An extract on #veterans
This page refers to military veterans, i.e., a person who has served or is serving in the armed forces. Those veterans that have had direct exposure to acts of military conflict may also be referred to as war veterans (although not all military conflicts, or areas in which armed combat takes place, are necessarily referred to as wars).
Military veterans often receive special treatment in their respective countries due to the sacrifices they made during wars. Different countries handle this differently: some openly support veterans through government programs, while others ignore them. Veterans are also subject to illnesses directly related to their military service such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). War veterans are generally treated with great respect and honour for their contribution to the world and country by their own nationals. Conversely there are often negative feelings towards the veterans of foreign nations held long after the war is over; for example towards the German Nazi soldiers, yet they are no less veterans of war than those of the winning side. There are exceptions. Veterans of unpopular or lost conflicts may be discriminated against. Veterans of short or small conflicts are often forgotten when the country fought bigger conflicts. In some countries with strong anti-military traditions (e.g., Germany after 1945), veterans are neither honoured in any special way by the general public, nor have their dedicated Veterans Day, although events are sometimes orchestrated by minority groups.
Many countries have longstanding traditions, ceremonies, and holidays to honour their veterans. In the UK "Remembrance Day" is held on November the 11th and is focused mostly on the veterans who died in service to the monarch and country. A red or white poppy is worn on the lapel (for remembrance or for peace, respectively) in the weeks up to the date, and wreaths and flowers laid at memorials to the dead.
In Russia, a tradition was established after World War II where newly married couples would on their wedding day visit a military cemetery. In France, for instance, those wounded in war are given the first claim on any seat on public transit. Most countries have a holiday such as Veterans Day to honour their veterans, along with the war dead.
In Zimbabwe the term veteran is used for political purpose and may not actually refer to someone that participated in a war, but still feels entitled to some benefit because of association with a cause for which there had been an actual war.