There should be no A or B League victims among those who lost their lives for our nation and for the Republic. There should be one sole status for all our soldiers who died in service, wars, during bombings and in peacekeeping missions, or simply on duty, even if accidentally. This is what their relatives ask from the State. They reunited in the Onlus “Mario Frasca”, founded in 2012 and presided over by Father Antonio; secretary is Vincenzo, brother of the Italian soldier who died in Afghanistan on September 23, 2011, together with Riccardo Bucci and Massimo Di Legge. In the last few days, a delegation visited the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella and promoted a demonstration in front of the Parliament, on Feb. 25, to ask the same recognition for the “victims of terrorism in peacekeeping missions abroad,” with an amendment to the current legislation which, in the laws n. 206/2004 and n. 246/2006, distinguishes between “victims of terrorism” and “victims of duty and service.”
“On the website of the Ministry of Defense, the 177 victims who have died since 1950 are listed all together. The law, however, makes difference and divides them into categories, reserving them a different treatment,” explains Vincenzo Frasca. “The victims of duty” are not entitled to a State funeral, honors such as the Gold Medal of Military Valor, nor to compensation for their parents and siblings, as it happens in the case of the “victims of terrorism”, but only for their wife and children. An insult to the equal treatment and recognition of the Italian soldiers who serve the nation and defend peace.
“We demand equal recognition and honors, without discrimination and differences, for our soldiers killed on international missions abroad, in Kosovo, Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Albania,” Vincenzo Frasca says. Next to him, discreet and stricken by a pain that does not leave her, there is Papagna Rosa, Francesco Saverio Positano’s mother. Her son was Corporal of the 32nd Alpini genius regiment. He was killed in Afghanistan on June 23, 2010, during a patrol in in Shindand. “They told me he had died from an illness. When his body was brought back to Italy, we asked an autopsy and the medical report ruled out death by natural causes. He was run over by an armored vehicle going into reverse”, presumably during a maneuver. Prosecutor’s Office in Rome opened an investigation for manslaughter. It was an accident. But Francis’ parents are not open to consider his death less valuable than that of people killed in a terrorist attack. He was abroad because he went on a mission, after all, to defend peace and democracy, risking his life the same way as his fellow soldiers.
In 2014, several soldiers lost their lives in military missions abroad. They were Marshal Luigi Sebastianis who died on August 12 in Lebanon, aide Police Marshal Corrado Oppizio who died on February 24 in Libya. Giuseppe La Rosa on June 8, 2013, in Afghanistan. In 2012, Sharpshooters Corporal Michele Padula on June 18 in Kosovo; those who lost their lives in Afghanistan are Alpini Corporal Tiziano Chierotti on October 25, lance-corporal of the Carabinieri Manuele Braj on June 25, Sergeant in the Sappers Michele Silvestri on March 24, Corporal Infantry Francesco Currò together with the First Corporals Majors Francesco Paolo Messineo and Luca Valente on February 20, and Lieutenant Colonel of Infantry Giovanni Gallo on January 13, 2012.
In 2011, still in Afghanistan, together with Frasca, Bucci, and Di Legge, also died: Major of the Carabinieri Matteo De Marco on September 16, First Corporal of Paratroopers David Tobini on July 25, First Corporal of Sappers Paratroopers Roberto Marchini on July 12, Corporal Major Gaetano Tuccillo on July 2, Lieutenant Colonel of the Carabinieri Cristiano Congiu on June 4, Alpini Lieutenant Massimo Ranzani on February 28, Alpini Corporal Luca Sanna on January 18. In 2010, still in Afghanistan: Alpini Corporal Matteo Miotto on 31 December, in the same attack on October 9: Alpini First Major Corporals Gianmarco Manca Alpini, Vannozzi Francesco and Sebastiano Ville, together with Corporal Marco Pedone, Lieutenant of the Assault Paratroopers Alessandro Romani on September 17, First Sergeant of the Alpini Sappers Mario Gigli and Chief Corporal Pierdavide De Cillis on July 28, Captain of Artillery Marco Callegaro on July 25, Corporal of the Alpini Sappers Luigi Pascazio Guastatori along with Sergeant Massimiliano Ramadù on May 17, agent of the Security Services Pietro Antonio Colazzo on February 26.
A list of names that accounts for lives offered for the values of Fatherland and civilization, going backwards till the birth of the Republic. Most of them are anonymous in public. Unfairly. These are the names of the other heroes and martyrs of democracy: in 2009, in Kosovo, First Marshal Concept Gaetano Battaglia, in Afghanistan Corporals more Alessandro Di Lisio and Rosario Pontian, First Corporals Matteo Mureddu, Giandomenico Pistonami , Davide Richiutto, Massimiliano Randino, Sergeant Major Roberto Valente, Lieutenant Antonio Fortunato, Marshal Arnaldo Forcucci. In 2008, in Afghanistan, Marshal Giovanni Pezzulo and Corporal Alessandro Caroppo. In 2007, still in Afghanistan, Chief Marshal Officer Daniel Paladini and SISMI Lorenzo D’Auria.
They have been our victims in the past decade. There are many other silent victims on the media, whose names do not even deserve the memory in the news pages. The complete list of a tragic appeal is on the website of the Ministry of Defense. They are our soldiers engaged in peacekeeping operations in Iraq, Kosovo, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Somalia, Burundi, Rwanda, Mozambique, Lebanon, the Gulf War, in Egypt, Eritrea, in the Belgian Congo. If Italy maintains its republican vocation, as an ambassador of peace, and if it knows how to honor those people equally, the way they deserve, people mentioned above will not have died in vain.