BUENOS AIRES – Argentine former soldiers who participated in the 1982 Falklands War but remained in Argentina gathered Wednesday in front of the Defense Ministry in this capital to ask that they be recognized as war veterans and receive the honors garnered by soldiers who fought in the islands.
Under the slogan “Never again an April 2 without identity,” referring to the day on which Falklands veterans and war dead are remembered, the members of the TOAS Plaza de Mayo Camp Civilian Association demanded that the government of Mauricio Macri recognize their participation in the armed conflict, the organization’s president, Tulio Fraboschi, told EFE.
The soldiers demanding recognition as war veterans were never deployed to the archipelago but they served on air bases in the southern Argentine cities of Trelew, Comodoro Rivadavia and Rio Gallegos, from where warplanes departed to attack the British fleet in the Falklands, organization member Carlos Alfredo Sabina said.
The TOAS president emphasized that the ex-soldiers want to receive the medal the Argentine congress awards to war veterans, along with other honors that, in their judgment, the state has “owed” them for the 35 years since Britain rather handily won the war over sovereignty of the islands.
He said that so far 22,000 Argentine soldiers have been honored for their participation in the war, but another 10,000 are still waiting for that recognition, having carried out military duties on the coast of Patagonia.
The Falklands archipelago, along with the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands, located in the far South Atlantic, have remained in British hands since 1833.