Letter to Online Defense: Is it time to clarify and do justice to the victims of depleted uranium?


Dear Director I introduce myself Casillo Mafalda, I am a normal Italian town, I am a mother, a wife, a daughter and I was a sister. "I was" because my brother Simone died.

Simone was a two-meter boy, who started in 2000 as a VFP volunteer. I'm not telling you the joy of my brother the day he entered the barracks (the "Lollighetti" of Trani), we come from a family of soldiers!

However Simone lived in that barracks, where there were means and material coming from the Balkans, then nothing was known about what was used in that war. Simone was in charge of the switchboard and lived near the garaging of these vehicles.

After a year he made the selections to go to the police ... Dear director, from that day our nightmare began. During the visits he was found to have a spot on his lungs, I don't tell you the whole process we did, but I tell you that that spot was a stage 4 Hodgkin's Lymphoma in Mediastinum.

At that time, no matter how bad the news, we clung to the hope that it was not an incurable tumor. Simone communicated to his superiors the diagnosis then confirmed by the official doctor of the Caserta military hospital. The surgeon who operated my brother at the time told us first about the possibility of having come into contact with radioactive material, as the position of the lymphoma was particular, he felt for the first time the impoverished uranium.

Simone did chemotherapy and radiotherapy, every few days he had to show up at the barracks, stay there for a day and then return home, all this for a year and a half. Finally he was recalled to the barracks and discharged for sickness, as if it were a defective piece.

Dear Editor, on that day I saw in my brother's eyes the pain, the defeat, what the illness had not inflicted upon him, the men who commanded him and whom he respected did.

At a distance of 16 years the words of the commander resound in their ears, as if it were Simone's fault: "You are lucky if the ministry does not ask you for your salary money ...". He took us off like this!

Nobody ever spoke to us about the rights that Simone had as a military man fallen ill in the barracks. He got sick in that barracks and from studies done with the doctors we know that Simone's lymphoma is among those that can be caused by impoverished uranium, my brother for a year and more he has inhaled it constantly every day.

By coincidence, in March 2018 I received a call from a defense officer who wanted to speak to my brother, because his case was still open ... Practice, which practice? Was there no practice in the name of Simone? !!!

From there began a journey, if you can, even more painful, made of painful memories and clashes against a dull bureaucracy closed in his mentality, in his silence.

I wrote to you because, like Simone, there are many guys who have fought. Some have lost and others, more fortunate, have won their battle against the Balkan Syndrome.

I wonder why we are "orphans" (I know this is not the right term, but there is no term to define who loses a child or a brother) because of the silence on the procedures that had to be applied ex officio by law and who were kept silent by higher orders?

Today I fight for that law, I fight in the name of Simon because the army gives him justice. Lotto to wear that uniform that was so dear and a symbol of pride for my brother, to carry on his name and his dream.

Thank you if you will find the time to read this long message, if you want to listen to me I will be at your disposal. I hope you give me a voice, since nobody listens to the Balkan victims.

In witness

Casillo Mafalda


Dear Mafalda, no words can ever alleviate the pain that has touched her and her family. Perhaps the next actions of the Minister of Defense Trenta will be able to do something: he has declared that in these days a "technical table on depleted uranium" will start.

We trust that the desire to know or discover the Truth goes beyond any political expediency. Regardless of the final result.

Andrea Cucco