INDEPENDENT NEWS

NZ Post’s Newest Stamp Release Showcases Young Kiwi Veterans

Published: Wed 3 Apr 2024 08:56 AM
NZ Post is honoured to feature six Kiwi veterans who served New Zealand on overseas deployments in the armed forces from the mid 1990s.
All six profiled in the stamp series have been awarded theNew Zealand Operational Service Medal. The medal 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.
Rebecca Brierton, Ben Peckham, Kelley Waite, Vance Leach, Ange Coyle and David Bennett represent over 42,000 living veterans who have been involved in active service and made personal sacrifices while serving in either the New Zealand Army, the Royal New Zealand Navy or the Royal New Zealand Air Force.
Released today (3 April 2024), NZ Post Head of Collectables Antony Harris says the story behind the stamps is to show that veterans are not just ‘elderly men’.
“They are young, have served in recent conflicts, can be men or women, and come from all walks of life. They could be your neighbour, people you work with, or someone you see in the street,” Harris said.
“They may march in the Anzac Day parades with the older veterans of previous conflicts, but these veterans haven’t retired; though they have left the New Zealand Defence Force, they are now living, studying, and working alongside us, in our communities.”
Harris said NZ Post worked closely with Veterans’ Affairs and the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services’ Association in developing the stamps.
Head of Veterans' Affairs Bernadine MacKenzie says that the stamps series is a great showcase for our 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,” MacKenzie said.
“Regardless of how old or young veterans may be, when they need our support - we will be here for them.”
To find out more about these veterans please visit veteransaffairs.mil.nz/stamps
NZ Post Stamp descriptions:
$2.00 Rebecca Brierton - Rebecca joined the Royal New Zealand Navy as a midshipman, supply officer in 1994 and was deployed to East Timor, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Afghanistan. She served until 2015 and is currently studying law.
$2.00 Ben Peckham - Benserved in the New Zealand Territorials before transferring to the Regular Force of the New Zealand Army in 1992. In September 1994 he was deployed to Bosnia-Hercegovina as part of the United Nations Protection Force. Ben has completed a graduate diploma in psychosocial studies and is currently studying international humanitarian law. He is a prominent supporter of the veteran community.
$3.30 Kelley Waite - Kelley joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force in 2000 as a telecommunications operator and technician. In 2010 she was reassigned to become a helicopter crewman. Kelley is now working with Philips Search and Rescue Trust as a helicopter crewman and emergency medical technician.
$3.30 Vance Leach - Vance joined the Royal New Zealand Navy in 1999 as an ordinary electronics technician. At the completion of his training, he was posted to HMNZS CANTERBURY and then deployed to East Timor. Vance left the Navy in 2009 as a petty officer weapons technician to pursue a law degree at the University of Auckland and now works in employment relations.
$4.00 Ange Coyle - Ange joined the New Zealand Army in 2006 as a signaller and left in 2014. Ange leads a project at the Department of Corrections that aims to support both staff and prisoners who have served. Having had first-hand experiences of the difficulties that some face when transitioning out of service, Ange is passionate about supporting the wellbeing of veteran staff at Corrections and across the public sector, and those entering the criminal justice system.
$4.60 David Bennett -David joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force in January 2001 as an avionics technician.He served in No.40 Squadron as an aircraft maintainer before training to join the flight engineer trade in 2007 as a C-130 Hercules flight engineer. He took part in operations in East Timor, Solomon Islands and Afghanistan. David left the Air Force in July 2012 and is currently a project manager, inspecting and maintaining oil and gas pipelines.

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