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Medals for NZ Red Cross Vietnam welfare officer


27 May 2008

Medals for New Zealand Red Cross Vietnam welfare officer

Twenty seven years after working in Vietnam as a New Zealand Red Cross welfare officer accredited to the New Zealand Army, Avis Wilkes will have her service recognised at a medal presentation in Wellington this week.

Ms Wilkes will be presented with the General Service Medal with clasp Vietnam and the New Zealand Operational Service Medal. She will also be represented with her Vietnam medal. The original was lost during the Southland floods in the 1990's.

As a welfare officer in Vietnam Ms Wilkes helped care for wounded soldiers and was based at Vung Tau 1st Australian Field Hospital for five months from June - November in 1971.

New Zealand Red Cross began the search for Ms Wilkes and another former New Zealand Red Cross welfare officer Isobel Beaumont last month. Within days, Ms Wilkes was located in Dunedin while the search for Ms Beaumont continues, with leads being followed up in Britain.

Ms Wilkes will be presented with her medal on Thursday 29 May at Red Cross House in Wellington by New Zealand Red Cross Chief Executive John Ware. Also attending the ceremony will be Jane Smith who was part of the New Zealand Red Cross International Operations team that recruited and deployed Ms Wilkes to Vietnam in 1971.


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