Ministry of Defence
Tallinn, 3 August 2012 – Today, Minister of Defence Urmas Reinsalu attended Estonia’s first reunion of military servicemen and reservists who have been on missions abroad.
At the event held at Kõue Manor, the Minister of Defence stressed that it is important for the Estonian nation to show its appreciation for every veteran. “It is our task to remember every person who has chosen for their vocation the protection of our freedom. The nation and society of Estonia have to ensure that those returning from battle are treated with attention, care und understanding daily and that no one is left to fend for themselves,” Reinsalu said.
According to Minister of Defence Reinsalu, there are plans under the leadership of the Ministry of Defence to adopt a national policy on veterans before the year is out, with the objective of providing social recognition and professional support. On the one hand, the policy will aim to recognise veterans as a community; on the other, it will aim to support those needing help in the best manner, involving to this end experts from a variety of areas.
Attendees at the event were also addressed by Brigadier General Riho Terras.
The main organisers of the reunion were members of the Estonian Reserve Officers' Association and Kõue Manor. According to Captain Lauri Kurvits, a spokesperson for the organisers, holding an event like this is the least that can be done for men who have been on missions. “In fact, similar events are organised by all countries whose units take part in missions. Today’s reunion is animated by the idea that contact needs to be maintained with all veterans, who need to be helped to organise themselves into a cohesive organisation,” Kurvits said.
Assistance for organising the reunion of military servicemen and reservists was provided by the Logistics Centre of the Estonian Defence Forces and the National Defence League. Estonia’s armed forces have participated in international military missions since 1995, and, to date, approximately 2,300 people have taken part in operations abroad; of these, more than 300 attended today’s reunion.
Reinsalu: Estonian nation takes responsibility and care