THREE local veterans were recognised for their service and sacrifice during times of both war and peace at a special presentation ceremony this week.
Member for Barker Tony Pasin expressed his gratitude to the men with the presentation of certificates of appreciation under the Australian Government’s Saluting Their Service Program.
Former Royal Australian Navy chief petty officers John Hopkins, Dieter Merchel and Allan Russell, who between them served 60 years full-time, in the presence of wives Pauline Hopkins and Fran Russell, received the award for their service in Vietnam, The Gulf War and the Indonesian Confrontation.
The three proud chiefs are also active members of the Mount Gambier Returned and Services League and the South Australian Returned and Services League.
“I was honoured to present certificates of appreciation to these men who have proudly served our nation,” Mr Pasin said.
“It was particularly special to be able to present these certificates during this Anzac Centenary commemoration period – a time when we remember the service and sacrifice of all those who served in the First World War and all those who have served our nation over the century since.
“Along with our continued support of local commemorations such as Anzac Day and Remembrance Day services, the awarding of these certificates provides our community with another opportunity to express our thanks for the contribution these local men and women have made to our nation.”
Under the Department of Veterans’ Affairs’ Saluting Their Service commemorations program, certificates of appreciation are available to those who have served during World War II, with the British Commonwealth Occupation Force, Japan, Korean War, Malayan Emergency, Indonesian Confrontation, Vietnam War, Gulf War, Iraq War, war in Afghanistan and during peacekeeping operations.
Certificates of appreciation are also available as a lasting legacy to the family of deceased eligible veterans and civilians.
“It is important that we as a community continue to recognise the contribution of our local veterans, whether it be on overseas service or at home,” Mr Pasin said.
“I therefore encourage people to apply for a certificate under this program.”