Jump to content
  • Sign Up

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

niceguy

In The Army With Celiac.

Recommended Posts

I am in the Army and so far I have been very lucky. I have been able to control my diet being here in the States. My concern right now is dealing with it while preparing to go back to Iraq. Any advise would be very helpful.

Kelly W. Collier (niceguy)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does the army know you have Celiacs? Because as far as I know, it is an automatic discharge.

From what I know about army food... good luck! Talk to the head of the mess hall and see what they can do.

Good luck and stay safe!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly did not think Military took Celiac because diet would be so hard to follow.

Not any real advice, just wanted to say THANK YOU for what you are doing here in the states and going TDY...

Good luck staying gluten-free overseas..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kelly, I imagine it would be really tough staying gluten-free while in Iraq. I would think that cross contamination is pretty much unavoidable, even if the chef tries. Do your commanding officers know you have celiac disease?

I hope it will work out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a student last semester in my class that hid his Crohn's diagnosis from the army so that he could continue his officer training. Of course Crohns is a disease that requires much medication and, in some cases, frequent surgery. Where celiac is controllable by diet, they might have some provisions for you--I agree that checking with your commanding officer would be a good idea, and I second the gratitude for what you're doing for our country.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If your commander doesn't know about the celiac, you must tell him.

I knew a guy from another list who was diagnosed near the end of his retirement. He was overseas, not even in a battle zone (I think it was S. Korea), and he still had a hard time struggling through that last couple of years.

richard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Kelly

I wanted to say thank you.

Good luck, and many blessings to and your love ones.

Thank You

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kelly,

Just wanted to thank you for what you are doing for us! My Chain of Command is aware of my problem. I am very close to the mess Sergeant also He is very careful for me. Usually I still just provide my own food, much easier that way. Thank you all for your words of encouragement!

The military does not actually recognize Celiac Desease, They only refer to it as Gluten intolerance. I am just glad I am not lumped into the IBS crowd anymore.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kelly

I too would like to thank you for your service to our Country. I have a sister who has also served in the Army she was in the Gulf War in 91, she is now discharged for medical. How long did it take for the Army Docs diagnose you or did you go to a cilvilian Doc. My sister was tested for Celiac with the VA and they just told her it is in her head and that she just has a very curvy intestines. I know not all military docs are like this, he had no idea what Celiacs was and basically told her to quit looking stuff up on the internet and self diagnosing herself, and that the disease doesnot exist. Talk about crazy this doc I think is crazy, very uneducated. Any way please us let know where we can send care packages/mail to you.

donna

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kelly,

First of all, thank you and God Bless.

Second, I think most of us are at a loss as to how to help/advise you. What can your chain of command and mess sargent do for you? Can they lay in shelf stable items(canned goods) for your use only. There was a discussion not too long ago about how to prepare for an evacuation and there were suggestions on quick & easy foods there (like ensure, spam, chili . . .) that were mainstream but still gluten free.

Are there items that you can eat that they already have on hand that you could have access to when the rest of the troops are eating something that you can not?

In your first post you said "back to Iraq". What did you do the first time?

Good Luck and Stay Safe!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you and may God watch over you and yours.

(I couldn't open the link from the prior poster)

If celiac gets in the way, then please give a thought to protecting your health. While you are prepared to serve your country, as your fellow countryman(woman) I do not expect nor want you to lose your health by doing so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My son was in the Army with undiagnosed celiac. He was not diagnosed until after he had gone through way to much to disclose here. Suffice to say the last six months were the worst of my life, I almost lost him. Celiac can effect mental health as well as physical. Please let your command know. It is not a failure on your part, you could not control it and they need to know even if it means a discharge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My own meals (www.myownmeals.com) are shelf stable and the company also makes MREs (emphasis on vegetarian and Kosher). Although it doesn't appear that the MRE versions are gluten-free, some of the regular stuff is. They're not bad. It might be worth investigating.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am in the Army and so far I have been very lucky. I have been able to control my diet being here in the States. My concern right now is dealing with it while preparing to go back to Iraq. Any advise would be very helpful.

Kelly W. Collier (niceguy)

Thank you for helping to protect our country! We are all very grateful for people like you.

I don't know all the rules & regulations of the military. I pretty sure that if you have diagnosed celiac before joining, you can't join. But I don't know how it works once you're in.

I was reading the "Gluten Free Bible" last night and there's something in there about how hard it is to maintain your diet in the military. Most of the foods they have you pack are not gluten free.

The only thing I can tell you is that once you're over there, if it at all possible to let any of us know where to send a care package, we can send you gluten free stuff. I know I would be willing to do that because, as I said, we are all grateful that you're doing what you do.

