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RSA grateful, delighted at Minister Mark’s announcement

RSA grateful, delighted at Minister Mark’s announcement of $1 million funding boost

The Returned and Services Association (RSA) is extremely grateful and delighted to hear Minister for Veterans Ron Mark’s announcement of a $1 million grant over four years, to fund the RSA’s Support Services to improve care for current and former service personnel and their families.

On the Eve of Anzac Day, National President BJ Clark said the Minister’s increased support allows the RSA to significantly expedite and improve a range of support services to meet directly the needs of younger veterans and their families.

“With the Minister providing this continuity of funding, we can greatly improve what we do to make sure all of our veterans are looked after. This is a welcome boost at a time when the RSA movement has been undergoing deep and sustained changes to address this need,” Mr Clark said.

Now equipped with expanded means, the RSA’s scope of work to develop better support for all those who have served can be enhanced.

“The biggest challenge facing us and others working to support service personnel and their families now lies in addressing and delivering paths through the tangle of issues faced by our younger veterans. These issues, born of a changing type of warfare, can and do have serious and lasting impacts on the individuals their families,” Mr Clark said.

“We’ve got work to do, but with all of us working together, we can and will make sure all our people who need help get help and the ongoing care they need.”

“We’re here to support and remember all those who have served, and their families. With this assurance of four years of funding, we can do this better. Our older veterans and service people are already catered for – we have services and systems already set up and working well to provide for their needs.

The RSA’s primary areas of focus with the support offering for the next four years will be:

· addressing and facilitating recovery from Service-induced mental health injuries, including Post Traumatic Stress Injuries (PTSI).

· research and support for veterans who have been exposed to environmental contaminants, while on deployments.

· facilitating successful transition into civilian careers after service personnel leave the military.

About New Zealand’s veteran community

New Zealand has about 41,000 veterans of recognised operational deployments. Of these, 30,000 have served since the end of the Vietnam War – fully three quarters of our total veteran population.

Tens of thousands more have served in the armed forces without participating in a recognised operational deployment.

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