W3 Company - News
|40 Years on and almost the end
of an era - webmaster [20 December 2008]
The RNZAF managed to scramble all of its old Iroquois and Sioux helicopters at the same time in December 2008.
The 19 helicopters, which are all of Vietnam vintage, completed a short flight over the towns around Ohakea air force base yesterday.
Operations flight commander Squadron Leader Nigel Cooper said it was a rare occurrence that not one helicopter was in for scheduled maintenance and a sight that might not be seen again as all the aircraft were scheduled to be replaced over the next two years.
He said the flyover was a thank you to the local community and a demonstration of the credibility and capability of the air force.
|Merry Christmas - webmaster [20
Duke and Maribel Henry: Wishing you and all the W3 crew and families a wonderful Christmas and New Year
Christmas Present anyone..? Colin Fraser found this advert in the latest edition of 'Mufti' in Australia, price is Aus$.
|A Place for Family/Whanau Stories
- webmaster [1 December 2008]
The website is starting a 'Family/Whanau Story' section - a place where those who knew their veteran as more than a soldier can share about him with others. To start the section the stories on the Barkle reunion and Harry Hemana's funeral have been relocated. So a very keen invitation is extended to any W3 family or 'dependants' [as the Army liked to call those close to a soldier] reading the website to offer a story. The Family/Whanau index page and suggestions on how to contribute are here.
|Contact with Yandall family -
webmaster [16 November 2008]
Contact has been established with Joe Yandall's family through his daughter Moana Grove. The way it was established was a little unusual, starting with the presentation of service medals to Isabel Beaumont NZ Red Cross in London in September 2008. The NZ Red Cross compiled a photo album for presentation to Isabel which included photos taken from the W3 website photo pages and some of these, including a photo of Isabel with Wally Joe, Bob Newson and Joe Yandall were shown during a news item on NZ television and seen by Joe's family. Moana then located Isabel's email address and asked for the original for her mother. Isabel pointed Moana back to Andrew McKie at NZRC who redirected the query to me as webmaster. By happy coincidence the photo was one of the few photos I took in Vietnam and I have been able to locate the original which is being forwarded to Moana this week. For those wanting further contact with Joe's family I have added Moana's email address here. I have added Isabel's email address here.
Your Voice, Your
Choice - webmaster [29 October 2008]
Robin Klitscher [president NZRSA] has written to veterans as follows:
|Auckland Cenotaph Records -
webmaster [14 October 2008]
Prior to Tribute08 I requested that the staff at the Auckland Museum Cenotaph update the records for the W3 Coy dead. This has finally been accomplished, using photographs provided from the website. Well done to the Cenotaph staff involved. Check the changes here compared to other veterans from Vietnam.
Story about John Barkle - Bruce Young [14 October 2008]
New Story - Bruce Young [14 October 2008]
|Interesting Stuff - webmaster [29 September 2008]
Update on MOU Latest Veterans Affairs update on payments made to and registration of veterans and their families.
Challenging article Rex Alexander [V6] has an article in the latest issue of the EVSA Contact magazine. I have read the article several times and each time find something different and challenging in it. I have reproduced it here. It occurs to me that it speaks volumes of the conditions at home before and after our tour of active service, of close friendships forged in battle still important afterwards, of good support for young soldiers without going over the top, and of respect in all directions. See what you think.
More Stuff -
webmaster [15 September 2008]
I need help please to research the background to an article for the website. I'm trying to establish who was still in uniform in August 1987. I have separately emailed a number of veterans but if you haven't replied to my email or haven't heard from me at all and were in uniform then, please drop me a line saying your rank, corps, job and location/posting in August 1987. If your veteran is deceased could their next of kin please offer what they remember..? Much appreciated..!
Have you seen
this..? - Webmaster [3 September 2008]
Fund-raising for the
EVSA Children's and Grand-children's Trust - Webmaster [2 September 2008]
Last year Alastair McKenzie and his supporters raised $50,000 for the Trust through the 'Ride of the Veterans'. This year Louise Mullane, daughter of Chris Mullane, is running in the New York Marathon under the Trust's banner and is donating 100% of all monies raised back to the Trust. In America she is being hosted by John Rowan, President of the Vietnam Veterans of America, who is commending her initiative to his Chapters and Members for whatever support they can give. Back here John Banks, Mayor of Auckland, has given his support to the venture and has provided Louise with a letter of introduction and support for her to give Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York.
Ross asks that veterans show their practical support for Louise and the Trust by making a pledge which they will 'call-in' after 2 November. This pledge can be done either through the link on their website or by replying to him direct. All pledges are acknowledged on their website and already they have received a great response. Their target is $50,000.
update: W3 Coy is pledging $500 from accumulated funds - individuals may also contribute
Advice - webmaster [1 September 2008]
Stuff - webmaster [4 August 2008]
Isabel Beaumont located.
Book Review -
Peter Anderson [28 July 2008]
Colonel of the Regiment Bob Upton
- Evan Torrance [28 July 2008]
More Stuff - Bruce Young [26 July 2008]
I am writing a series of background articles that attempt to describe the daily lifestyle and conditions under which Vietnam veterans toiled, basically with the aim of informing family and students. My teenage son's friends have asked me about life in the trenches so there's a gap in their understanding..! The first article is on the period in Nui Dat between operations, the 2nd on navigating and calling indirect fire support under the canopy, the 3rd under preparation is on the medical system supporting us, and the 4th will be about resupply in the field. There may be others, feel free to suggest topics. Also feel free to support me with facts, corrections and other stuff that make the articles less dry.
