‘The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise from the nation that those who serve or have served in the armed forces, and their families, are treated fairly.’
There are numerous examples where veterans have been let down by the state; from malicious investigations of alleged and unsubstantiated war crimes to veterans rough sleeping on our streets. We can piss and moan about this, or we can address this as a community and come together to try to affect change.
There is a long list of businesses and other actors who have signed up to the covenant. As the covenant is not legally binding, there is nobody to hold them to task and ensure they are fulfilling their promises. It could, therefore, be merely a publicity stunt to raise a profile. What I propose here is for veterans to check whether or not their company is signed-up to the covenant. Find out if they have a ‘Covenant Champion’. Ask, ‘how do we fulfil our promise?’. These questions should be easy to answer; if the answers are not forthcoming, why not offer yourself up to be the ‘Covenant Champion’ of your business.
The Covenant has fallen out of fashion. We are no longer on a war footing. Repatriation ceremonies are, thankfully, few and far between. Veterans can often be forgotten about by Joe Public. It may be that businesses have simply forgotten that they have signed up. It is up to the armed forces community to remind the public that we are still here. We are not demanding special treatment. We just want a fair crack of the whip, as promised the covenant.