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Veterans´ stories

Veteran Tõnu Nurk

10.03.2023

Veteran Tõnu Nurk, an active member of the Defence League, brought valuable experience with him – he has participated in five missions in Afghanistan and one mission in Iraq.
How did your career in the Defence Forces begin?
I finished my military service in the spring of 2008, from then on many of my group mates went to the Scouts Battalion to go on a mission. Since the camaraderie was strong, I also joined the Scouts Battalion and in November of the same year I went on my first mission to Afghanistan.
What has your mission experience been like and what was the biggest challenge?
I have now had a total of six mission experiences and they have all been different in one way or another. There have always been some not-so-good days among them, but looking back, they have been rather positive experiences. When I was on my first mission in Afghanistan, I set a goal to participate in a total of ten missions, some are still missing. The biggest challenge has been being away from family.
What important has the mission experience given you or taught you in your future life?
For me, the mission and the Defense Forces experience in general have given me more self-control and the understanding in life that not everything happens immediately. On the practical side, for example, how to pack things in a bag so that they actually fit. At this point, a big hello to the commander of my half squad leader. In addition, the missions have provided a lot of military and leadership experience and, for example, how to communicate with different people. Certainly also how to cope in stressful situations and how to give first aid. There are actually more of these things that I use on a daily basis.
What is your relationship with the defense forces today?
I am an active member of the Järva dictrict of the Defense League.
What do you think or feel when you see people wearing Blue Hepatica pins? It still makes you feel good that people really care, show support and know the meaning of the Blue Hepatica!

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