Veterans protect us putting their lives and health on the line and pay the cost in form of post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, disabilities, chronic pain, and often – disrespect. How veterans are taken care of after the combat is over is the real military face of the country. Many of the veterans serve because of patriotism, and since they don’t happen to shop around for the best country to serve for, any hint on competition must be removed from the comparison of how veterans are treated in different countries. Political forces willing to protect their fellow veterans can use the power of internet community and achieve impact through a website built on political themes. Let’s focus more on the human value side of the question though. So, how it is to be a veteran in different countries?
The United States is considered the country granting the best treatment for its veterans. You may even find the definition of veterans being the best citizens in the US, which is quite subjective and speculative, of course. Firemen are said to be held in higher regard since they are same brave but don’t kill anybody.
The States weren’t the first to honor their veterans with tombs of the unknown. They were European countries. The country celebrates the Veterans Day (Armistice Day in other countries), which is on the 11 of November, with parades, commemorative events, and shopping deals. Veterans in the U.S. have disability pensions, employment program, VA health care program and lots of benefits including home loan, burial and educational privileges (btw, the U.S. is the only country providing all of its veterans with up to 3 years of educational benefits). Recently, the government legalized medical marijuana for treating PTSD and pains in veterans as a less harmful alternative to opioids. This decision is based on studies that proved a considerable improvement after several months of cannabis consumption.
As of now, Britain boasts the highest density of veterans (219 veterans per 1,000 citizens). The treatment of veterans was strategically reconsidered after the WWI with the launch of an innovative employment program for disabled veterans called The King’s National Roll Scheme. The country honors its veterans with 40 million poppies symbolizing those who laid their lives protecting the UK and splits celebration into 2 days: the Remembrance Day (the second Sunday of November) and the Armistice Day (November, 11).
In Australia, the majority of veterans alive today are WWII veterans followed by Vietnam veterans and those who participated in Indonesian Confrontation, Malayan Emergency, and the Korean War. Since 1999, Australian military personnel has served in Afghanistan, Iraq, and East Timor. The main issue Australian veterans are suffering from is that most of the nation is in the dark about their soldiers’ deployment overseas. The public doesn’t identify young soldiers as veterans, and the soldiers have the same identification issue themselves.
Similar to the U.S., Australia and the UK, Canada provides its veterans with employment and job finding services, professional training, and one-on-one support. Its veterans get disability rewards, health benefits, rehabilitation services; however, where Canada should take an example of other countries is advising on assistance with housing and financial counseling.
Russia venerates its veterans though in a quite unique way. It worships its veterans of the “Great Patriotic War” (Russian name for its sufferings in the WWII) and neglects fellow countrymen who fought in Afghanistan or Chechnya. Only soldiers that have been wounded or partially disabled in Afghanistan were granted the status of (surprise!) the Disabled Veteran of the Great Patriotic War. Others were unjustly treated as ex-service personnel. The Russian Federation didn’t acknowledge their role in the Afghan war similarly to how it renounces its veterans of the hybrid “Ukraine War” now. Since Kremlin officially refuses to acknowledge the role of Russian soldiers in the conflict, they get neither pensions nor honor. The only benefit soldiers disabled in Ukrainian conflict can get is the status of an invalid.