Eritrean Veterans The path to Calm

06/05/2018 17:05 PM

Eritrean Veterans
The path to Calm

by Kiki Tzeggai

Plan B

Eritrean Veterans The path to Calm

Calmness requires optimism and faith in the set goal. Our Veterans had optimism because of the motivation that sent them to war. They could see through the thick fog of all problems surrounding them. Our Veterans were constantly fighting against all odds while trying to place a free Eritrea in the world’s map.

They had faith in their people and showed us the way not to lose ourselves in the turmoil of war. They persisted through all obstacles that stood on the way to free Eritrea from the oppression of occupation. Their calmness made us reap the rewards of their state of tranquility, gave us back life and asked us to be mindful. To be mindful means that we need to be focused on the moment step-by-step. It means leaving regrets behind, it means redirecting our minds away from some current noises surrounding us and asking us to consider going back to a so called “Federation” hoary agenda. Our Veterans always ask us to be present in the moment. Because the moment is where we will find answers and solve our lives’ problems. Learning from our Veterans’ past success in defeating a powerful enemy make us learn to be calm under pressure, under anxiety and worry. This calm approach we learn from our Veterans will lead us to a better and higher productivity. It will provide a sense of control over events and emotional circumstances. We can improve focusing on the right thing to do and do it the right way by communicating better among ourselves and reach emotional-free decisions.

I want to believe that each morning – for the last 40 + years- we, Eritreans, try to focus on the reasons around us that make us feel grateful for existing and being alive. I look forward to the daily good morning calls from my grandsons. Then I drive on the Capital Beltway and think about how to be useful to my country’s Veterans. I am from Eritrea and Eritrean Veterans are dispersed all over the world and no one knows them as such. The reason being is that there is no day called Eritrean Veterans’ Day created by our government. Also because most of my country’s Veterans are not united. Some in the 2 main groups (ELF and EPLF) live an utopia that one day they might go back and rule Eritrea. If the latter will not happen, they choose to live as two separate groups blaming each other. Some have become the source of disagreement among Eritreans in the diaspora.

I refuse to be involved in politics and try to be what my country expects me to be, a good citizen! One raised in a culture where people were united and expected so much from our Veterans and could not survive occupation by the giant country on the South, Ethiopia, if it was not for our Veterans.

Some of my country’s Veterans suffer of PTSD and struggle with alcoholism. The solution would be to create steady jobs, provide education and a retirement fund. But above all, they need to know that their people did not forget them despite the length of our journey from our struggle to independence and to this confusing present. Fear needs to be eliminated from their minds and respect to replace it. Some of my country’s Veterans did not become homeless by choice, they could not suppress fear and deception of being forgotten by all. Their life crumbled after so much waiting for recognition and the profound wish that is their birth right: to feel their land beneath their feet. A majority of our Veterans lives in the diaspora and they witness the very people they liberated from occupation running away from independent Eritrea and going through minefields to look for a future. They see Eritrean families dig through dumpsters to provide food for their families. Our Veterans understood before any of us that food security is national security.

The land of Eritrea is fertile and needs a young generation of farmers, and returning Veterans need meaningful jobs. On top of all this, our Veterans are the best placed people in leading the way with skills they have learned in the war fields. Our Veterans have skills of strategic thinking, risks assessment, handling heavy equipment, working odd hours…all this could complement their lives and make them transition from a military life to a civilian career life in agriculture, academic, or/and becoming business owners. All this is a cathartic change for our Veterans. But how to make it real if we – their people – do not show any degree of gratitude?

Shifting from soldier’s life to a civilian life is full of challenges. Eritrean Veterans after living a culture of destruction and death need a government that creates life. This takes money, and a boost of will from the leaders. A system that gives benefits to our handicapped Veterans. A stability to allow them to blend in the community and supplement a budget to survive.

Our Veterans’ income should be perfected with a vision to challenge the system, because our Veterans defied superpowers; when the world around them smiled and shrug their beliefs, our Veterans dared to dream and dared to achieve. Then surrendered freedom to us, their people. It is our turn to cherish the dream and show gratitude. We should see beyond any government’s department and challenge individuals that leaves off the need of creating an Eritrean Veterans’ Day. Eritreans are known to work hard and sponsor the needs of our families. What we should never forget is that each Veteran is a member of this family composed of 6 million people.

Part of our gold mines in Bisha and our agriculture’s incomes should provide a saving account to pay schooling for our Veterans’ children. We – Eritreans- know how to get a job done, no matter how long it takes. Diverting from the focus of giving back to our Veterans is a moral crime. Our Veterans inspired us and still do. We need to make our Veterans see themselves in a broader world.

All we wish to one another is to see Eritrea becoming a society free of insecurity and for Eritreans to believe in a people’s chosen government. It all start with gratitude towards our own Veterans, in believing to give back and creating an Eritrean Veterans’ Day.

Kiki Tzeggai
May 03, 2018

"Of all the forces that make for a better world, none is so powerful as hope. With hope, one can think, one can work, one can dream. If you have hope, you have everything."

" Peace is a wall we will all create by building it brick-by-brick together". (Trade mark)

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ckdu - Voice of Eritrea (Naz Yemane programme)
Eritrean Veterans Day team Interview
መዓልቲ ሓርበኛታት ኤርትራ ንምዝካር ዕላል ምስ መስረትቲ ኣባላት
(12 June 2016) (p1)

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