I am slowly getting into the Tribute08 photos, here's some Mark Binning sent me of the march along Lambton Quay, and of Bill Compton in Parliament grounds: Happy to receive more from other parts of the weekend...
Peter Harris 2Pl at Tribute08 [NZ Army]
Veterans Disability Pension -
Webmaster [10 July 2008]
There are several arguments raised by the irresponsible veteran: 'there are others worse off than me, let them have the money' is the most common. Another is to say 'this pain is old age, not attributable to my time as a young soldier in Vietnam'. The ultimate argument might be: 'I don't need the money'. Then use it to shout your grand-children an awesome experience, or upgrade your car.
Lets look at some facts:  There is plenty of money in the veterans budget for all of us, so you going without won't mean someone else is allocated more money. Under the War Pensions Act an individual veteran can only be allocated a finite sum for their disabilities.  Your spouse can also benefit long-term from your VDP if you reach a certain level of disability.  Many problems in old age can be traced back to activity as a young soldier, such as PTSD, worn discs in your back, skin cancers, smoking related issues.
So how do you reconcile your arguments with the facts..? Simple really. When you apply for a VDP you ask a panel a question, 'is my ailment attributable to my service in Vietnam..?' The panel ask specialists to review the issue and then make a decision. If they say 'no' then you have your answer, but if they say 'yes' then you receive some additional income and better still some long-term assistance with medical treatment. You can then choose another ailment and ask the question again. The number of ailments accepted increases your 'percentage' of disability.
The preferred outcome of the process is to receive a combination of decisions that add up to more than 70% disability. At this level you are better off at 65 than receiving national superannuation. And your spouse also receives better treatment because when you depart on your next posting they will continue to receive 50% of what you were receiving prior to departure. Tell them they are not worth it...!
The process starts with a phone call to War Pension Services 0800 553 003 if you are in New Zealand, or ++64 9 985 1070 if you are calling from overseas (but you pay for the call).
Want to talk about the process..? John Nicolle is well versed in the process and has offered to help, and he's well recommended by 'The Gannett'. John's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Associated with the VDP is registration as a veteran. There were spouses at Tribute08 that were unhappy their irresponsible veteran had not registered himself and his family as part of the veteran community. Registration costs nothing but could lead to long-term benefits. The good news ladies, is that you can do it yourself. The forms are available on-line here, there are different forms for veterans [even if deceased], spouses, children and grand-children.
Website Browsing Tip
- Webmaster [3 July 2008]
I'm half-way through Chris Stock's photo collection, some unique shots still to come, then I have Trevor Philip's slides to do. Should be finished in a month or so..... Enjoy your browsing, and sent in some stories huh...?
|Tribute08 - Webmaster [16 June 2008]
Been busy post reunion so only now starting to get stuff together. Please send any reunion photos you want displayed for others to see. Here's an example, and if there is a better looking bunch of 'old farts' I'd like to hear about them:
W3 Mortars 2008:-
Next Reunion proposed for 2010 - 40th anniversary of
Lots of 1970 photos have been offered, working on fitting these into stories or other articles
Tribute08 - Webmaster [3 June 2008]
Duke Henry responded to Finlay [extract, from afar]: Why Tribute08 was significant for the veterans can only be answered by each individual who served there. Many of these servicemen and women had served in Malaya Borneo Thailand and SVN. I joined as an 18 year old to serve in Vietnam, nothing more nothing less. The experiences that I was part of over my two year SE Asian tour of duty were sufficient to see me serve until 1992. Don't get too sanctimonious in trying to understand why young Kiwis men and women volunteer to serve in our Armed Forces. If you are one of them then you will know full well why you chose this path. If you are not then you will never understand but should really try. Finlay Macdonald would do well to realise the truth in this verse
Meeting with mates and inducting family into the veteran whanau are givens at every reunion, suffice to say that the friendships were as strong as ever. This time the march to Parliament was more relaxed, the clapping and the flypasts expected and overall the emotional level was much lower with fewer in obvious grief than previous times. The lengthy speeches and associated protocol was thought by many to be unnecessary, especially the lack of translation of the Maori. The welcome at Parliament was interesting and seeing our fallen honoured as they were was very well received. The Sunday service at the National War Memorial was likewise well received, especially Padre Carde's very pointed comments and prayers. In the end it was seeing the Royal Tri-service Guard and the Regimental Colour of 1RNZIR paraded and rededicated that meant the most to me; it made me realise what the military family had had to endure for 40-years as the veterans battled the political masters for our right to stand proud. From the standing ovation given at the end of Gen Mateparae's apology I believe that others also felt how important it was to have 'rejoined the ranks' again. One close to the General commented afterwards about how nervous the General had felt about the reception he would receive, given that all his career he had been trained and guided by Vietnam veterans, and the relief experienced when we rose in a standing ovation to accept more willingly than any other offered his apology for the NZDF failing us.
Update - webmaster [1 June 2008]
If you are an overseas visitor to the website, welcome...! I trust you will enjoy reading a record of what some New Zealand veterans achieved in the Vietnam conflict. I would be happy to publish emails from visitors, please use this link and identify your background.