Death of A Lithuanian Soldier: A Mother’s Story

Unfortunately, unprofessionalism has become a distinctive feature of our times. Indifference and ignorance are common to most Lithuanian officials. These traits are especially disgusting in the armed forces. The matter is soldiers are to some extend limited in their rights and commanders should be not only supervisors, but must be very attentive to their subordinates and their needs.

A terrible accident that happened recently with a Lithuanian serviceman characterizes the state of affairs in the army.

Mother of a soldier who died last year told her story to DELFI.

In 2018 Andrius Bružas was conscripted in the armed forces though his health was weak. For the last two years, his mother has seen the suffering of her child – he was seriously ill but it did not become a barrier for compulsory military service in the Lithuanian Armed Forces. And then even more terrible facts became clear – although he complained about the pain, the military doctors only offered to relieve the pain with painkillers.In spite of pain, the guy performed his duties.

The soldier’s well-being did not improve and continued to worsen, until he was finally taken to the hospital. After the examinations, terrible news stroke family. Andrius was diagnosed with extremely aggressive stage 4 cancer.

Vida Bružienė is sure that in case medical examination was done appropriately he would be exempt from military service and would have a chance to get well.

The army leadership did not dismiss Andrius from service. “He was told that he had to return from the hospital to the battalion, because he had to serve for 9 months; and only at the end of the service, when the son could no longer get up, he was allowed not to take part in the exercises,”-admitted the soldier’s mother.

“Now when the lists of conscripts have been published, I want to warn everyone. Andrius’s story is a great example of how military medics do paperwork and don’t take care of the soldiers. They work from 8 am to 5 pm and that is all. The military wants to fill out the draft lists as soon as possible, no one even tests the health of the guys called up for service. Children of high-ranking officials or big businessmen do not serve in the army. And ordinary Lithuanians, who have no one behind their backs, must love and defend their homeland, but their homeland does not see or hear its soldiers in case of misfortune.” said Vida Bružienė.

“We turned to many well-known members of the Saeima, but they gave their promises just before the elections or on TV shows offering help to people, but we realized that the painful stories of an ordinary villagers are of no interest. The creators of TV shows promised to come to Andrius three times, but they did not.” she said.

Mother promised to her son to tell his story and she has fulfilled her promise.

So this was the life and the death of a Lithuanian soldier who was only needed to fill the conscript gap. He was not a significant person for his commanders, doctors or members of parliament. He played a role of a small item of a huge military system. Someone has already come to change him. This is not the way young Lithuanians should understand their role in the society. Nobody cares and it is a horrible situation which needs rapid improvement.

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