Veterans recognised for contribution at Vietnam War

By Lynette Amoroa

Fifty years ago, New Zealand went to war in Vietnam.  Today around 120 surviving gunners took part in a reunion in Palmerston North to recognise the contribution the veterans made in controversial times.

On this day in 1965, 120 men were the first of 800 gunners to support Australian and American troops for the next 7 years, to try and halt the advance of communist North Vietnam.

Four were killed in action, one died of wounds and many were wounded.

When they returned, they copped a lot of public prejudice for being involved in one of the most unpopular wars.

Because of this, many of the veterans have kept their stories quiet, until today.

Those who lost their lives will be recognised at a memorial service this afternoon and tomorrow.