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Veterans to get free bus and train travel

VETERANS who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan will soon be able to travel FREE on buses and trains.

The plan is part of a package being drawn up by the government to help heroes settle back into Civvy Street.

Ministers are rushing the scheme through by the end of the summer.

They want to avoid a generation of servicemen and women falling on hard times after serving their country.

Up to 70,000 ex-soldiers who served on the frontline since 1990 will get free travel for at least FIVE years. Other perks in the "transition package" cover housing, education and mental health.

There will be:

Help to buy homes

Grants for university tuition fees

Opportunities to retrain as teachers

Extra help for families of serving soldiers

Free university scholarships for children of soldiers killed in action

A financial incentive for schools providing places for Forces’ children. Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to announce the Veterans Package in October as part of the Strategic Defence Review into the future of Britain’s armed forces.

Despite the massive cuts to government spending to be announced, there will be extra cash for army veterans.

Many men and women who have been invalided out of the armed forces are already entitled to free transport. Transport Minister Norman Baker confirmed: "We are considering how to extend this to include automatic eligibility for veterans."

The Department of Transport said: "It is expected to apply to ex-servicemen and women for up to five years after they leave the forces after active service."

But in return for this former soldiers will be expected to stay longer on the Service Register — the list of personnel who can be recalled for service.



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