Comment – The Rights of Servicepersons

The following comments were left on the RNZNCOMMS Association blog by Danny O’Connell and I congratulate him on responding with a well balanced comment.   This comment is worthy of sharing wider amongst our Naval Family hence why it is being repeated here.

These comments are provided in relationship to the rights of Service persons to be buried in the Service Section of their local cemeteries.  Please read on and if you agree with Danny then please download the templated letter and send in to your local MP.

Quote I’ve been thinking about this for some time and have come to the conclusion (like most of you I’m sure) that this is not acceptable. As luck would have it, I have been deemed a Veteran by virtue of some of the deployments that I was involved with, i.e. because of the ship that I was posted to at the time. In other words, right place – right time! But, in my view, any and all that I served alongside in the RNZN hold rights to the same title.
One of the outcomes of this that really irks me is the right to be interned in the Service section of the cemetery. They are saying that there are two different classes of serviceman and that some don’t ‘deserve’ to be buried alongside the rest of us! Utter bullshit and this upsets me because, when my time comes, I have always wanted to be in a service section plot alongside my brother servicemen. Well now I find that some are not considered equal! I don’t wish to be ‘elitist’!
I feel deeply for those that would want this also but are being told that they are not considered worthy. I feel deeply for their families who know what their loved ones wish’s are but are unable to carry them out. To that end, last week I sent off the template letter to my local MP, Ian McKelvie, member for Rangitikei. I received a reply from his office today requesting a meeting in 2 weeks time.
I don’t know if this will have much of an impact or how much weight it will carry but it seems that Mr. McKelvie is willing to at least listen. To that end, please let me know your thoughts on this and help me get a few thoughts together so that I might be able to get them across well.  Unquote

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One Response to Comment – The Rights of Servicepersons

  1. kiwifrogsblog says:

    Danny O’Connell’s letter is really well written and well thought out. As i live overseas and don’t have a local NZ MP anymore, i have taken the time to write my concerns to the NZ Minister of Defence expressing my disbelief at what occurred to Tom and his family. My father recently passed away and we ( my brothers and I) were fortunate to have him interned in the Service section of the local cemetery, yet we were disappointed in the lack of recognition to his dedication and service by the NZ Defence Department. I have been astounded at the difference in attitude to Servicemen & women ( both serving and ex-service) here in Australia and in the US compared to back in NZ. Recently my wife (Lynne) and I attended a show called “In the Mood” ( music from the 30’s and 40’s – with emphasis on the services during the WW2 and later years) and on completion of that show ALL serving and retired servicemen and women of ALL countries/ allies were asked to stand so the people in the show and the audience could show their appreciation for the SERVICE that these people had given to their country. WE were all given a STANDING OVATION which made me feel very humble. On the 11 November of this year we will celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Armistice ending WW1- 50 yrs ago I , along with 26 other Servicemen, was fortunate to be selected to represent our Armed services at the celebrations in France. As a young 20 year old I was astounded at the treatment we received back then by grateful citizens of France and the memory of that sense of appreciation has stayed with me to this very day.
    Danny’s letter proves to me once more that ALL serving and ex-serving personnel are very much under valued and not appreciated as well as they should be ,despite what we are told at times.
    I sincerely hope that New Zealand will change those pieces of legislation and you all get the recognition you all deserve.

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