Viet Nam

ANZAC Day

Original Post: 25 April 2006

This is my ANZAC Day trib­ute post­ing. ANZAC Day means a great deal for me and my fam­ily. I sup­pose it is because we have a con­nec­tion to the orig­i­nal ANZACS in 1915 and Gal­lipoli and to a vet­eran of a war much fresher in our minds, Viet Nam.

Firstly I pay trib­ute to my Great Grand-father Harry Crozier. I never really knew him, he died many years ago. Harry served in the  Gal­lipoli cam­paign and thank­fully came home alive albeit with one leg. I know he spent con­sid­er­able time in Rotorua con­va­lesc­ing and learned to carve maori carv­ings as part of his reha­bil­i­ta­tion.

The sec­ond per­son I pay trib­ute to is a guy who truly epit­o­mises the ANZAC spirit. He is an Aussie, liv­ing in New Zealand who fought for New Zealand in Viet Nam. He is mar­ried 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 estab­lish the Base and gun posi­tions. “Oz” par­tic­i­pated in the famous  Bat­tle of Long Tan where the Kiwi guns were instru­men­tal in sav­ing 3 pla­toons of D Com­pany of the  6th Bat­tal­ion, Royal Aus­tralian Reg­i­ment(6RAR) and enabling the thrash­ing of a Reg­i­ment of Viet Cong.

Each gun fired over 1200 rounds that day and night in sup­port of the Aussies. The bat­tle was fought in a rub­ber tree plan­ta­tion near the vil­lage of Long Tan, about 40 km north-east of Vung Tau, South Viet­nam on August 18–19, 1966. The bat­tle was fought all after­noon and most of the night in pour­ing mon­soon rain. The guns ran so hot that wet blan­kets were draped over them in an attempt to keep the bar­rels cool.

Kevin tells many sto­ries of his time in Viet Nam but they are not at all “warry” to use his term. They speak a sim­ple truth that war is tough and bru­tal. He often says he hopes his chil­dren never have to go to war and thank­fully they prob­a­bly won’t have to.

It seems so long ago, yet for some only yes­ter­day. The Gov­ern­ment to this day still treats vet­er­ans with dis­dain with their han­dling, and obfus­ca­tion of the Agent Orange scan­dal. I say a scan­dal because that is what it is. You need only ask any vet­eran about Agent Orange and they will tell you they weren’t 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 coun­try in Viet Nam at the time has acknowl­edged it hap­pened and com­pen­sated their vet­er­ans and New Zealand con­tin­ues to deny it occurred and con­tin­ues to hold spu­ri­ous 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]

Kevin didn’t want me to write any­thing about him but I insisted. He didn’t want me to make him out to be a hero. In his words he was there, he was a gun­ner and that was all. Like most vet­er­ans he is intensely proud of his achieve­ments and at the same time intensely bit­ter at the way they were treated upon return­ing. It is high time that Kiwis were proud of what our guys did in Viet Nam, proud of their achieve­ments and proud of their for­ti­tude to fight. I admire any­one who has the gump­tion to stand up and be counted with their own life.

My Father-in-Law is a true ANZAC, some­one I am proud to know and love. I admire his achieve­ments. I fondly remem­ber the ANZAC Day we spent in Syd­ney 12 years ago. Aus­tralians cel­e­brate ANZAC Day, Kiwis com­mem­o­rate it. In Syd­ney on that day Kevin was proud to wear his medals and com­fort­able wear­ing them in the street. Syd­ney was one big party that day and we ate and drank pretty much for free where ever we went. Kids and adults alike pat­ted him on the back and shook his hand and called out “good on ya mate”. The pity is that the same can­not be said of New Zealand. ANZAC Day is treated as a solemn occa­sion. Peo­ple do show their respects and con­tinue to show it by the increased atten­dances at parades all over the coun­try, but is “respects” as in at a funeral rather than respect as in admi­ra­tion.

It is high time New Zealand “cel­e­brated” the achieve­ments of our sol­diers and stopped “com­mem­o­rat­ing” them. ANZAC Day should be like it was in Syd­ney 12 years ago. It is cer­tainly a day I will not for­get.

A cou­ple of things remain for me to pass onto my chil­dren. They are vis­its to Gal­lipoli and to Viet Nam to show the kids where our rel­a­tives fought and shed blood so that they may never know war. Hope­fully they will never know war as other gen­er­a­tion have.

