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How did your career in the Defence Forces begin and what prompted you to join?
I joined the Defence League in 2004. In 2005 we received an invitation to a mission group that was being assembled for going to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The inspiration itself for joining the Defence League came from my friends. I had heard that they do a lot of good and exciting things so I did not consider this decision for long.
When and where was your first mission?
2006-2007 in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was a peacekeeping mission.
What were your duties on the mission and what did your daily activities mostly consist of?
We checked vehicles and people entering the base at the gate, checking surveillance cameras, patrolling the outer and inner perimeter.
What was the biggest challenge while you were on the mission?
Getting accustomed to the routine. The days consisted of going to work, eating, sleeping, taking dirty laundry to and from the laundromat, lounging, watching a movie, and exercising. It seems like a wonderful life with no daily worries as everything is planned in advance. Sometimes I got out of the base as well, but it was more of a luxury than a daily activity. We lived in a fenced off area. You could only leave the base if you were given permission to do so. And of course also homesickness.
Who was left waiting at home and how often was it possible to communicate with your loved ones?
Love, parents, sisters and brothers waited at home. We could communicate quite often via Skype. What was the main takeaway from the mission experience? Appreciate what we have. Be happy and enjoy the little things!
Why is wearing the Blue Hepatica important?
The fact that the soldiers of our country go on foreign missions and thus put their lives in danger is worthy of bowing down to. Some people say they don’t want to support veterans because they are fighting in someone else’s war so it is their own business. I don’t think that way. This is a joint cooperation of several countries and you never know when we might need someone’s help and support. The small act of buying myself a blue Hepatica pin to support the veterans of my country, is not comparable to the effort that these soldiers have put in for Estonia. I’ve been on a mission, I’m donating money, but someone has lost their loved one, their legs, their life in war – because at one point they decided to go out as an Estonian soldier for the Estonian country, for all of us. Of course I am willing to support.
And I’m proud of our people wearing the blue hepatica pin!
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