The government should do more for veterans

(To Tiziano Ciocchetti)

In the period of coronavirus it would seem blasphemous talk about something else but, despite the new infections, the country's public life must continue.

Our readers will surely remember the article of last May 28th on the bill presented by the honorable Perego (FI) regarding the figure of the Veteran. Well, despite the wide sharing, even by the majority parties, the bill is still waiting to be scheduled in parliamentary proceedings.

The opportunity to return to the bill is given to us by the Minister of Defense Lorenzo Guerini, who visited last Monday, together with the Chief of Staff of Defense Vecciarelli, to the Defense Veterans Center.

The Center not only deals with providing wounded soldiers on mission with rehabilitation care (both for physical and mental impairments) but also deals with the insertion of these into civilian life, helping them in the search for employment.

The bill proposed by Perego identifies in the figure of the Veteran a key element of our society, recognizing those prerogatives that, until now, have been lacking.

Those who have served the homeland should be a citizen to be valued, allowing them to exploit, in the civil field, the knowledge acquired in the military.

An example is Lieutenant Colonel Gianfranco Paglia, seriously wounded in Mogadishu on 2 July 1993, during the Ibis mission. Paglia continued to be part of the Army and is currently an advisor to the Minister of Defense.

In the law on Veterans, for the first time in Italy a status is recognized which gives the right, among others, to have reserved places in companies. This might seem like a sort of prevarication but it must be taken into account that those who perform military service for 10 years (5 in the special departments) and participate in out-of-area operations endanger their physical and mental safety, only to find themselves unemployed.

Apparently the majority parties and the government prefer to ignore the needs of thousands of soldiers who, although not offended physically and mentally, feel forgotten by a state that has asked a lot of them.

In a society like ours, in which there is too often a tendency towards individualism and nihilism, discussing this bill in the place of maximum representation of the people, namely Parliament, could represent the first, albeit small, step towards a cultural revolution that Italy would be in great need of.

Photo: US DoD