Brunssum, The Netherlands – NATO Joint Force Command Brunssum (JFCBS) had the honor of hosting Dutch veteran and sportsman Edwin de Wolf, who shared his inspiring story of resilience and determination in the face of adversity, Friday, 26th May, 2023.
Soldiers like Edwin are the best of us, they are the ones who never gave up
The event was held as a prelude to the upcoming Invictus Games 2023 in Düsseldorf, Germany, and aimed to raise awareness and show solidarity with the thousands of soldiers who have been wounded or injured during combat missions led by JFCBS.
The Commander of the JFCBS, General Guglielmo Luigi Miglietta, took the opportunity to address both Edwin de Wolf and the audience by saying: "Soldiers like Edwin are the best of us, they are the ones who never gave up". The event then opened with a warm welcome speech by Major General Stefan Fix, Deputy Chief of Staff Support of the JFCBS. He highlighted the importance of supporting and recognizing the sacrifices made by soldiers in the line of duty.
“We have a responsibility to the brave men and women who have been injured during their service,” commented Major General Fix. “Their stories of courage and resilience deserve to be heard, and events like the Invictus Games provide a platform for their triumphs."
Edwin de Wolf took the stage to share his personal journey as a soldier, his time with the Stoottroepen, and the life-altering incident he experienced during his mission in Bosnia. Despite losing a leg and suffering severe injuries, de Wolf emerged as a testament to the indomitable spirit of soldiers.
“Soldiers are fighters, and remain fighters even if they have been wounded,” said de Wolf. “They are not just victims, they are victors. At events like the Invictus Games, this becomes visible."
De Wolf expressed his gratitude towards JFCBS for organizing the event and emphasized the significance of creating awareness about the challenges and opportunities faced by wounded soldiers. He added that he hopes his story will inspire many people and shed light on the Invictus Games, which will be a remarkable event for all those involved. Together with Major General Fix, De Wolf enthusiastically encouraged everyone to join him at the Invictus Games, “See you in summer in Düsseldorf, Germany.”
Following his speech, a panel discussion took place, featuring Major General Stefan Fix as the host, along with Colonel Klaus-Erich Raab, representing the German Armed Forces Organizing Committee for the Invictus Games Düsseldorf 2023, Major Gilles Castets, representing French Delegation in the Netherlands and talking about remembrance and veteran culture in France and Dr. Julie Allen, Director of AFNORTH School in Brunssum.