Original Post:¬†25 April 2006
This is my ANZAC Day trib¬≠ute post¬≠ing. ANZAC Day means a great deal for me and my fam¬≠ily. I sup¬≠pose it is because we have a con¬≠nec¬≠tion to the orig¬≠i¬≠nal ANZACS in 1915 and Gal¬≠lipoli and to a vet¬≠eran of a war much fresher in our minds, Viet Nam.
Firstly I pay trib¬≠ute to my Great Grand-father Harry Crozier. I never really knew him, he died many years ago. Harry served in the ¬†Gal¬≠lipoli cam¬≠paign¬†and thank¬≠fully came home alive albeit with only one working leg. I know he spent con¬≠sid¬≠er¬≠able time in Rotorua con¬≠va¬≠lesc¬≠ing and learned to carve maori carv¬≠ings as part of his reha¬≠bil¬≠i¬≠ta¬≠tion.
The sec¬≠ond per¬≠son I pay trib¬≠ute to is a guy who truly epit¬≠o¬≠mises the ANZAC spirit. He is an Aussie, liv¬≠ing in New Zealand who fought for New Zealand in Viet Nam. He is mar¬≠ried to a Kiwi and has three Kiwi kids, and three Kiwi grand kids. He is also my Father-in-law.
41873 Gnr Atkins KG 161 Bty was in Viet Nam in 1966. Based in¬†Nui Dat¬†and one of the first to arrive and estab¬≠lish the Base and gun posi¬≠tions. ‚ÄúOz‚ÄĚ par¬≠tic¬≠i¬≠pated in the famous ¬†Bat¬≠tle of Long Tan¬†where the Kiwi guns were instru¬≠men¬≠tal in sav¬≠ing 3 pla¬≠toons of D Com¬≠pany of the ¬†6th¬†Bat¬≠tal¬≠ion, Royal Aus¬≠tralian Reg¬≠i¬≠ment(6RAR) and enabling the thrash¬≠ing of a Reg¬≠i¬≠ment of Viet Cong.
Each gun fired over 1200 rounds that day and night in sup¬≠port of the Aussies. The bat¬≠tle was fought in a rub¬≠ber tree plan¬≠ta¬≠tion near the vil¬≠lage of Long Tan, about 40¬†km north-east of Vung Tau, South Viet¬≠nam on August 18‚Äď19, 1966. The bat¬≠tle was fought all after¬≠noon and most of the night in pour¬≠ing mon¬≠soon rain. The guns ran so hot that wet blan¬≠kets were draped over them in an attempt to keep the bar¬≠rels cool.
Kevin tells many sto¬≠ries of his time in Viet Nam but they are not at all ‚Äúwarry‚ÄĚ to use his term. They speak a sim¬≠ple truth that war is tough and bru¬≠tal. He often says he hopes his chil¬≠dren never have to go to war and thank¬≠fully they prob¬≠a¬≠bly won‚Äôt have to.
It seems so long ago, yet for some only yes¬≠ter¬≠day. The Gov¬≠ern¬≠ment to this day still treats vet¬≠er¬≠ans with dis¬≠dain with their han¬≠dling, and obfus¬≠ca¬≠tion of the Agent Orange scan¬≠dal. I say a scan¬≠dal because that is what it is. You need only ask any vet¬≠eran about Agent Orange and they will tell you they weren‚Äôt just sprayed with they were doused in it, they drank water soaked with it and were often wet to their socks with Agent Orange.¬†Check out this photo of Nui Dat in 1966¬†. Every coun¬≠try in Viet Nam at the time has acknowl¬≠edged it hap¬≠pened and com¬≠pen¬≠sated their vet¬≠er¬≠ans and New Zealand con¬≠tin¬≠ues to deny it occurred and con¬≠tin¬≠ues to hold spu¬≠ri¬≠ous enquiries. [The Government has since said "Sorry", if it was at all possible to say sorry without actually saying the word, but for me it was too little, too late] ¬†¬† Read more »