Military Solidarity Fund provides 10.5 million aid to soldiers |

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Military Solidarity Fund provides 10.5 million aid to soldiers

Military Solidarity Fund provides 10.5 million aid to soldiers

Last year the Military Solidarity Fund provided aid of almost 10.5 million crowns mainly delivered to the families of three Czech soldiers fallen in Afghanistan and soldiers stricken with serious illness, the fund's committee chairwoman Lenka Smerdova said at a press conference.

The idea of starting the Military Solidarity Fund appeared in 2015 after five Czech soldiers were killed in Afghanistan. Its goal is to support soldiers and their families in difficult life circumstances.

Smerdova said the aid provided to soldiers according to laws and regulations is often not enough and we must look for other ways of supporting them.

For example last year, the fund provided aid to the family of a female Military Police officer following her tragic death. The fund paid for three months of nanny services to help her three children and partner.

The fund also provided one-off financial aid to the family of a military intelligence service member suffering a serious illness, financed the medical and hygienic supplies for a Military Medical Agency member's daughter suffering a long-term illness and supported the family of a 22nd Helicopter Air Base member by paying for five months of their mortgage after his death in a car accident shortly after returning from an Afghanistan mission.

The fund was able to help six soldiers and their families with a sum of 444,000 crowns.

Through the fund, the public also helped the families of three soldiers killed by a suicide bomber attack in Afghanistan a year ago. The donations reached a sum of more than ten million crowns.

More than 13,500 people donated to the fund last year and it has more than 500 regular donors.

Money for the fund is also collected by the organisers of various events like the Sparta pays honours event organised by the Sparta Praha hockey club in support of soldiers, policemen and firefighters.

Donations of more than 900,000 crowns were also collected during the Veterans Day when people donate by symbolically buying remembrance poppy plants. By the end of July, the fund's account balance reached almost 11 million crowns.

Smerdova says it is good for the fund to have some money in reserve so it can provide help immediately if needed. She also pointed out that there are about 25,000 service members involved in the armed forces branches supported by the fund.

Since the fund's beginning, people have donated more than 21 million crowns.

The fund wants to present itself to the public with a new logo and visual identity formed by small photographs of real-life soldiers, using its new motto of We can help thanks to you.

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