Warrior Connection – 11.22.15

November 22, 2015

The November 22 edition of Warrior Connection was a discussion between host Dr. Doug Rokke and exceptional educators Dr Sharon Weiss, Superintendent, Jerry Sanderson Associate Superintendent, and Bill Engelbrecht, Associate Superintendent of Schools for the Peoria Illinois Catholic Diocese ( www.cdop.org ) on what makes a good school for our children / families.  It was very clear from the conversation as data verify that solutions exist for the current public school crises. But more important it provides parents information on a choice to ensure their child receives an excellent education for the "whole" child. This choice is not limited at all to just Catholic children and families but is available for all. 


Listen Now:

Warrior Connection – 11.15.15

November 15, 2015

The November 15 edition of WARRIOR CONNECTION pre-recorded on November 11, 2015  VETERANS DAY  was a discussion on the meaning or war and the consequences we all face resulting from our participation.  

Listen Now:

Warrior Connection – 11.08.15

November 8, 2015

The November 8 Warrior Connection was a continuing discussion on participation in medical treatment research then a discussion on basic tactics for home personal protection  and past future combat operations.

Listen Now:

Warrior Connection – 11.01.15

November 2, 2015

The November 1 Warrior Connection was a very valuable discussion led by Denise Nichols, RN, (BS/ MS)  and Doug Rokke with Dr Nick Osborne, Ph.D.- interim director of the Center for Wounded Veterans in Higher Education  at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, We discussed benefits,  expectations,  and support for veterans once they enroll in college and specifically under the auspices of this new UIUC program.   We also expanded our discussion as applicable to other colleges  and universities. Clearly the UIUC has a unique program.  Doug a UIUC alumni (MS 1986, Ph,D, 1992) and retiree along with Denise who both have extensive college and military education/ training experience offered many valuable suggestions. Nick is in a  unique position with tremendous maybe unsurpassed abilities to help student veterans succeed given he served as an enlisted sailor and then as a commissioned officer in the Coast Guard then rose through the ranks in academia. Nick has gathered a very capable staff too.    


Listen Now:

Warrior Connection – 10.18.15

October 19, 2015

October 18 WARRIOR CONNECTION was one more segment in  an ongoing discussion of medical research, toxic exposures, and medical care.

Listen Now:

Warrior Connection – 10.11.15

October 14, 2015

Warrior Connection covered medical research programs needing vets.

Researcher contacted me and ask that all be notified.....Study out of Texas.....
At least 1 in 4 of the 700,000 U.S. Veterans who served in the 1990-1991 Gulf War suffer from Gulf War Illness (GWI). Despite considerable research, effective treatments remain elusive. GWI refers to a complex of symptoms that typically include widespread chronic pain, persistent headache, memory and concentration problems, gastrointestinal difficulties, sleep disturbances and unexplained fatigue. These symptoms are similar to that of fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), another multi-symptom condition. Whereas, effective treatments for GWI have yet to be found, the FDA has approved duloxetine and pregabalin for the treatment of FMS. The lack of progress in finding effective treatments for GWI, and the similarities between GWI and FMS, provides a rationale for determining if these medications can provide relief to Veterans who suffer from GWI. This randomized controlled trial will test the efficacy of Duloxetine and Pregabalin for treating Gulf War Veterans who suffer from GWI.

Condition Intervention Phase
Gulf War Illness
Drug: Duloxetine
Drug: Pregabalin
Drug: Placebo
Phase 2

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Caregiver, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: RCT of Duloxetine & Pregabalin for the Treatment of Gulf War Illness in Veterans

Resource links provided by NLM:

Drug Information available for: Duloxetine Duloxetine hydrochloride Pregabalin
U.S. FDA Resources 

Further study details as provided by VA Office of Research and Development:

Primary Outcome Measures:
Pain , Safety, tolerability [ Time Frame: Assessed every 2 weeks up to 34 weeks ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
Pain as measured by a 10-point Visual Analog scale Physical component of the SF-36 (Veteran version) Side Effects Check list

Secondary Outcome Measures:
Side Effects [ Time Frame: Assessed every 2 weeks ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
Side effects checklist

Estimated Enrollment: 180
Study Start Date: June 2015
Estimated Study Completion Date: July 2020
Estimated Primary Completion Date: June 2019 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Active Comparator: Group 1
60 mg of duloxetine in the AM for 20 weeks
Drug: Duloxetine
serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor
Other Name: Cymbalta
Drug: Placebo
Active Comparator: Group 2
300 mg of pregabalin in the PM for 20 weeks
Drug: Pregabalin
alpha-2-alpha subunit calcium channel ligand
Other Name: Lyrica
Drug: Placebo
Placebo Comparator: Group 3
placebo in the AM & PM for 20 weeks
Drug: Placebo