It is on my bucket list to visit both Gallipoli and the Long Tan Cross on an ANZAC Day. I hope I can convince Skippy to come to Viet Nam to do it with me.

Lest we forget.

ANZAC Day

Original Post: 25 April 2006

This is my ANZAC Day trib­ute post­ing. ANZAC Day means a great deal for me and my fam­ily. I sup­pose it is because we have a con­nec­tion to the orig­i­nal ANZACS in 1915 and Gal­lipoli and to a vet­eran of a war much fresher in our minds, Viet Nam.

Firstly I pay trib­ute to my Great Grand-father Harry Crozier. I never really knew him, he died many years ago. Harry served in the  Gal­lipoli cam­paign and thank­fully came home alive albeit with one leg. I know he spent con­sid­er­able time in Rotorua con­va­lesc­ing and learned to carve maori carv­ings as part of his reha­bil­i­ta­tion.

The sec­ond per­son I pay trib­ute to is a guy who truly epit­o­mises the ANZAC spirit. He is an Aussie, liv­ing in New Zealand who fought for new Zealand in Viet Nam. He is mar­ried 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 estab­lish the Base and gun posi­tions. “Oz” par­tic­i­pated in the famous  Bat­tle of Long Tan where the Kiwi guns were instru­men­tal in sav­ing 3 pla­toons of D Com­pany of the  6th Bat­tal­ion, Royal Aus­tralian Reg­i­ment (6RAR) and enabling the thrash­ing of a Reg­i­ment of Viet Cong.

Each gun fired over 1200 rounds that day and night in sup­port of the Aussies. The bat­tle was fought in a rub­ber tree plan­ta­tion near the vil­lage of Long Tan, about 40 km north-east of Vung Tau, South Viet­nam on August 18–19, 1966. The bat­tle was fought all after­noon and most of the night in pour­ing mon­soon rain. The guns ran so hot that wet blan­kets were draped over them in an attempt to keep the bar­rels cool.

Kevin tells many sto­ries of his time in Viet Nam but they are not at all “warry” to use his term. They speak a sim­ple truth that war is tough and bru­tal. He often says he hopes his chil­dren never have to go to war and thank­fully they prob­a­bly won’t have to.

It seems so long ago, yet for some only yes­ter­day. The Gov­ern­ment to this day still treats vet­er­ans with dis­dain with their han­dling, and obfus­ca­tion of the Agent Orange scan­dal. I say a scan­dal because that is what it is. You need only ask any vet­eran about Agent Orange and they will tell you they weren’t 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 coun­try in Viet Nam at the time has acknowl­edged it hap­pened and com­pen­sated their vet­er­ans and New Zealand con­tin­ues to deny it occurred and con­tin­ues to hold spu­ri­ous enquiries. [The Government has since said Sorry, but for me it was too little, too late]

Kevin didn’t want me to write any­thing about him but I insisted. He didn’t want me to make him out to be a hero. In his words he was there, he was a gun­ner and that was all. Like most vet­er­ans he is intensely proud of his achieve­ments and at the same time intensely bit­ter at the way they were treated upon return­ing. It is high time that Kiwis were proud of what our guys did in Viet Nam, proud of their achieve­ments and proud of their for­ti­tude to fight. I admire any­one who has the gump­tion to stand up and be counted with their own life.

My Father-in-Law is a true ANZAC, some­one I am proud to know and love. I admire his achieve­ments. I fondly remem­ber the ANZAC Day we spent in Syd­ney 11 years ago. Aus­tralians cel­e­brate ANZAC Day, Kiwis com­mem­o­rate it. In Syd­ney on that day Kevin was proud to wear his medals and com­fort­able wear­ing them in the street. Syd­ney was one big party that day and we ate and drank pretty much for free where ever we went. Kids and adults alike pat­ted him on the back and shook his hand and called out “good on ya mate”. The pity is that the same can­not be said of New Zealand. ANZAC Day is treated as a solemn occa­sion. Peo­ple do show their respects and con­tinue to show it by the increased atten­dances at parades all over the coun­try, but is “respects” as in at a funeral rather than respect as in admi­ra­tion.