Dee

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You have my utmost respect and support. Good luck and PLEASE stay safe!!

I am going to Iraq for the second time. I was there in 2004 with the Arkansas Army National Guard. I will be returning in January of 2008. I have been on a Gluten free diet since Jan of 2005. I hit the apex of my sick while in Iraq the first time. After 3 gastro docs I finally found one that figured out what was wrong with me. I started the diet and of course I immediately felt better of course. Now I am getting ready for another go round. Thank you all for your words of encouragement!!!

Kelly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am going to Iraq for the second time. I was there in 2004 with the Arkansas Army National Guard. I will be returning in January of 2008. I have been on a Gluten free diet since Jan of 2005. I hit the apex of my sick while in Iraq the first time. After 3 gastro docs I finally found one that figured out what was wrong with me. I started the diet and of course I immediately felt better of course. Now I am getting ready for another go round. Thank you all for your words of encouragement!!!

Kelly

I would make sure the Army knows what you will need and what will happen if the cook messes up. Recently, a guy spoke to our local Celiac group about his experience but he was stationed on a sub. When he was diagnosed, they allowed him to finish out his enlistment on land where he could get access to gluten-free food. But their official response was that they were unable to accomodate his need for gluten-free food and he would have to eat off base.

As others have said, if you need gluten-free food or regular food that happens to be gluten-free, post details here. Many things like Spam singles don't require refrigeration at all. Good Luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I too want to give you my appreciation for you serving our country during this time. My brother served 15 months in Iraq (also in 2004) and I know how much he appreciated care boxes sent to him. I agree with deesmith that if you could let someone know where to send a box I would be willing to help you. I will pray for you not only over there but while home and trying to control your celiac disease.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would also like to send you staples that are gluten free, when you are in Iraq. just PM me a list when the time is right and the address you will have in Iraq and it will be sent to you. Big box, small box, does not matter. Only to glad to be of some help to keep you in top physical and mental form.

Thank you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kelly,

There was an article in Living Without (?spring 2007?) about someone serving on a sub and being transfered to land duty because the sub quarters were too small and all food had to be brought abroad before the start of a cruise. Ie, space issues. It seems like a lot would depend on what I think you can read part of the article online at their website; if nothing else, it might be good to contact the person profiled for some support about celiac and the military, and he might know others who have good advice for you about what would work on deployment. I'll try to find the issue - maybe someone else has it to hand?

If your mess sarg is willing to work with you, maybe trying to determine how much of the basic products he/she uses are naturally gluten-free - meat, veg, rice, cheese, fruit - that you could use without a problem to make meals. I'd make sure to bring gluten-free soy sauce with you for cooking; things like peanut butter, frozen bread, and pasta you could buy online (or receive by celiac care package :) ). Also, whether the dishwashing liquids are ok.

I don't know how careful you are re. cleaning products and personnel care, but I'd also make sure you have hand soap w/o gluten and laundry detergent that's safe.

One other thought - make sure that the medical personnel deploying with you or in Iraq know that you can't have gluten in your meds and what that means. Then they can check on meds you have now and various formats (like liquid is gluten-free and tablet not for some), and things they can imagine possibly needing. Your medical records may not be clear on that or quickly available. You might also consider a medic alert tag.

I don't know if anyof these thoughts seem helpful, but I hope so.

All best,

grey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The offers to send over food is a great thought, however.... If someone is fighting in Iraq they can not rely on care packages from home to remain gluten-free. For one thing the rucksack these guys carry weighs about 75 lbs (my 100 lb celiac son weighed his before his knees were blown out and he was discharged prediagnosis) I cannot imagine someone trying to carry their own soy sauce and bread in them also. Our soldiers can go extended periods without even a shower at their disposal and many times will be eating MRE's for extended periods. It would be very, very hard for a celiac to be gluten free in a war zone, and I can only shudder at the thought of someone under fire and in the throws of a severe glutening. In addition as we know physical and mental stress can excaberate this disease and cause a great deal of damage. The thing to do really is to let command know and see if one of two things can be done, either a discharge or a permanent stateside assignment. As much as we need our soldiers the risk to the unit is great if one member is not up to snuff mentally or physically.

Care packages in general though are a great idea to send. CNN had a link on it's site this morning to a woman who organizes one effort and many more opportunities are found. Your Red Cross or local recruiting station should be able to link you up with one. While we can not realistically enable a celiac to be gluten-free through this method with so many undiagnosed celiacs around it certainly can not hurt to try to insure that what you send is gluten-free.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...