Detailed Description:
At least 1 in 4 of the 700,000 U.S. Veterans who served in the 1990-1991 Gulf War suffer from Gulf War Illness (GWI). Despite considerable research, effective treatments remain elusive. GWI refers to a complex of symptoms that typically include widespread chronic pain, persistent headache, memory and concentration problems, gastrointestinal difficulties, sleep disturbances and unexplained fatigue. This symptom profile is similar to that of fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), a multi-symptom condition similar to GWI. Whereas, effective treatments for GWI have yet to be found, progress has been made in identifying medications to treat FMS. For example, the FDA has approved a number of medications including Duloxetine and Pregabalin for the treatment of FMS. Compared to placebo (PBO) Duloxetine (a serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor) and Pregabalin (an alpha-2-alpha-subunit calcium-channel ligand) significantly improved pain responses and fatigue. The capacity of Duloxetine to increase central levels of serotonin and norepinephrine as well as the more complex alterations of neurotransmitters and CNS mediators of pain attributed to pregabalin are thought to be responsible for the medication's effects on pain, mood and sleep. Clinical practice and one open-label trial support the use of these medications in combination to achieve optimal symptom improvement amongst GWI sufferers; however, such combinations have not been formally tested in randomized controlled trials. The lack of progress in finding effective treatments for GWI, and the similarities between GWI and FMS, provides a rationale for determining if these FDA approved medications can provide significant symptomatic relief to Veterans who suffer from GWI. Central Texas is home to one of the highest number of Gulf War Veterans in the nation, thus our research team is ideally situated to conduct the proposed study. In a randomized, double-blind, controlled trial, 180 Veterans who meet defining criteria for GWI and whose symptom profile includes chronic widespread pain and sleep disturbances will be treated with one of the following medications; 1) AM Duloxetine+ PM placebo (PBO); 2) PM Pregabalin + AM PBO or 3) AM PBO + PM PBO. All active treatments will titrate from a lower dose in 2-week increments to the full therapeutic doses (FDA-approved for FMS). The outcome of the PBO double-dummy period will be compared statistically with 18 weeks of active therapy (weeks 5-22).


Ages Eligible for Study: 38 Years to 70 Years
Genders Eligible for Study: Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers: No
Inclusion Criteria:

Living in Central Texas near Killeen, Austin, Temple or Waco
served on active military duty and deployed to the Persian Gulf region for some period between August 1990 & July 1991
English speaking and able to understand the consent form and study questionnaires
Willing to be randomized to treatment and participate in 3-month follow up
men & women between the ages of 38 to 70
meet Kansas GWI case definition for the diagnosis of GWI
report a baseline score > 4 on a 10-point Pain Visual Analog Scale (VAS)
female participants of childbearing potential must test negative for pregnancy at the time of enrollment based on a urine pregnancy test and agree to use a reliable method of birth control (for example, oral contraceptives or Norplant; a reliable barrier method of birth control [diaphragms with contraceptive jelly; cervical caps with contraceptive jelly; condoms with contraceptive foam); intrauterine devices; partner with vasectomy; or abstinence) during the study and for 2 months following the last dose of the study drug. [Note that this inclusion criterion applies only to females of childbearing potential. Females of childbearing potential are defined as women not surgically sterilized and between menarche and 2 years post-menopause.]
Exclusion Criteria:

Unstable or poorly controlled chronic medical illness such as Diabetes type-II, HTN, heart disease, endocrine disorders, narrow angle glaucoma
Significant Central Nervous System disease including TIAs or stroke, Dementia, syncopal episodes, severe head trauma, multiple sclerosis
Serious or advanced heart disease or clinically relevant abnormal electrocardiogram (ECG), postural hypotension
Untreated sleep apnea or body mass index placing patients at risk for undiagnosed sleep apnea (BMI> 35 kg/m2)
Diabetes type-I and patients with Diabetes type-II associated with peripheral neuropathy, hepatitis, liver failure/cirrhosis
End stage renal disease
History of hypersensitivity reaction to pregabalin, duloxetine, venlafaxine; active treatment with duloxetine or pregabalin; History of failure of duloxetine or pregabalin at therapeutic doses; history of angioedema reaction to pregabalin
Active systemic infectious disease such as tuberculosis and HIV, shingles
Autoimmune mediated illnesses such as systemic lupus erythematosis, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma
History of mental illness requiring hospitalization (depression, bipolar illness, post traumatic stress disorder, history of suicide attempts, psychosis, schizophrenia spectrum); Current major depression of dysthymia; patients lacking capacity to make medical decisions
Use of MAOIs within 2 weeks of evaluation; Active ongoing use of the following agents: venlafaxine, desvenlafaxine, dexfenfluramine, fenfluramine, linezolid, milnacipran, phentermine, thioridazine, tryptophan, tramadol, muscle relaxants, opiates, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, benzodiazepines
Current (meets criterion within the last 6 months) for drug or alcohol dependence (except for nicotine and caffeine)
Cancer other than non-melanoma skin cancers
Women who are pregnant or desire to become pregnant, breastfeeding, who use unreliable contraception methods
Those with occupations requiring use and/or operation of hazardous heavy equipment or professional drivers
Patients for whom the potential risk outweighs the potential benefit in the opinion of the treating psychiatrist
Any regional pain syndromes (i.e. chronic back pain)
Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies. 

