|When the war is over...|
The interests of ex-service men and women and reservists need to be championed by a dedicated Minister for Veterans' Affairs – a model that has worked in the USA. Such a post could work to ensure that veterans with service-related conditions are entitled to priority treatment, with those who have lost limbs being ensured access to state-of-the-art prosthetics and after care. Plaid Cymru MP's in Westminster were the first to actively raise and discuss the needs of ex-veterans back in 2010. Plaid Cymru previously asked for a Minister in the Cabinet Office to take responsibility for ex-veterans, a Minister for Veterans' Affairs. Such a Minister could also have responsibility for helping former service personnel to adjust to civilian life and ensure that they have access the assistance they need with health, housing and employment. The Scottish government has worked hard to improve the support that veterans receive from devolved public services such as the NHS and other agencies and recently created a commissioner for veterans. Veterans and reservists in our country may be better served by a dedicated Minister of Veterans Affairs to similarly work to ensure that our veterans get a fair deal after finishing their military service. A veterans Minster could also help to ensure that reservists, who are now being expected to play a much wider role in the future, after the current restructure of the armed forces, don’t lose out and are not discriminated against by employers as a result of fulfilling their duties.