up on a lot of issues," said Dr. Joyce Lashof, chairwoman of the committee.

She spoke after several current and former Marines testified that their armored vehicle detected chemicals on the battlefield as troops plowed through an Iraqi mine field and headed toward Kuwait City in 1991.

Master Sgt. Michael Bradford said the armored vehicle he commanded was the fifth vehicle through the breach, but he quickly sounded the alarm to the column.

John Laymon of Melissa, who left the Marines last year, said the computer recorded chemical readings for 16 minutes as the vehicle sped ahead.

Other military witnesses questioned the account, saying the reading may have been false and no chemical mines were ever found among the hundreds of thousands the Iraqis left buried in the sand.

Troops were told to keep rolling during the ground offensive. Generally, when the Fox armored vehicle detects chemicals, the procedure is to stop and get another reading, witnesses said.

"There were chemicals in that breach," Bradford said.