Benefits for war veterans are rather symbolic than real

 21. 07. 2020      category: Army of the Czech Republic

Disappointment and bitterness, such are feelings of many Czech war veterans about the offer of benefits for this group of people in general. For example, the Facebook group War Veterans of the Czech Republic brings regularly a number of responses from our veterans regarding specific benefits, but you would hardly find a few positive responses here. Therefore, what is the real situation regarding bonuses and benefits for war veterans?

“I have tried to find out what benefits I can use on the basis of the foil pressed card and believe me that I was even surprised by the flood of discounts and benefits for WVs in the Mother of Hundred Towers. There are about two. Botanical Garden and Zoo. Nothing else. Not even a discount on transport, or for Czech Railways, a state-owned enterprise. NOTHING,” states, for instance, one of the commentators. The others agree with him and point out at the sad situation. What is the real situation?

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Picture: For example, the Facebook group War Veterans of the Czech Republic brings regularly a number of responses from our veterans regarding specific benefits. | FB skupina Váleční veteráni ČR

If we look at the websites benefity-veterani.cz we will find 120 discounts and benefits offered mainly by private companies and the advantage usually lies in discounts in the range of 5 % - 15 %. For example, the already mentioned Prague Botanical Garden and Prague Zoo provide a 10% discount for veterans when both the card holder and one accompanying person receive the discount. Some benefits are interesting. However, these are usual benefits that can be obtained without a war veteran card. It is certainly good to have at least some discount, but many discounts act more like free advertising on websites operated by Volareza, or the Ministry of Defence. 

If we examine the offer of discounts provided directly by the Ministry of Defence, we will find the reimbursement for spa care, a contribution of up to 6,0000 CZK for recreation, an offer of preventive medical examinations or placing a veteran in a home care for war veterans. Taking advantage of the recreation and spa is then expected in selected Volareza facilities.  

It is obvious from the above that our veterans deserve more interesting benefits and discounts. One cannot escape the impression that many businessmen who provide benefits on the website are advertising free of charge for themselves, rather than a real significant bonus and a symbol of recognition for the service of our war veterans. 

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Picture: Our veterans would certainly deserve a more sophisticated benefit system and, although some efforts to support our veterans are visible, the Czech Republic is just at the beginning compared to abroad (illustrative photo) | army.cz

Veterans would certainly like, for example, the widespread negotiation of bonuses in the form of reduced fares in public transport by road or rail vehicles, but also, for example, in the cable railway, water transport, etc. In some cities, these bonuses already exist thanks to the city management, which is a proof that it works. 

As I wrote above, our veterans would certainly deserve a more sophisticated benefit system and, although some efforts to support our veterans are visible, the Czech Republic is just at the beginning compared to abroad.

 Author: Martin Šiška