SIR;- Your item on the rollout of ID cards to veterans giving them speedy access to health, housing, and charitable organisations highlights how successive governments have failed our British Armed Forces veterans.
Certainly 70,000 cards have been sent out to personnel who have left Service since 2018, and soon veterans prior to that date “will be able to apply” for a card. Why should it be necessary to raise an application for the ID card when it should be given to them automatically?
I have spent considerable time in the USA where their veterans are honoured at every turn by both civilians and government. Many commercial organisations offer veterans’ discounts, on certain anniversaries fast-food chains do not charge for the food, the US Government has a Department for Veterans Affairs, and the VA provide a range of benefit to retired Service personnel.
Respect is shown in many ways for example, in airports, serving members of the Forces in uniform and veterans are invited to board aircraft with first-class passengers. I was present when a British WW2 veteran was similarly boarded.
Here in the UK the respect for our veterans is shown without reservation by the civilian sector, but the government must be prepared to meet the cost of repaying those who were prepared to put them in harm’s way and perhaps still carry the scars.
- Robert Hanson