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Afghanistan Service Recognised In NZ Post’s Modern Veterans Stamp Series

Six former serving personnel are featured in NZ Post’s veterans stamp series. From the left - Ben Peckham, Ange Coyle, Rebecca Brierton, Kelley Waite, Vance Leach and David Bennett

Eight years of service with the New Zealand Army, including three deployments to Afghanistan, has made Ange Coyle passionate about supporting the wellbeing of her fellow military veterans.

Originally from Auckland’s North Shore, the Rangitoto College alumnus is one of six veterans featured in NZ Post’s latest stamp release, which aims to dispel the notion held by many New Zealanders that all veterans are old.

Those profiled in the stamp series served on overseas deployments from 1995 onwards, and all have been awarded theNew Zealand Operational Service Medal. This honour is given for service that exceeds the normal requirements of peacetime service and involves a credible military threat from the enemy’s military, insurgents or other hostile forces.

Ms Coyle joined the NZ Army in 2006 as a signaller and later specialised as an electronic warfare operator. She served in Afghanistan on three occasions between 2008 and 2011.

She’s lived in Wellington since being posted there 11 years ago. Ms Coyle left the Army in 2014 and joined the Department of Corrections, where she has been leading a veterans project which aims to support both staff and prisoners who have served.

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Having experienced first-hand some of the difficulties some veterans can face when transitioning out of service into civilian life, Ms Coyle is committed to supporting the wellbeing of others - whether they work alongside her or across the public sector, or have entered the criminal justice system.

“When I transitioned out of the Army, I didn't really see myself as a veteran,” Ms Coyle said.

“I didn't wear my medals on Anzac Days and didn't realise I was struggling with some parts of civilian life. It wasn't easy asking for help but I'm pleased I did.

“I would like veterans from my era to be proud of their service, to walk in an Anzac Parade feeling like they belong - and if they need support, to ask for it.”

The other veterans profiled in the stamp series are former Royal New Zealand Navy personnel Rebecca Brierton and Vance Leach, former Royal New Zealand Air Force members Kelley Waite and David Bennett, and former NZ Army member Ben Peckham. They are among more than 42,000 living veterans who have served New Zealand.

Head of Veterans' Affairs Bernadine MacKenzie said the stamps were a great way to showcase some of the nation’s younger veterans.

“This provides a wonderful opportunity to show New Zealand the sort of people who have served our country in situations that are often difficult and dangerous - and it’s a way to show how proud we are of them.

“Regardless of how old or young veterans may be, when they need our support - we will be here for them.”

Find out more about these veterans at

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