Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

Dustin M Brim

Port Orange, Florida

September 24, 2004

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
22 Army Spc

82nd Airborne

 Deployed in Iraq in August 2003.

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From Lori Brim 06/29/10:

Hi,

I would so appreciate if you would include my son SPC Dustin M Brim with our fallen heroes, Dustin was deployed to Iraq August 2003 as a mechanic stationed with the 82nd Airborne, in March 2004 he began having severe pain in his side, he went to sick bay 11 times 
taken seriously and given colace each time for constipation, Dustin collapsed 3 weeks later and would have been dead but his sargent that was with him took him on to the Bagdad Hospital. We received a phone call from the doctor there advising Dustin had a large mass on his esophagus where he could barely breathe, collapsed lung, a kidney shut down and numerous blood clots. He was kept alive with chemotherapy and quickly flown to Walter Reed Hospital as OIF soldier of war, there Dustin battled for his life, we lost our only child Sept 24th 2004
Dustin received full honors being on active duty at war only I was to discover later on that his name is not included as a casualty of war. The VA thought it was a mistake and advised me they would get this corrected only to discover they were advised if a soldier is on active duty deployed at wartime and falls ill, if the soldier passes within 3 months he is considered a casualty of war, my Dustin fought to live 3 months longer so he is not considered. If interested you can google my son's name to find articles from the Daytona Beach News Journal.

I am attaching some photos, some gave some and some gave all my Dustin gave all and deserves to be recognized with his fallen buddy soldiers. I would be forever grateful if you are able to include my Dustin, he was a proud soldier too.

Sharing hearts,
Lori Brim 

From The Daytona Beach News Journal news-journalonline.com 05/28/06:

A war within the war

By AUDREY PARENTE
STAFF WRITER

Army Spc. Dustin Brim´s casket is closed and the soldier who fought in Iraq has been laid to rest in Edgewater - but there is no rest for his mother, Lori Brim.

The Ormond Beach woman watched her 22-year-old son die in 2004 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., after his return from the war - but not from a bullet or a bomb. Instead the mother who encouraged her only child to join the Army watched him die battling a very aggressive cancer. It killed him within six months.

Brim believes her son´s cancer was induced by radiation - from minute particles of depleted uranium, a metal used to strengthen military weapons and armor.

She has no medical proof that exposure to depleted uranium killed her son. In fact, his doctors at Walter Reed say it didn´t. But in her quest for answers after his death, Brim stumbled into a political and medical controversy about whether the U.S. military should be using depleted-uranium munitions and whether service personnel who work with them are being adequately trained, and tested and treated for radiation exposure.

Now she´s on a mission to keep soldiers, and her son´s memory, alive.

“I want accountability,” she says.

So do some federal and state lawmakers. More than a year after it was filed, a proposal demanding a study of the health effects of exposure to depleted uranium on American G.I.s has passed the U.S. House but as yet has no companion bill in the Senate. And, led by Connecticut, several states - not including Florida - are moving to ensure members of their National Guards returning from Iraq are tested for exposure.

The U.S. military uses munitions made with depleted uranium - a byproduct that´s left when enriched uranium is separated out for nuclear power plants and weapons - despite a 1996 U.N. resolution opposing its use because of problems discovered after the first Gulf War. It was the first time depleted uranium was used in combat.

The Department of Defense has disputed claims by some researchers that the munition is linked to Gulf War syndrome, mysterious symptoms suffered by many soldiers when they returned home.

Related to the War on Terrorism, military sources state that the effectiveness of weapons and armor made with depleted uranium outweighs any residual effects. They stand by their training and exposure-testing programs and say the bottom line is that depleted uranium armor and weapons save soldiers´ lives in combat.

“The Department of Defense uses depleted uranium for armor on tanks and for munitions to penetrate armor on enemy vehicles. It is the best heavy metal available for those purposes,” says Dr. Michael Kilpatrick, a Defense Department medical expert.

At Walter Reed, military physicians did everything they could to save Dustin Brim. They blamed his death on the “bad luck” of getting cancer, but a furtive warning from a social worker there to Lori Brim suggested she check into the effects of depleted uranium.

“She told me to find information on depleted uranium - off the record. She said I would be surprised,” Brim says.

This broken-hearted mother is not focused on whether there should or shouldn´t be a war, or even who will win or lose the fight, but on the suffering caused by the choice of weapons she believes killed her son.

Although some studies in 1999 concluded there was no link between depleted uranium and cancer, many scientists and medical professionals now believe as Brim believes, that fine dust carrying depleted uranium gets into the lungs and into the lymph system causing illnesses, including cancer and birth defects in the children of those exposed.

Brim says she has pleaded to be heard by Florida´s lawmakers to introduce a law to provide programs and testing related to exposure to depleted uranium for National Guard soldiers.

“Our office has been contacted and we are willing to meet and talk about the issue,” said Gonzalo Frias, spokesman for state Rep. Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange, although he said no meeting has been scheduled.

Under military protocol, Brim should have had all of her son´s possessions within 30 days, but she has not received everything. And despite numerous requests for her son´s military records, only with the help of U.S. Rep. John Mica, R-Winter Park, has she received part of his medical records from Walter Reed, but not his records from Iraq.

Brim has enlisted the help of writer/researcher Lonnie Story of Holly Hill, who was in the Army Special Forces from 1980 to 1988, to write about her son in a book, “Without a Shot Fired, The Dustin Brim Story,” which is in the works. Brim and Story would share any royalties.

In the book, Story uses research from Glen D. Lawrence, biochemistry professor at Long Island University, who is searching for treatments for the effects of depleted uranium. Also, in April, the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas announced that $15 million per year would be used to study Gulf War illnesses.

As to Dustin Brim, Lawrence says: “I am not ruling out the possibility that (depleted uranium) was involved.”

From The New York Sun nysun.com 08/08/07:

Reader comment on:
Veterans' Rare Cancers Raise Fears of Toxic Battlefields

Submitted by Lori Brim, Aug 8, 2007 20:14

Robin,

This is heartbreaking to read and yet we know what many of our soldiers are up against from being exposed to this toxic chemical. Thank you for bringing these soldiers including your sister together to share their stories. We have been trying to create public awareness since early 2005 with what happen to my Dustin also. I do see with our support growing that it is starting to be shared publically,Thanks to the New York Sun and the Daytona Beach News Journal for helping us to get more information out and educate others about Depleted Uranium. Your words take me back to six months of hell at Walter Reed, how I remember what pain and fright Dustin experienced before losing the battle 9/24/04 Looking back I believe the doctors knew exactly what they are dealing with as they try to treat these untimely and odd illnesses that should not be happening to our otherwise healthy fit soldiers. As we approach 3 yrs in September since losing Dustin, it seems like yesterday. Our hope is for no one to ever have to walk in his or our shoes one minute and experience our pain and loss. I applaud you for your work. If anyone would like to read about my son they can seach by his name "Dustin Brim" on the internet and read what happen to him as well. Also on Mondays at 2:00 Lonnie Story (whom is writing Dustin's story) is hosting a talk radio show "Lessons Learned, applying yesterday's history to today's events" We can be heard on 91.5 FM or on the internet at WAPN,Net I would like to encourage all whom can to listen and call for support, I believe as we continue to support and persevere the time will come soon that people will know what is happening and together make a difference for our soldiers.

On behalif of my only chlid "Spc Dustin Brim" and others whose voices need to be heard,

Lori Brim

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