Written by Todd DePastino

VBC members and veteran honoring the memorial of the Croatian 110th Brigade

VBC members Becky Nyren and Andy Nigut, with USAF OED veteran Charlie Warner III, present a wreath in memory of the 109 members of the Croatian 110th Brigade killed in the Croatian War of Independence, 1991-1995. Becky is a Gold Star Wife whose husband Nate was killed in Iraq in 2004, Andy is a Vietnam Marine veteran wounded in 1968. (Courtesy Domoljubni.hr)

On Day Three of our Croatia summit with local veterans, the VBC made the digital front page of a couple Croatian newspapers, the Karlovacki and Domoljubni. The articles capture well the Croatian incentives for inviting us to their beautiful country (not so well the size and sway of the VBC in the United States). Below are highlights from each article, along with a photo gallery of our trip so far.

Karlovacki: ON THE OCCASION OF THE 33RD ANNIVERSARY OF THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE 110TH BRIGADE
Many associations, the mayor, the prefect and minister Tomo Medved paid tribute to the fallen members of the 110th brigade

This year’s commemoration of the anniversary of the Brigade that defended Karlovac is special because the Karlovac defenders hosted American war veterans, members of the Veterans Breakfast Club from Pittsburgh, the largest veterans’ association on the East Coast of the USA.

16 veterans are visiting Karlovac, some of whom participated in the Vietnam War, the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“The idea of ​​this collaboration with the American Veterans Breakfast Club (VBC) came from the Association, namely our members Slaven Vujnović and Charlie Warner. The VBC will be our guests until July 1 and participate with us in the entire program of the 33rd anniversary celebration. They were delighted with the welcome we prepared for them, and after getting to know each other, the conclusion is – all veterans are the same,” said the president of the 110th Brigade Association, Srđan Fot.

The cooperation between Karlovac and American veterans will continue, as the initiator Charles O. Warner III, a doctoral student at the Faculty of Leuven in Belgium, also a war veteran, believes.

“The sky is the limit. We have different ideas, but you should know that these veterans have never met, they speak different languages, so it is interesting how the cooperation will develop in the future,” said Warner.

Warner also gave a short lecture today about the research that is being carried out as part of his doctoral thesis specifically for the veteran population. A forum was held in the Edison Cinema on the care of the veteran population of the local and regional administration of the country, which was addressed by General Josip Lucić, director of the Veterans’ Centers of the Republic of Croatia.

“Since Tomo Medved was the Minister of Defense, significant steps have been taken for veterans, especially with the construction of four Veteran Centers through which 10,000 people will pass each year. We’ve launched programs to address the problems veterans face: they die earlier, not only war participants, but entire families are affected by that war trauma, so that their spouses also suffer and there are problems with their children,” he said. Lucić added that the Ministry directed activities towards prevention.

“We’re focused on prevention to save significant funds for the health system in order to eliminate severe forms of disease.”

General Lucić asserted that the topic of care in the veteran population is still very relevant 29 years after the war for several reasons.

“The veteran population has grown old and now all the legacy of war, cold, wounding, psychological trauma is strongly manifested, and today it is necessary to work so that part of the population can live with dignity.”

The President of the City Council Marin Svetić also greeted the gathered.

In the morning hours, a visit to the Museum of the Homeland War in Turnje was organized for American veterans, where they learned about the war journey of the 110th brigade, as well as the history of our city. The central event of the commemoration is tomorrow, June 28, because on that date in 1991, the 110th was founded with a tour of assembly points and the laying of wreaths and paying tribute to fallen veterans at the monument near the courthouse.

Srđan Fot announces that on Saturday there will be the 4th international boat rafting on the rivers Dobra and Kup, in which the largest number of boats, veterans and guests from all over Croatia, as well as Slovenia and the USA, will be taking part so far.

Domoljubni: Tributes to the fallen members of the 110th Brigade were paid by numerous associations, the mayor, the county and minister Tomo Medved

In commemoration of the 33rd anniversary of the founding of the 110th Brigade, representatives of numerous veterans’ associations led by the Association of Members of the 110th Brigade ZNG/HV today laid wreaths and lit candles at the memorial to the fallen Croatian defenders of the 4th River.

This is another one of the activities which these days marks the anniversary of the founding of the 110th Brigade, which was founded on this day in 1991. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Croatian Veterans Tomo Medved also laid a wreath.

“Today, after 33 years, I thank each and every one of those who defended the city of Karlovac, who made an extremely large contribution in the Homeland War. In a special way, always and on every occasion, we remember the 109 fallen members of the 110th Brigade, people who defended and defended the Republic of Croatia in the most difficult days of recent Croatian history, and for that we are immensely grateful. That’s why it is important to mark these anniversaries, the meeting of dear friends who are gathered today in the Association, keep the memory of that extremely demanding, difficult period, but are still available to each other today. As a minister, it is an exceptional honor for me to always meet with them, to analyze the projects they are designing, to support them in their daily activities, to be always available to them, together with them to recognize the most vulnerable among us, the people who are in need. I congratulate the Association on everything they are doing today,” Minister Medved said on this occasion.

Members of the Veterans Breakfast Club from Pittsburgh, who are guests of the 110th Brigade Association these days, also paid tribute to the fallen veterans. Minister Medved welcomes the creation of friendly relations with veterans from other countries. He emphasized that this is also a form of good cooperation that Croatia has cultivated with the USA in all fields.

The commemoration ends tomorrow with the rafting of the 110th brigade – “Four Rivers”, this time the boat descent will be on the Dobra and Kup, from Grdun to Gaza.

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