In recent years, a large number of Minnesota Veterans, including those who serve in the National Guard and Reserves, have been deployed overseas where they may have worked with munitions and tanks that contained depleted uranium (DU). DU is a very dense metal that the U.S. military uses in munitions for its armor-piercing properties and in tank armor for its ability to protect against standard munitions.
While decades of research suggest that DU is not a health concern for the vast majority of service members, any Minnesota Veteran or service member who believes he or she may have been exposed to DU may request an evaluation from their local VA Medical Center's environmental health coordinator.
To address concerns among the Veterans community on this topic, MDVA worked with world health experts to collect and publish the following resources:
Hepatitis C is a disease that affects the liver. According to published studies, an estimated 5.5 million people in the U.S. have hepatitis C. Since hepatitis C does not often cause symptoms early on, most people do not know they are infected. Left untreated this disease can be fatal.
Veterans, especially those who served in the Vietnam War, have higher rates of hepatitis C than the general population. It is our hope that veterans in Minnesota will see this DVD and talk with their healthcare provider about their risk and about getting tested. To bring awareness to this significant health issue facing Veterans, the Minnesota Department of Health, United States Department of Veteran Affairs, and American Liver Foundation have produced an informational DVD for Veterans about hepatitis C.
Knowledge is Power
If you are a Veteran and would like more information regarding this health issue contact your local Veterans affairs clinic, your healthcare provider or your County Veterans Service Officer (CVSO). Find your CVSO at www.macvso.org or by calling 1-888-LinkVet (546-5838), MDVA's one-stop customer service line for all Minnesota Veterans and their families.