Estonian Ministry of Defence
Tallinn, 6 August 2012 – The Minister of Defence greeted veterans returning from a cycling camp in Germany at a reception held by the Embassy of the United States of America in Tallinn.
Together with the Estonian mission soldiers returning from the cycling tour, the Minister of Defence delighted in the successful sporting event and complimented the continued can-do spirit of the wounded members of the Estonian Defence Forces. “Our soldiers have made great personal sacrifices in order to ensure the security shared by us all and to protect our values. The duty and priority of the Estonian nation is to provide our soldiers with support in every way possible and to ensure that their return to daily life post-mission is as smooth as possible,” said Reinsalu at the reception given by Lieutenant Colonel Darren Smith, United States Defence Attaché. The Minister of Defence also thanked Americans for their help and support in organising the rehabilitation of wounded soldiers and emphasised the importance of good cooperation between the allies.
In addition to the Minister of Defence, the veterans were greeted also by Brigadier General Riho Terras, Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces. The objective of the reception held under the leadership of Lieutenant Colonel Darren Smith, United States Defence Attaché, was to express appreciation for the cooperation between the Military Support Centre of the Estonian Defence Forces and the Office of Defence Cooperation of the Embassy of the United States on the rehabilitation of the wounded.
The organiser of the cycling camp for the wounded soldiers from the Estonian side, Andres Siplane, Head of the Military Support Centre of the Estonian Defence Forces, emphasised that the most important thing is to encourage wounded soldiers to live full lives. “Estonian soldiers are strong spirits, they will not stand for pity but seek out new challenges in life. Thanks to our relationships with our allies, the other NATO countries, we have been able to offer yet another opportunity and idea for taking pleasure in life,” Siplane said.
Along with 50 other wounded soldiers from NATO’s armed forces, the seven members of the Estonian Defence Forces who attended the five-day cycling camp got a chance to visit various areas of Frankfurt on the Main by bike. The cycling camp was organised by the United States non-profit organisation Wounded Warrior Project and the Military Support Centre of the Estonian Defence Forces.
Veterans return from cycling tour