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"Puma" Brigade marks 25th anniversary

Foto: MORH/ T.Brandt
Foto: MORH/ T.Brandt

The members of the  legendary 7th Guards Brigade, based in Varaždin, on 22 December 2017 marked the  25th anniversary of the unit.

The formal ceremony held in the Croatian National Theatre in Varaždin was attended by the Envoy of the President of the Republic as Supreme Commander of the Croatian Armed Forces (also her Defence and National Security Advisor) Vlado Galić, the Envoy of the Speaker of the Croatian Parliament. Anđelko Stričak, the Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Damir Krstičević, the Envoy of the Minister of the Homeland War Veterans Dinko Tandara, the State Secretary for Defence Zdravko Jakop, the Chief of the General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces, General Mirko Šundov, the Chief Defence Inspector Major General Slaven Zdilar, the Director of the Military Intelligence Agency  Brigadier General Ivica Kinder the Military Ordinary, Mons. Jure Bogdan, the commanders of the services of the Croatian Armed Forces, the Prefect of the Varaždin County  Radimir Čačić and the Mayor of Varaždin Ivan Čehok, the Chariman of the Association of the Veterans of the “Puma“ Brigade Robert Puja, and the former members of the Brigade.

The Envoy and Defence and National Security Advisor to the President of the Republic emphasised that the war history of the 7th Brigade was a diary of victories, with special emphasis on the Operation “Storm“ and the Brigade's contribution. He also called on for continued efforts in developing the defence system and the restoration of the significance and role of the Croatian Armed Forces in the Croatian society.

 Anđelko Stričak forwarded the congratulations from the Speaker of the Croatian Parliament, underlining and appreciating the contribution of the Army and police units from northern Croatia to the freedom of Croaita; he also reminded of the recently issued postal stamp with the coat of arms of the 7th Guards Brigade.
The Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Damir Krstičević forwarded the congratulations from the Prime Minister and underlined the 7th Guards Brigade meriting tribute, recalling the 91 fallen and deceased and one missing member of the Brigade and the sacrifice of all Croatian defenders. "The Homeland War is our foundation and our beginning, where our roots, self awareness and our credibility lie: all units of the victorious Croatian Army gave an enormous contribution to the defence and liberation of our homeland, but it was the guards brigades that were the decisive force in the victorious  operations, and our shield in the defence from the aggression, among whom the legendary 7th Guards Brigade holds a special place".

Minister Krstičević stated that the respect to the magnificient war history of the 7th Guards Brigade was paid by returning the Battalion to the town of its origin by 2018 and 2019 respectively. The Minister told the Brigade members they were justifiably proud of its contribution to the freedom and of its past 25 years.

The Assistant Minister Dinko Tandara forwarded the congratulations from the Minister of Homeland War Veterans Tomo Medved, and stated that the struggle for Croatia is still ongoing, and that calls for the togetherness of the guards brigades, and all Croatian defenders and citizens.
The Prefect of the Varaždin County and the Mayor of Varaždin Ivan Čehok extended their congratulations, recalling that the young defenders from the Varaždin area fought in the battlefields throughout Croatia. Mayor Čehok stressed that the marking of the jubilary anniversary extended fpr three months, featuring a series of events, concerts, exhibitions and lectures.

Robert Puja, the Chairman of the Association of Veterans of the 7th Pume Brigade stated that the Association guarded the dignity of the Homeland War and the memory of the 7th Guards Brigade and its war history.

The ceremony featiured the film on the establishment and war history of the Brigade, the theatrical play “The Homecoming“ and the video material on the fallen and missing members.

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Brigade, the Military Ordinary, Mons  Jure  Bogdan recited the mass for its fallen members, and the delegations laid wreaths in the chapel of St. George the Martyr in the former barracks of the Brigade, which is under refurbishment to house it again. Likewise, a history class for the elementary school students and an exhibition on "Puma" and its war history.

Foto: MORH/ T. Brandt 

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