Scientists have yet to find a cause for why America’s military veterans are approximately twice as likely to develop ALS than other segments of our population. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs recognizes ALS as a service-connected disease and provides financial and medical support to those with at least 90 continuous days of military service.
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.
Factors that might contribute to the increased risk of ALS in veterans include exposure to lead, pesticides, or other environmental contacts. Tobacco use also increases the risk of ALS, independent of military service.
Click here for a link to resources and tools veterans can use to take part in the advocacy efforts that make a difference in the fight against ALS – efforts that have helped to improve benefits for veterans and advanced research for a treatment and cure.