Veterans are generally against the war

Recognition for soldiers : Ten million Germans are now veterans

In Germany there are now officially veterans, from now on - and ten million of them. After years of dispute, the Federal Ministry of Defense, the Federal Armed Forces Association and the Reservists Association have agreed on a common definition, as reported by "Bild am Sonntag". According to this, a veteran is someone who is either an active soldier or has served in the Bundeswehr and has not been dishonorably dismissed. The designation is therefore not linked to length of service or function within the Bundeswehr. A foreign assignment is also not a requirement, as it was said.

Federal Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen (CDU) said: “All veterans have one thing in common, whether they have served in foreign missions, in the Cold War or in basic operations, that they have campaigned for peace and freedom in our country in the uniform of the Bundeswehr. For this they deserve a lifetime of respect and recognition, ”said the minister. It is still unclear how the veterans will be honored in concrete terms.

The message was recorded differently. CDU defense expert Henning Otte told Tagesspiegel that the veterans question had been unanswered for far too long: "The service of the Bundeswehr for our country deserves more recognition."

The Defense Commissioner of the Bundestag, Hans-Peter Bartels, welcomed the fact that the terminology for German usage "has now been clarified". A veteran's badge can also be a source of identity and useful for the active Bundeswehr. Bartels also added: Of course, this is "none of the really important problems of today's shortage Bundeswehr".

Criticism by the Greens points in the same direction. "Raider is now called Twixx", etched defense expert Tobias Lindner: "Apparently Ursula von der Leyen has decided on a definition that replaces the term reservist with veteran." Lindner called it questionable, "whether the mere renaming of former members of the Bundeswehr really solves the problems of soldiers, some of whom also have to cope with the long-term consequences of missions abroad ” Especially when it comes to caring for this group of people, “the minister could have done more long ago”.

Left-wing defense expert Alexander Neu recalled that everyone working in Germany is doing a service for the German community: "Service to people - care for the elderly, education, health - for example, receives far too little reputational and financial appreciation."

The chairman of the Federal Armed Forces Association, André Wüstner, who welcomed the agreement in principle, said that more important than a veteran's badge, for example, are better care such as family therapies for disabled people and more appreciation. "A good sign would be that Germany will soon host the Invictus Games, the Paralympics for veterans."

The then Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere (CDU) started the discussion about the term veteran in 2012. In the 2013 coalition agreement, the federal government committed itself to accepting responsibility for veterans - but without saying exactly what and who it meant by that.

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