The Veteran, a figure that Italy would badly need!

(To Tiziano Ciocchetti)

According to Treccani, in Ancient Rome, a Veteran, was a soldier who, after having served for a certain number of years, was honorably dismissed but still held for a few years in a special ward (vexillum veteranorum) at the Legion in which he had served, free from ordinary service but required to fight in case of war: he enjoyed special prizes and privileges, and was subjected only to indirect taxation.

In these days the force-worker Matteo Perego, member of the Defense Commission of the Chamber, has presented a bill (together with other members of Forza Italia) aimed at establishing the figure of the Veteran.

The above proposal defines the Veteran as the one who participated, for a long time, directly in an armed conflict. It is, therefore, a subject who has risked his life for his country, to defend his compatriots, to try to leave his children a better world. We are talking, therefore, of women and men who participate in high-risk operations and their effort, their work must be recognized.

In Italy, for reasons of political opportunity, information relating to (numerous) fights sustained in the various operating theaters, by our military, in the last twenty years, have been little publicized, as if it were considered a crime to fight the enemy.

As is known, national politicians (the only case of true transversality between the sides) have carried forward a narrative in which the figure of the Italian soldier was told (with great help from the media) as a peacekeeper, almost a missionary, completely sweetened by violent acts, even against bloodthirsty jihadist militiamen.

This law wants first of all to restore the dignity that those who have endangered their lives for our country deserve.

In fact, the bill, aims to establish and recognize the role of veteran for those awarded with military value rewards as per art. 1411 of Legislative Decree no. 66/2010; to those awarded with rewards for the value and merit of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Carabinieri Corps as per art. 1444 of Legislative Decree no. 66/2010; to victims of terrorism as per law no. 204 of 2006; to those who served in the Special Forces and Special Operations Forces (including departments that usually operate in support of special operations, Editor's note) for at least five years as well as to those who have served in the Armed Forces for at least ten years and have been employed in international missions, pursuant to Law no. 145 of 2016, for a minimum period of 18 months; provided they have not had State disciplinary measures, pursuant to Article 1357 of Legislative Decree no. 66 of 2010. The figure of Veteran is also recognized to the military, to the victims of duty, as per article 1, paragraphs 562 to 565 of the law of 23 December 2005, n. 266.

The time difference between special forces and the other departments is due to the unconventionality of the missions, carried out by our Co.FS operators, in various operational contexts (think of the recent mission First Parthica in Iraq, of the Task Strength 44, to fight the Islamic state).

It would be a fundamental recognition towards those who have assumed positions characterized by high operations and, therefore, rendered commendable service in the Armed Forces, facing situations of extreme importance for the country.

Just the operation is the discriminating factor to identify the figure of the Veteran, or to have been in an operating theater.

To this must be added that, by virtue of the considerable experience acquired directly in the field by Veterans, it is essential to provide, in our legal system, relief to incentivize companies to hire individuals who, through their experience, can certainly contribute to growth of the country system (100% tax relief is assumed, for employers, lasting 36 months)

In our opinion, the message that you want to pass is that, if you have served your country with honor, risking your life (or the concept of Sacrifice, now almost disappeared from Western Culture), the State is indebted to you, and therefore will help you to enter civil life.

The physical and psychological damages that many years of operational activity could cause are also recognized.

Veterans are guaranteed free medical-psychological rehabilitation assistance, by the National Health Service, as well as exemption from participation in the cost of services included in the essential levels of assistance.

In a country where false heroes are celebrated too many times, perhaps the time has come to recognize the right merit for those who served the community, at the risk of their own lives.

Photo: ministry of defense / ISAF / US Marine Corps