Contact: Dena Davidson, PhD (254) 297-5169 Dena.Davidson@va.gov 
Contact: Peggy J Pazzaglia, MD (254) 624-5765 Peggy.Pazzaglia@va.gov 

United States, Texas
Central Texas Veterans Health Care System, Temple, TX Recruiting
Temple, Texas, United States, 76504
Contact: Christine A Kuhn, MSN BSN 254-297-3954 Christine.Kuhn@va.gov  
Contact: Randy Tea, MA (254) 297-3950 Randy.Tea@va.gov  
Principal Investigator: Dena Davidson, PhD  
Central Texas Veterans Health Care System Waco VA Medical Center, Waco, TX Recruiting
Waco, Texas, United States, 76711
Contact: Dena Davidson, PhD 254-297-5169 Dena.Davidson@va.gov  
Sponsors and Collaborators
VA Office of Research and Development
Texas A&M University
Baylor University
Principal Investigator: Dena Davidson, PhD Central Texas Veterans Health Care System, Temple, TX

Ok Georgetown study will be recruiting soon in DC.....this is the study to get FMRI-DT done like his previous study where we had 31 gulf war vets that showed abnormality in white brain matter. If you definitely want to do this they have started taking your names, contact phone number and email address. You can call them to get on the list ...call 202-687-8231. They will call you when they start precscreening by phone. You can also email them at GWIRESEARCH@GEORGETOWN.EDU give them your name, that gulf war deployed and contact info re your phone number and email address.

The consortium first study that involves Boston, Dr Klimas Florida, and Australian university and in a year Texas will start....contact Joanna Cirillo at 617-638-5834. Or GWIC@bu.edu. It takes like from 9am to 2 pm.....you get blood drawn(which goes to Dr Klimas in fld) your sputum ie spit is sent to Australia and you get an hour of scans they do like 10 scans. They also do basic physical re checking BP, P, weight, fibromyalgia, etc...and neuro cognitive testing. We need a total of 300 thru this study, Boston hopes to get 175. So we need those that served in first gulf war in theater!

Listen Now:

Warrior Connection – 10.04.15

October 4, 2015
Warrior Connection had a discussion on adverse health effects of illegal street drugs and alcohol on our body and mind.  Specifically on the growing use of mary jane / dope  to try and treat ptsd and other neuromuscular afflictions. .  These all only complicate life and do nothing to improve quality of life but only numb the senses and have long term health effects.  The key is not in drugs or booze but taking control of your life as in attached brochure in concert with wholelistic medical approaches.
Listen Now:

Warrior Connection – 09.20.15

September 20, 2015

The September 20 Warrior Connection program is dedicated to SSG Paul Lyons, retired , 100% disabled,  U.S. Army, 101st Airborne who committed suicide on March 15, 2015. Paul’s birthday would have been September 23. Paul was co-host of this program Warrior Connection and was abandoned by the Army and VA.  Paul, even though very ill, kept trying to help all other vets.  In Paul’s own words before the crash. Paul’s widow Tammy Lyons joins Major Denise Nichols, RN, USAF retired  and I, Major Doug Rokke, Ph.D. U.S. Army, retired,  to discuss the horror. Tammy is a U.S. Navy veteran herself.   This discussion must not be in vain.  

