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Existing evidence supports the conclusion that people who have served in the military are at a greater risk of developing ALS and dying from the disease than those with no history of military service. As outlined in this paper, study after study continues to demonstrate this to be true: If you serve in the military, regardless of the branch of service, regardless of whether you served in the Persian Gulf War, Vietnam, Korea, or World War II, and regardless of whether you served during a time of peace or a time of war, you are at a greater risk of dying from ALS than if you had not served in the military. The questions we are asking today are these: Why is there a greater risk of ALS with military service? And what are we, as a nation, going to do about it?
It is the goal of The ALS Association that this paper raise awareness of the important work that so far has been done on the relationship between ALS and military service. In this effort, we hope to impress upon the Congress, the Administration and the American public the seriousness of this issue and the need to act now.