Synopsis by Bhob Stewart
Reuniting several China Beach talents, this three-hour, fact-based TV miniseries dramatizes the apparent government cover-up of the after-effects of the 1991 Persian Gulf War. Exposure to toxic agents by some 100,000 men and women led to skin rashes, respiratory infections, and cancer, but the Department of Defense claimed the Gulf War Syndrome was psychosomatic. When Vietnam veteran and retired U.S. Secret Service agent Jim Tuite (Ted Danson) begins work with Sen. Donald Riegle (Brian Dennehy), he sees vets denied proper medical benefits and concludes billions in payouts would result if the government admitted that toxic chemicals were sprayed about during the war. Healthy Chris Small (Matt Keeslar) comes back from the Gulf War in only a few months with digestive and respiratory problems, while his wife Teri (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and baby daughter both experience rashes from contact with Chris. In the post-war operations, Waco farmer Jared Gallimore (Steven Weber) stumbles across uranium dust and has brain tumors by the time he goes home to his sister Jerrillyn Folz (Marg Helgenberger). Interview footage with real soldiers and officers is intercut into the drama, filmed in Toronto and the California Mojave Desert. Premiered May 31, 1998 on Showtime.
cover-up, veteran [military]