Paul wrote:


I have had the privilege to have co-hosted With Doug Rokke And Denise Nichols on Gary Nulls Radio Station, known as "The Progressive Radio Network", out of New York City, regarding the various exposures that occurred during Desert Storm, whether they be concerning Depleted Uranium, Biological Warfare, and Chemical exposures; not to mention experimental shots with records of them being given as well as Nerve Agent pre-Treatment pills that we were ordered to take, that occurred during Operation Desert Storm. I and well over 275K Troops are said to be on the Gulf War Registry. I have also been exposed...I have two post war Children who are also sick, including my wife. How's that for a "Welcome Home Party"? The VA and DOD Need to Restart  their Children and Spouse Health Registry and get with program! We didn't ask for this and I DAMN sure wouldn't have intentionally exposed my Wife and now my sick post Gulf War Children, had I known that the birth defects and Illnesses were transmittable...This has been a NIGHTMARE for my wife and I. Someone In The Federal Government needs To Pick up the dropped ball and GET WITH THE PROGRAM!! We Also Need New Congressional Hearing's, from somebody in Congress with the backbone and fortitude of Former US Senator Donald Riegle, (R) Who saw the problem back in the early 1990's and held hearings, trying to get to the TRUTH of Gulf WAR Illnesses and now we have possible OIF exposures as well. This Government needs to settle this most important issue once and for all....If our current CBRN, also known as NBC gear is faulty, then let's fix the problem...WE know it there are GAPS, so let's FIX IT!!

 end quote

The crash suicide 

SSG Paul Lyons 101st airborne us army retired- ultimate veterans advocate and my co-host of  warrior connection on prn.fm reached the breaking point of no return and committed suicide on Sunday march 15 2015 .  Paul had called national hotline for help on march 7 at about 3 am and they failed to help. Paul called Major Denise Nichols, RN for help.  Denise called me, I got Chaplain Brian Manigold – Danville (Illinois)  illiana VA Medical Center to call Paul about 3:30 am.  Brian got to Paul but being about 400 miles away could only offer verbal help.  Hot line- Va- DOD failed Paul. In our last talk only days before he left us Paul told me he had nothing left.  He had outlined the problems and offered the solution in one of his last emails to me.  The army (101st AB) and va who paul once trusted had dumped him like so many others, Overt retaliation aimed at Paul because of Paul’s efforts  and on others he loved took its toll.   Paul’s  abandonment and the ongoing abandonment of so many others including me cannot be allowed to continue. we must fix the va now and stop ongoing trashing of God's earth. Our nation and God just lost one of the finest we must now force va and dod to change. Please help edit or add to these recommendations to stop the misery. 

  1. CONTINUING MEDICAL EDUCATON must be made available and completed such as initiated in the ATTACHED POWER POINT. The numerous investigative documentaries  must be made available and watched to begin to comprehend and resolve the lingering problems.
  1. MEDICAL CARE must be optimized.
  1. coordinated medical care appointments

    10. TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT THESE WARS.  Ethical moral dimension


  1. crisis line follow up through referral
  2. verify definitive treatment- recovery plan.
  3. crises intervention team- chaplain, medic,
  4. no police swat team intervention unless chaplain makes call.
  5. return all phone calls requests for help before end of day- even if only contact.
  6. thorough support system- action plan.
  7. Coordinated family support- notification
  8. thorough primary and secondary – historical survey to determine casuals relationships – DD 2796
  9. coordinated best friend(s) coordination
  10. do not give referral back to failed group – team
Listen Now:

Warrior Connection – 09.13.15

September 15, 2015
The US is using the drones in the context of the so called 'war on terror'  to change international law.    Over the last 150 years, U.S. citizens have written much of the international law that is out  there, yet the U.S. generally exempts itself from those laws.  Even so, this is a new trick, where by it is noted that the "Common Law" is defined by precedent (you can find this in ICRC documents on international law) and so, the U.S. now contends that if the most powerful nation in the world sets a new precedent, then so be it - that becomes the law.  

The use of drones is particularly disturbing because they spy and use lethal force outside of designated war zones.   This undermines those boundaries.   I used this point in my testimony at one of the trials where I was a defendant.   The Hague Conventions of the late 18th and early 19th centuries specifically say that if you have a weapon whose capabilities don't fall under current international law, you can only use it in ways that abide by current law until the international community can come together and decide how it should be used.  These days, the U.N. addresses these issues after the fact and the U.S. ignores the resultant treaties.

In the Hague conventions, they use the phrase "empire of the principles of international law" which can be counter-posed to "the international law of  empire".  Nice language.   Here's a link to my statement - if you are interested: http://deconstructedglobe.com/wordpress/international-law-and-protesting-drones/

and one more web site: livingunderdrones.com
Listen Now:

Warrior Connection – 09.06.15

September 8, 2015

On today's Warrior Connection, they had a discussion about diet, nutrition, and weight control.  The physiological effects of toxic exposures have a serious negative effect on cellular nutrition and hence a  sound well balanced diet is essential.   

Listen Now: