Dear fellow interested members,
You may not be aware that I have been agitating since 1985 to gain official approval for members of the 10th intake to officially wear the RVCM. It all started when I had a long discussion with the late Johnny Mason. We now have a glimmer of hope.
Some of you have sent personal letters and approached local politicians for support. I thank you very much for that. However, we need to do one last thing.
I have managed to instigate a fresh inquiry to be conducted by Defence Honours and Awards Appeals Tribunal (DHAAT) sometime after 11th December 2014 as announced by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence, the Hon Darren Chester MP.
I was very lucky to have a face to face meeting with the Hon Darren Chester this afternoon. It was extremely beneficial and fruitful.
I am asking that you send a request to your local FEDERAL member now asking for a Letter of Support. As a guide I have provided a specimen letter - see below. The meeting today stressed the need to gain as much political support as we can muster and I would be extremely grateful for your urgent attention.
(Your Federal Member)
Inquiry into the Feasibility of Amending the Eligibility Criteria for the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal (RVCM).
Dear (Insert Name),
You may not be aware that the independent Defence Honours and Awards Appeals Tribunal (DHAAT) will conduct the above inquiry shortly.
The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence - the Hon Darren Chester has advised that the initial inquiry received substantial responses from sections of the veteran community seeking a reduction in the duration of service for eligibility for the RCVM from 181 days to a lesser figure - say 90 days to fall into line with most foreign awards worn by Australian servicemen since WW2.
The veteran community is also asking for the inclusion of an addendum to the existing criteria whereby national servicemen who could not serve the 181-day qualifying period because of the Australian Defence Force's workplace and enlistment policies of the time be also awarded the RVCM.
We have been very fortunate to have the government acknowledge that after more than 40 years an inquiry is well overdue in achieving recognition for those who fought in Vietnam and have not been officially acknowledged with this medallic award.
This inquiry is crucial for many affected veterans from all over Australia and has already received bipartisan support from all sides of parliament.
I would therefore greatly appreciate you sending a Letter of Support to DHAAT at CP2-3-068, Locked Bag 7765, Canberra BC ACT 2600 and quote the above inquiry. Could you also send a copy to the Hon Darren Chester for his information. Thank you.
This is our last throw of the dice and your simple letter will be extremely beneficial in finally seeing these men appropriately recognised for the service to their country and being prepared to die in a foreign land fighting a controversial war.
(Your Name and Contact Number).
RVCM - Call to Action before 11 December 2014