Mystery sickness strikes a local soldier
War in Iraq: Austin Lipps has suffered from flu-like symptoms ever since his return home
By Bill Engle
Staff writer

At a glance

Austin Lipps, 20, of Richmond has been fighting flu-like symptoms since returning to the United States from Iraq in August 2003.
Lipps is stationed at Fort Stewart, Ga., where he has seen Army doctors and civilian doctors.

He is waiting for a diagnosis.

Austin Lipps might not be going back to Iraq when his U.S. Army unit, the 64th Armored Regiment, saddles up in January 2005.

That's because Lipps, the son of Bobby and Pam Lipps of Richmond, brought a little piece of the Iraqi war home with him.

It follows his every step, from Richmond, where he returned in August 2003 to take his leave, to Fort Stewart, Ga., where he is trying to prepare for another trip to the Middle East.

Lipps, 24, has been sick almost every day since returning from the war. He has a mysterious disease that has flu-like symptoms and leaves him with mild discomfort some days and absolutely knocked-down, knocked-out sick on others.

"It's been hard,' Lipps said from Georgia this week. "They've got me on all kinds of different pills to stop the major symptoms. Sometimes they work, sometimes they work for a few hours.'

He has been examined by Army doctors and civilian doctors, he had his appendix removed and has been treated for Crohn's disease. He stayed behind when the rest of his unit went to California for more training.

It has been difficult, he said, not knowing what is wrong.

"It's kind of depressing,' Lipps said. "They've told me I might be getting a medical discharge or a (job reclassification) to another job. Right now, I've just been answering phones.'

Pam Lipps said she is still waiting for a diagnosis.

"It's hard to know what to think or feel until we get the final results,' she said. "He was going to make (the military) a career so I know it's hard for him. For me, it's kind of a mixed blessing. If he didn't have to go back to Iraq, that would be OK.

"But I would never want it to be something that threatened his health,' she said.

The Lipps' other son, Joe, is a U.S. Marine serving in northern Afghanistan.

During the 1991 Gulf War, more than 4,000 veterans came back from the Persian Gulf with a mysterious illness, called Gulf War Syndrome, that included symptoms like running nose, diarrhea, fatigue, rashes, intestinal problems and sores.

As of yet, there have been few cases of soldiers returning home from Operation Iraqi Freedom with ongoing medical problems.

Austin Lipps said he and other soldiers first became sick from drinking water in Iraq. But he said doctors have not been able to tell him if that is related to his current illness.

But Lipps is not letting the illness affect how he views the rest of his life.

"I'm not one to get down on something like this because it just happened,' he said. "If they are going to give me a medical discharge, I just wish they would do it so I can get out and go back to school.

"But I'm not going to cry myself to death,' he said. "You just have to move on. I've just got to adapt and move on.'

shared by Hawk March 21, 2004

Chad pagel of Indiana told me that when his group secured the airport during the first gulf war, the whole group of them had extreme diarrhea.

Chad Pagel
212th MP CO
Gulf War Vet

I think this is part of the flu-like symptoms & also a major sign of an exposure to 2-butoxyethanol. Any time I get around paint fumes that are strong or some strong cleaning chemicals I've become like a canary in the coal mine. I get instant, severe, diarrhea. Kind of a human barometer I am (odd, isn't it?)

These 3 soldiers in recent months died after 'flu-like symptoms' and the doctors watched as they died. No answers for the widows. Well, with severe attack such as this, why not ask what they were doing differently just before this (like 15 minutes before) What chemicals were they exposed to?

Now, Staff Sgt James Alford's dad shared with me that his son had seen the doctor several times for his horrible headaches before coming down with this 'mad cow' disease. I asked him to check his son for blood in urine and red blood cells that were immature. Check him for autoimmune hemolytic anemia even though the blood info doesn't suggest that doctors should

Brian's brother who was a seasoned paratrooper has practically the same health damage only his has gone to his bones & he has become in a serious state. In his case, I suspect the strong chemical things like CLP and stronger that he used repeatedly when cleaning weapons. He was also the weapons Sgt

Check for some of these extra things to rule this chemical exposure in or out

I believe there is help here

Who am I?
Take a stand against injustice.

Check this info

another cause of congestion/ flu symptoms/ headaches

Signs of glycol ether exposure/s

Found here:

Expanded info:  I just wrote this web page on 'the chemical' not a 'virus' is a harm risk for everyone, etc


Three Soldiers die after 'flu symptoms' ... 2005





Posted on GWVRP 5-21-05

& on Patriot Files - Iraqi Freedom