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Viet Nam Theatre Honours for two Army companies

28 May 2008

Viet Nam Theatre Honours for two Army companies

Two New Zealand Army infantry companies will this weekend be officially recognised for service in the Viet Nam War, with a change of the theatre honour dates for the 1st Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (1RNZIR).

Her Majesty the Queen, acting on advice from Helen Clark, has extended the theatre honour for 1967-1970 to apply to service between May 1967 and December 1971, to cover the full infantry involvement in South Viet Nam.

“The extension to the 1RNZIR South Viet Nam Theatre Honour is a significant and historical step for the Battalion, the Regiment and those who served on operations with the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment during the Viet Nam War,” Phil Goff said.

“It is fitting recognition for the courage and commitment of all who served in that conflict.

“The previous South Viet Nam Theatre honour 1967-70 did not recognise the service of Victor Companies five and six to the end of 1971. Further, the terms under which the original honour was awarded did not include the service of Victor 1 Company, from May to December 1967.

“The honours extension is part of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government and Viet Nam Veterans signed on 7 December 2006. It comes as the Crown makes a formal apology to Viet Nam Veterans and their families for the manner in which their service and subsequent health concerns were not recognised,” Mr Goff said.

A handing over of the 1RNZIR Regimental Colour with the extended Viet Nam honour will formally take place in a ceremony at Tribute08 on Sunday, June 1
The presentation will involve a Colour Guard from 1RNZIR, Mr Goff said.

The Tribute08: A Viet Nam Commemoration is being held in Wellington over Queen’s Birthday Weekend.

The event aims to increase recognition of Viet Nam veterans and families in the community and provide a vehicle to acknowledge the inadequate treatment given to veterans when they returned home in the early 1970s.

For more information on Tribute 08: A Viet Nam Commemoration please visit: www.tribute08.com.

ENDS

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