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Veterans Have Chance To Join Gallipoli Contingent

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

New Zealand service veterans will have the opportunity to join the official New Zealand contingent at Gallipoli for this year's ANZAC Day commemorations, Veterans Affairs Minister Judith Collins said today.

Veterans' Affairs New Zealand is seeking applications from veterans who wish to be considered to be part of the contingent. The 22 veterans chosen will join the official party of MPs, New Zealand Defence Force personnel and students.

ANZAC Day 2010 will mark the 95th anniversary of the Gallipoli Landings, the start of an eight-month campaign that cost the lives of over 2,700 New Zealanders.

"ANZAC Day is when we recognise the sacrifice of the men and women of Australia and New Zealand who served in World War One and honour all returned servicemen and women," Ms Collins said.

"The opportunity for veterans to travel to ANZAC Cove to commemorate a battle that came to define the character of the ANZACs will make for a very special occasion."

Veterans chosen from the ballot will be made up of those who have served in past wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations.

To be eligible for the ballot veterans will need to have a direct family link to someone who served in the Gallipoli campaign.

They will need to be in good health and fit enough to walk four kilometres unaided to the commemoration site.

All veterans selected will have to undergo a medical clearance from their GP which will be reviewed by a New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) doctor who will make the final decision on whether they are fit to travel on the RNZAF aircraft.

Travel and accommodation costs associated with the trip will be covered by Veterans' Affairs New Zealand.

Applications for the ballot will be accepted until 5.00pm on Friday 26 February.

Further information and application forms are available on the Veterans' Affairs website www.veteransaffairs.mil.nz or by calling 0800 483 8372.

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