New research conducted by Defence Discount Service has revealed that nearly four in five (75%) veterans feel they are not sufficiently recognised or rewarded by society for their service, despite many sacrificing key family events.

The study, which surveyed 11,500 veterans in the UK, found that while in service, 40% had missed key life events such as Christmas, anniversaries, weddings, funerals and even the birth of their own children.

Over a third (37%) of veterans agreed that now they have left the military, spending time with family is helping to make up for lost time. Half said that they are closer to their grandchildren than their children as they are able to spend more time with them.

Joining the military is a life-defining decision and one not to be made lightly, with those choosing the career often having to accept that it will have an impact on them and their families. Despite missing key life events, 34% of respondents still stated that although they found it difficult, they were proud to serve their country.

Since leaving the service, veterans expressed how they have made up for lost time and what they now enjoy doing with their free time such as going on holiday (74%), gardening (43%) and spending quality time with their pet (28%).

Simon Weston CBE knows first-hand the family impact of military service, having grown up with parents in the Royal Air Force and serving with the Welsh Guards during the Falklands War. Simon said: “I’m immensely proud to have served for my country. But it undoubtedly came with many sacrifices.

“When I spend time with my children and grandchildren today, I can’t help but reflect on family times lost through the years, but it means that I appreciate the time we have together now, even more. It’s so important that our veterans are recognised, acknowledged and supported with their integration back to civilian and family life, because I know how difficult it can be.”

Adding to this, Rachel Ramsay, director of marketing at Defence Discount Service, said: “All of us at Defence Discount Service deeply appreciate the dedicated service of veterans in the UK, acknowledging the sacrifices they make, often missing out on key life milestones while serving. The commitment and hard work demonstrated by these individuals contributes immeasurably to the safety of our country.

“Our discount service is not just about providing savings; it’s a heartfelt gesture of gratitude, recognising and honouring the sacrifices made by veterans, as highlighted in this report. We look forward to continuing to work closely with the MoD to provide financial relief for veterans in the UK.”

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