1991 Iraq War Veteran Disabled By Heat Stroke Seeks Government Grant
by Andrew W. Knorr
(Gary, South Dakota, USA)
My name is Andrew W. Knorr D.O.B. June 20, 1967. This is what happened during the Gulf war in 1991. I was a Corporal in the United States Marine Corps. My job was Top Secret Message traffic from the front to the rear Escalon.
On the day in question, I was issued my two-liter bottle of water and went on my way to the S-1 office to pick up all the message traffic for the front. I was in Bahrain. I then got in the back of a five-ton truck with the floor covered three sand bags deep, and no rear cover on the vehicle.
I had been doing this the entire deployment, since the Sergeant Major and I were the only enlisted men to have Top Secret Clearance, and the SGM was not going in the back of a five-ton. This normally took about 10 hours a day, but I had a lot more pick ups and drop offs then normal and it took about 14 hours.
When I got off the truck it was about 1930 hours. I went and secured the message traffic and the S-1 guys told me I had better haul butt or I would miss chow. I went through the conic boxes. It was a shortcut instead of going on the road.
I started to feel light headed and my leg started to get weak and I collapsed in between the conic boxes. I screamed for help as loud as I could but no one heard me. I woke up in the middle of the night and could not move.
I screamed for help but no one heard. This went on for quite a while. Passing out and coming to, I thought I was going to die there and I wished God would save me! I do not know how long this went on for exactly but I remember hearing voices.
I screamed for help again and two soldiers or two marines picked me up. The next thing that had happened I woke up in the army hospital on the other side of the base. They said I was out for a number of days, and that I had had a heat stroke and was lucky that I didn't die.
I had IVs in both my arms, and a catheter. I still felt week, but knew I had to get back to my Unit. I told the army nurse I had to go and they unhooked me. I got a ride back with army corpsmen and reported to my SGM. The SGM told me I was carried as AWOL absent without leave for the past week.
I have nightmares every day, and night. I don't sleep for long periods of time without medication. I take about 5-10 pills three times a day. I will have to take these for the rest of my life.
My wife can't sleep with me any more, because I have night terrors and have hit her in my sleep. We cannot make love because my body won't do that any more without giving myself an injection. I think about this every day and I don't feel normal, and worry about my every thought.
My physiatrist tells me I have PTSD. He is a good doctor. I think very highly of him. His name is Doctor Skorey. This is causing great pain and strain in my life. I get Social Security Disability. I have met with their doctors and they think that the PTSD is pretty serious.
I am a soldier and I am proud of that. I am not 65. During all this, my finances have gone to hell. I was hospitalized for alcohol, which thank God, I don't use any more. I am truly embarrassed by this.
I have never depended on anything in my whole life. My wife has turned into the breadwinner. I have two children who receive SSI for HDHD and Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Thank you. Andrew W. Knorr.