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Keywords:

  • Military Covenant;
  • veterans;
  • ‘Big Society’;
  • civil–military relations

This article assesses how veteran care can be placed at the centre of our understanding of the modern Military Covenant and located as a key issue in contemporary civil–military relations and public policy. Healthcare and welfare provision have become primary manifestations of how the British state fulfils its duty of care towards military personnel. The article aims to present an overview of current provision for veterans of Britain's modern wars and draw conclusions regarding the state's ability to provide short and long-term healthcare and welfare requirements to veterans as part of the Covenant under the rubric of ‘Big Society’-inspired policy shifts engendered by the Conservative–Liberal Democrat coalition government.