Minister Vulin: Once a Member of the Armed Forces, always a Member of the Armed Forces
Today in the Central Military Club Minister of Defence Aleksandar Vulin and First Vice President of the Government and Minister of Interior Nebojša Stefanović met pensioners and members of the associations that cooperate with these two ministries. The topic of the meeting was further development and enhancement of cooperation.
According to the words of Minister Vulin, the Ministry of Defence did not divide its members into active and retired.
- Whoever was a member of the Serbian Armed Forces once, whoever was once in the Ministry of Defence, he remains so forever and we forever take care of him. Our system takes care of security of each citizen of our country, but it also pays attention to security and wellbeing of every our member. That is why the position of our pensioners is very important to us, just like the position of their families is important to us – the minister of defence said adding that the Ministry of Defence desired improving the conditions for their medical treatment and enabling them to resolve their housing issues.
He underlined that the Ministry of Defence would do everything to enable them feel that they were useful members of society in the end of their career because they certainly were.
- The Serbian Armed Forces pay attention to each of its members and they will continue acting that way. I wish to thank all the military pensioners for their immense understanding that they demonstrated for their state. Even when it was necessary to save, and when it was needed to sacrifice, and when it was needed to be by one’s country in the most difficult times – they did all that – the minister of defence stressed adding that the time was right for them to feel the betterment and for their financial status to improve. He concluded: “It is high time that the state expressed its gratitude for everything that you did for it.”
Minister Stefanović underscored that such talks enabled insight into problems faced by the people who retired from the security system.
- Today’s discussion with the retired members of the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Defence are a prof that the state perceives the system of defence as a whole, without artificial divisions. All these people, who dedicated their lives to the security of our country, need to be treated equally and respected equally.
He pointed out that retired military and police personnel could be to a large degree used to strengthen the security of our country.
- Their vast knowledge, experience, and energy can contribute to making Serbia more secure. We have already managed to do so by involving the retired members of the Ministry of Interior into school instruction. So now, along with active members of the Police, they teach the pupils of the fourth and sixth grades of primary school the subject named The Basis of Children’s Safety and through their rich experience, they help children gain their first knowledge on safety - Stefanović said, adding that he believed that the programme could be extended by starting the instruction at the first grade. The President of the Association of Military Pensioners of Serbia, Ljubomir Draganjac assessed that the gathering was rather useful, since it showed that the former members of the security system “were not discarded” and that the competent ministries thought about them and desired to offer assistance to them.
- The competent ministers promised that they would do everything in their power, and it is also important that they accepted almost every our initiative - Draganjac said pointing out that the competent ministries had showed great understanding for the problems faced by the associations of military and police pensioners.
The President of the Association of the retired members of the Ministry of Interior, Vladimir Aleksić highlighted that the meeting was yet another opportunity for a direct discussion with the ministers.
- They promised that, as until now, the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Defence would support the activities of their pensioners that were in the interest of the strategic goals of both ministries. Like it was the case until now, the pensioners will be conscientious and dedicated to the execution of their promises and fight for the interests of Serbia” Aleksić said. Today's meeting with the two ministers and representatives of the associations was attended by the State Secretary in the Ministry of Defence Aleksandar Živković, Chief of General Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces General Ljubiša Diković and Director of the Police Vladimir Rebić.
The meeting, organised upon the initiative of the two line ministries, was aimed at presenting the problems to the competent authorities that have been troubling the retired members of the security sector.
The representatives of the association of retired members of the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Defence pointed out that in the previous two years, numerous problems had been solved or were in some stage of solving, but that there were still many outstanding issues that were waiting their resolution. The interlocutors agreed in their evaluation that there was room for betterment of cooperation and the competent ministers gained a better insight into the current state and problems with which the retired members of the security sector were faced.