Summer excavation 2017
Moos has been serving for the last 40 years in the Engineers Regiment of the Dutch army — and is still serving, but due to retire in 2023 and let his passion for restoring WWII vehicles become a full-time activity. He was diagnosed with PTSD in early 2000, following a number of deployments, and was then able to get help and get better. In 2016, he visited the excavation as part of a Dutch army delegation, and in 2017, he took part in the project as a military participant — partly as a test run for other Dutch military and ex-military personnel to get involved. By the end of the dig, he swore “I will be back no matter what, even if it is just for a day. I want to know what comes out of these trenches.”
Moos also gave WU some food for thought about the use of the word ‘veteran’ — for which the UK definition and Dutch definition differ. In the UK, it relates to having served even a day and left the military, while in The Netherlands, it refers to those serving or ex-serving personnel who have been at war or on a mission. A distinction that matters and reminds us of the importance of multinational collaboration in understanding war and its impact.