It is high time New Zealand “cel­e­brated” the achieve­ments of our sol­diers and stopped “com­mem­o­rat­ing” them. ANZAC Day should be like it was in Syd­ney 11 years ago. It is cer­tainly a day I will not for­get.

A cou­ple of things remain for me to pass onto my chil­dren. They are vis­its to Gal­lipoli and to Viet Nam to show the kids where our rel­a­tives fought and shed blood so that they may never know war. Hope­fully they will never know war as other gen­er­a­tion have.

Lest we forget.

RIP – Major Morrie Stanley

After a short battle with cancer, Morrie Stanley passed away peacefully at his home in Campbells Bay, New Zealand today on 16th September 2010. Morrie is survived by his wife Alva and two sons.

Morrie Stanley was a Captain at the Battle of Long Tan, and my father in law was a gunner who helped send those 3500+ rounds out to help save the 6RAR troops.

18 August 1966, South Vietnam – for more than three and a half hours, in the pouring rain amid the shattered trees of a rubber plantation called Long Tan, Morrie Stanley radioed in more than 61 artillery fire missions and corrections in support of the 108 besieged soldiers of D Company 6RAR. Unable to see in the rain and murk exactly where the 3,500+ rounds of high explosive rounds were falling, working entirely by radio communication with the forward platoons and the artillery units back at Nui Dat, from a folded map held in his hand, constantly wiping off the mud and running rainwater, this New Zealand officer was calling in every ounce of his experience and training. His M16 rifle lay unattended next to him in the water despite the repeated reminders of his radio operator, fellow New Zealander Willy Walker to keep it in his hand.

Many, including the Long Tan veterans and military historians credit the skill, professionalism and gallantry of Morrie Stanley in keeping much of the enemy at bay whilst the front lines soldiers fought off the foremost attacking waves of Viet Cong and North Vietnamese soldiers. At critical points during the battle Morrie was directing artillery to within 50 metres of the Australian front line positions.

The Artillery being controlled and directed by Morrie in support of D Company during the battle comprised eighteen 105mm howitzers from 161 Field Battery (New Zealand), 103 Field Battery (Australia), 105 Field Battery (Australia) and six 155mm M109 self-propelled howitzers from 2/35th Howitzer Battalion (US Army).

103 Australians and 3 New Zealander’s fought and defeated 2,500 Viet Cong and North Vietnamese soldiers in a rubber plantation called Long Tan. 18 Australians were killed and 21 wounded with more than 500 enemy killed and 1,000+ enemy wounded.

A true hero. Rest in peace.

Royal Family flips finger at New Zealand

Sir Ed funeral details revealed – but no Royals – 18 Jan 2008 – NZ Herald: New Zealand National news

The Royal Family has decided to disrespect the honour of one of the Empires greatest achievers. It was a British expedition that Sir Ed was a member of after all. Not only that but Sir Ed was a a member of the elite Knights of the Garter, the highest order one can achieve. But oh no, they can’t be fagged sending any one, even the battiest member of the family down here for a funeral.

Lewis Holden is right in saying it is time for a constitutional change to a Republic.
[quote]In the Republican Movement’s view, this is not good enough. It shows that no member of the Royal Family is up to the job of being New Zealand’s head of state.[/quote]

Check out your views from NZ Herald – even constitutional monarchists are saying “Advance the Republic!”

Times up move along…oh and when we change lets make a rule that former Prime Ministers can’t be President ever.

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Mike Williams can recall

Party president owns up to texts – 30 Nov 2007 – NZ Herald: New Zealand National news

Sheesh either Mike Williams doesn’t like Dear Leader or he loves putting both feet firmly in his mouth as he has revealed that he is probably the one who texted Dear leader during the Queens Speech.

It is common courtesy to turn off phone or at least put them on silent when in meetings, and listening to the head of the Commonwealth would certainly put it way beyond the level of a meeting. It is just plain rude to have even read the message, much less responded to it.

There is nothing, repeat nothing so important in New Zealand that warrants checking text messages in the middle of anyones speech let alone the Queen’s.

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If there was any doubt

If there was ever any doubt about the dangers of in-breeding then this picture removes any doubt. This silly old nana is clearly as mad as a snake and comes complete with a dysfunctional and equally mad as snakes family.

It's about time we put an end to the charade of the monarchy in New Zealand.

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