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Chief Of Army Praises Operation Valour Team

New Zealand Defence Force
Te Ope Kaatua O Aotearoa

Media Release

16 February 2008

Chief Of Army Praises Operation Valour Team

The recovery of the stolen gallantry medals from Waiouru Army Museum is a testament to the professionalism and hard work of the police investigation team, says Chief of Army Major General Lou Gardiner.

“This theft was not just from Defence and Army, it was from the Nation, and as such the country should thank the investigation team for their work in recovering them,” Major General Gardiner said.

He said while the return of the medals was the end of a distressing time for the New Zealand Army and wider New Zealand Defence Force, it was not the end of the police investigation into the theft.

“I ask that the public continues to support the police investigation so those who stole the medals are caught.”

Major General Gardiner said the intent is to return the medals to the Waiouru Army Museum once a comprehensive security review had been completed and changes implemented.

“These medals were awarded to their recipients for their extraordinary valour and have come to symbolise the huge sacrifices that all New Zealanders made in the many conflicts fought for the freedoms we have come to accept.

“The museum is the rightful home of the medals. The museum is New Zealand’s link to our rich and proud military history and that is where these medals belong.

“New Zealanders should be able to see the original medals that these men were given. It is a tangible connection to the gallantry of some of the nation’s most famous sons,” Major General Gardiner said.


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