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Next year will be the 'Year of the Veteran'

12 July 2005

Next year will be the 'Year of the Veteran'

The Government has accepted a recommendation from the Returned and Services' Association (RSA) and will designate next year the 'Year of the Veteran', Veterans' Affairs Minister, George Hawkins announced today.

"It will be a time to look back at the sacrifice of those who served, and also a time to look forward at building a society where such tragic sacrifices are not needed," Mr Hawkins told delegates at the RSA National Conference in Wellington today.

"It will be chance to treasure the memory of those who died for this country in war and conflict, and a chance to talk to our young people about those veterans who have gone before."

Mr Hawkins said RSA President, John Campbell had first mooted the idea and he was looking forward to working together with him and other veterans on planning the year ahead.

"It is a particularly appropriate theme for 2006, as next year marks the 90th anniversary of the RSA as well as the 90th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme," said Mr Hawkins.

In his speech to the conference, the Minister congratulated the Association on its work and thanked members for providing input into the delivery of services to them and their families with a 'Ten-point Veterans Welfare Manifesto'.

"The manifesto raises important issues regarding the health and welfare of the wider veterans' community and the Government has made a commitment to work with the RSA in addressing their concerns," Mr Hawkins said.

ENDS

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