"Rewarding our veterans petition" - please sign!

September 22, 2011 4:54 PM
National Defence Medal campaign

National Defence Medal campaign

Over the last 60 years the steadfast service of our veterans whom served in several conflicts has been forgotten. Service medals are no longer rewarded to recognise that individual's role in vital protection ofUKinterests. The theory is a National Defence Medal would devalue our medal system; however this is quite contradictory to some aspects of the awarding of current medals.

A service medal would not be an unprecedented change as medals for long service are already awarded in the regular forces and TA. Under the current TA system a serviceman or woman would receive a service medal after 10 years service, whereas a Group Captain who served for 30 years through the Cold War would leave the Armed Forces with no medal.

Many veterans of the cold war not only feel let down by the lack of recognition for their part in protecting British interests, but also with regards to nuclear weapon testing in Australia and the Pacific. Nearly 30,000 members of the British Armed forces were exposed to high levels of radiation without protective anti-radiation clothing. It is assessed that 30% of these veterans died in their 50s of cancers, only 3,000 of these men and women ore still alive today.

There has been no recognition for the men who did their national service during the period of 1945 - 63, the Cold War or inNorthern Ireland. There is widespread support for the NDM to recognise this forgotten service in the name ofBritain. The award of the medal is Liberal Democrat and UKIP policy and it was in the Conservative party's 2010 election manifesto as well as being in the Coalitions programme for government.

Thousands of our veterans feel unappreciated. The Coalition government will not recommend a National Defence medal to the Queen, even though both the Australian andNew Zealandgovernments have requested similar medals to be awarded to their armed forces and veterans.

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