Gallant Vietnam War veterans to be formally acknowledged

  • Hon Ron Mark

The Governor-General, Dame Patsy Reddy, will make a formal presentation to service personnel who were Mentioned in Despatches (MID), during the Vietnam War, at ceremonies in Auckland and Wellington this week.

“The ceremonies will provide the formal recognition these brave individuals did not receive following their return from the Vietnam War,” says Minister for Veterans Ron Mark.

“Receiving an MID is a huge honour which followed an act of great bravery, or exceptional service.

“The practice during the time of the Vietnam War was for recognition through an informal handshake by the Commanding Officer, or an announcement in the New Zealand Gazette. Today’s practice would include a formal military parade.

“Following their return from service many Vietnam veterans felt let down by the nation they had served, and in 2008 the Government of the day arranged a formal parade and apology.

“However, veterans’ groups have requested more formal recognition for those who received an MID and this Government agrees. 

“The ceremonies at Government House is a fitting way to put this wrong to right and to acknowledge these brave men who went above and beyond the call of duty.

“I’d like to thank Warrant Officer Class One (Retired) Bob Davies, who has been tireless in pursuing this on behalf of the veterans,” says Ron Mark.  

The ceremonies will take place at the following times and locations:

  • Thursday 14 February, Government House Auckland, 10.30am and 2pm
  • Friday 15 February, Government House Wellington, 2pm

Thirty awards will be presented to those surviving veterans or the family representative of those who have  passed away.

As the veterans already wear the emblem which designates they received an MID, a formal letter and copy of their citation will be presented at the ceremony.