Ilves bought a liver leaf badge to support veterans

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Photo: Peeter Langovits / Postimees

The President, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, has joined the Salute Them charity campaign, which was launched today, by purchasing liver leaf badges for himself and his family from members of the Women's Home Defence to support the veterans of the Defence Forces and the Defence league and their next of kin.

There are approximately 2,500 men and women in Estonia who have contributed to strengthening the security of our state in international operations or have been wounded while serving in the Defence Forces or taking part in military training organised by the Defence League.

President Ilves has repeatedly emphasised that, be they on foreign missions or at home, no one will be left behind on the battlefield in Estonia, where young men and women must learn to live again after being severely wounded in action or learn to cope with post-mission stress. Members of the Defence Forces can rest ensured that should something happen to them, the state will not forget about them and their next of kin.

On Estonia's first Veteran's Day, 23 April last year, liver leaf, which was chosen as a support symbol for veterans, was introduced for the first time. Every liver leaf badge represents unique handicraft, made by people with mental and psychological special needs all over Estonia, and mediated by Foundation Hea Hoog.

For a period of two weeks, starting on 14 April, districts of the Defence League and volunteers of the Women's Home Defence, Selver stores throughout Estonia and selected sales offices of Tallinn Airport will be selling the liver leaf badges.

By selling the blue flowers, the Estonian Association of Wounded Soldiers is collecting donations for the Clinic of Medic Rehabilitation of East-Tallinn Central Hospital, which is to open a post-amputation rehabilitation centre this year, and the donations will be used to purcahse walking aid equipment for both wounded veterans and other patients of the clinic.

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