Who knew we had a “military base” right smack in the middle of Ashvegas? Actually, I did. I’ve been to the Naval Reserve Center off Merrimon Avenue, behind the post office. But you can’t really call it a base. I think all of about six or seven people actually work there.

While the reserve center is small, it has been home to a group of Navy Seabees who’ve served all over the world. And several of these local veterans have been at the heart of a study that helped the government recognize Gulf War Syndrome as a serious illness.

For those of you who don’t know, Seabees are basically construction guys. They build stuff for Army soldiers in the field. The Ashvegas reserve center has been home to the Seabees’ Navy Mobile Construction Battalion 24.

These guys were deployed to the Persian Gulf War. Back home after the war, they became mysteriously ill. A number of them have been studied by a team of researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, led by Dr. Robert Haley. The study of 250 Navy reservists began in 1994 and was initially funded by Ross Perot, a big advocate for Persian Gulf veterans.


  1. It is important to note that this Batallion is currently deployed to Iraq. For some, it is their 2nd deployment to that area – Gulf War Syndrome or not. :/

  2. But there’s a new armory going up on the site of the current Richmond Hill disc golf course.

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