Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

The Isle of Man proposes to back military covenant

Photo: Ministry of Defence. British troops preparing for Operation Tor Shezada in Afghanistan (2010)
Image caption The Isle of Man government is poised to enshrine the covenant in law

The Isle of Man government is planning to give its backing to a military covenant to help ex-services personnel.

It sets out practical ways to support former soldiers when they leave the forces and return to the island.

The covenant states "those serving should face no disadvantage compared to other citizens in the provision of public and commercial services".

Home Affairs Minister Juan Watterson said a consultation had been launched to gauge public opinion.

He added: "The proposals will link together the help offered by front-line organisations and that of the government to improve our commitment to service personnel.

"It basically means that you are a serving soldier, sailor or airman, you would be able to access Isle of Man government services in exactly the same way as you could if you were living here."

'Remove barriers'

It is estimated there are more than 200 people from the Isle of Man serving in the regular armed forces and about 65 in the reserves.

Charles Wilson, from the Royal British Legion, said he welcomed the plans and looked forward to hearing the public response.

"This is a firm undertaking by the Manx government to look after our military personnel and it will help remove some of the barriers faced by returning service men and women," he said.

"Life can be difficult and re-socialisation can be tricky. Some people suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and if we get a case like this in the Isle of Man this covenant would make sure we can deal with it efficiently."

The public consultation on the military covenant is available online.

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