Under the Armed Forces Covenant, signed by every single local authority, veterans are supposed to have “priority” when it comes to affordable housing and health care, but all to often this does not happen.
The Government does not even keep a record of how many military heroes are on the streets, but estimates taken from charities Shelter and Crisis shows almost 8,000 are currently homeless.
More than 1,000 Northern Ireland war veterans gathered outside parliament and roundly cheered as Mr Hookem MEP pledged his support for Express.co.uk’s Homes for Heroes campaign, designed to force the Government to fulfil its duty to our brave veterans.
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Sections of the crowd also branded Jeremy Corbyn a “traitor” for his close ties to the IRA – in 2015 if was revealed the Labour leader had, for seven years running, attended and spoke at official republican commemorations to honour dead IRA terrorists, IRA “prisoners of war” and the active “soldiers of the IRA”.
Mr Hookem said: “Instead of being lauded as heroes, veterans are thrown to the wolves.
“Agencies are choosing to not implement the rights of veterans even to them by the Armed Forces Covenant.
“It’s a disgrace."
Homes for Heroes will get better housing and mental health care for brave military heroes
He issued a defiant statement to the relatives of armed forces heroes, saying: "I will make a promise to veterans’ families. I will not rest until veterans are off the streets, until the Armed Forces and Community Covenants are made fit for purpose and implemented across the nation and veterans are no longer persecuted for defending the realm.”
As part of the campaign to highlight the plight of British veterans, Mr Hookem and reporter Patrick Christys will be sleeping on the streets of London, Manchester and Birmingham in March alongside homeless ex-forces personnel.
Veterans are also up in arms over the Government’s decision to retrospectively prosecute former soldiers for alleged crimes committed in the line of active duty – with Marine A, Royal Marine Sergeant Alexander Blackman, being the prime example.
He was sentenced to life in prison for the shooting of an Afghan terrorist and is set to spend a minimum of 10 years behind bars.
Falklands War in pictures Fri, September 9, 2016
The Falklands War, also known as the Falklands Conflict, Falklands Crisis, and the Guerra del Atlántico Sur, was a ten-week war between Argentina and the United Kingdom, 2 April – 14 June 1982.
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Rare photograph showing an explosion on a war ship during the Falklands War in 1982
Dennis Hutchings, 75, was woken up by police and carted off to Northern Ireland to face attempted murder charges relating to the shooting of a man he believed to have been an IRA terrorist more than 40 years ago.
He told Express.co.uk: “It’s not just about me. There are hundreds of ex-soldiers being investigated.”
There are almost 8,000 homeless military veterans on Britain's streets
A Government spokesperson said: “The Government is wholly committed to finding a lawful, fair, balanced and proportionate way forward for legacy issues in Northern Ireland. We are also very mindful of the fact that some 90 per cent of all deaths in the troubles were caused by terrorists.
"Without new bodies to address the legacy of the past, murders by terrorists won’t be investigated any time soon and victims, including families of brave serviceman killed, are less likely to see justice.”
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