A Facebook post from a Serbian war veteran Novica Kostic, who was wounded in the Croatian city of Karlovac as a member of the former Yugoslav National Army (JNA) only five days in his deployment, has become viral. In it, Kostic said he received a foot prosthesis as a gift from a war veteran from Croatia, after being unable to replace it for seven years. The old prosthesis fell apart, he said.
For many years, Kostic has been engaged as a peace activist through the non-profit organization Center for Nonviolent Action, which brings together war veterans from the Bosnian Army, the Army of the Republika Srpska Krajina, the Croatian Army and the Army of Yugoslavia. Since 2008, they have been organizing joint visits to the places where civilians and soldiers were killed in the war in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s and participating in commemorations of victims of the war in former Yugoslavia (1991-1995) organized by local and state authorities.
Novica Kostić lives in southern Serbia, in Vlasotince, where he is the president of the association of disabled war veterans. After announcing that he had been wearing the same prosthesis with a decayed foot for seven years and that he was not entitled to a new one, he was surprised by a package that arrived from Croatia via Hungary, on Saturday morning.
A Croatian war veteran he gave him a footpad for his left C41 prosthesis, which he wrote was difficult to obtain and not cheap. A letter had accompanied the package as well.
“The letter that was inside was very, very touching with a lot of warmth, empathy and solidarity. The man explains that we are just people and that we go through same problems as if that damn war has brought us any good. That former enemy of mine, and now a close friend of mine says that he has accepted me as a friend and brother since the moment we met,” Novica wrote, adding that the Croatian veteran asked him not to disclose his name because he does not want the people from his neighbourhood Croatia to disturb him for it.
Even though the Croatian veteran was not wounded during the war, he found the part of the prosthesis through his colleagues and mailed it to him.