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Gulf War Registry: Three Reasons to Participate

Gulf War Newsletter: Information for Veterans who served in operations desert shield and desert storm and their families

Are you a Gulf War Veteran interested in your health and ensuring the health of fellow Veterans? Consider joining VA's Gulf War Registry. Established in 1990, the Gulf War Registry is an important resource for understanding the health of the military personnel who served in Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom, and New Dawn. Here's why more than 152,000 Veterans have participated to date:

Image with following text--Gulf War Registry: 152,000 particpants to date. Join them.
    1. The Gulf War Registry is a helpful tool for Veterans and researchers.
      Veteran participants each receive a personalized free health exam. This is one way to learn about possible long-term health effects related to environmental exposures during military service. You'll discuss your symptoms, diagnoses, and Gulf War hazardous exposures. If you need treatment, you may be encouraged to receive free or low-cost, specialized medical care for those conditions from VA.

      The data collected will help VA understand and respond to your health problems more effectively. The Registry also helps VA researchers collect information on health concerns that can aid VA in improving and refining its health care policies.

  1. Most Veterans who deployed after 1990 can join the Registry.
    Veterans who served in the Gulf during Operation Desert Shield, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, or Operation New Dawn are eligible based on their recollection of service, not military records. You also do not need to be enrolled in VA health care to receive an exam. If further care is needed, you may decide to enroll in VA or consult a private medical provider.

    The Gulf War Registry is uniquely focused on the range of hazardous natural and man-made environmental exposures that may have occurred during military service, including depleted uranium, chemical and biological warfare agents, medical prophylaxis, pesticides, fuels, oil well fire smoke, infectious agents, and deployment-related stress.

    Some Veterans may also be eligible to participate in VA's new Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry. For more information, please visit:
  2. Participation is easy. Just follow these two steps.
    STEP 1: Contact your local VA Environmental Health Coordinator about scheduling a free Gulf War Registry health exam. Locate yours by visiting

    STEP 2: Once scheduled, attend your Gulf War Registry health exam, which consists of a quick, noninvasive medical appointment that includes basic questions about your health and exposure history. You may be asked to return if further testing or additional lab work is necessary.

Participation in the Registry does not result in a disability claim.

gulf war soldiers

The Registry and disability claim processes are entirely separate. You can file an online claim for disability compensation for health problems related to military service, or learn about the numerous ways to apply for VA disability benefits. These claims are reviewed and decided on a case-by-case basis. For more information about the Gulf War Registry Health Exam, visit

Gulf War Registry at a Glance

  • Free, quick, and easy
  • Does not require enrollment in VA healthcare
  • Not a VA benefits exam