Press Release – Ministry For Culture And Heritage
A number of New Zealand veterans from the Vietnam War will gather in Wellington this afternoon for the launch of a book that recalls their experiences as part of New Zealand’s longest and most controversial military engagement of the 20th century.
Today has been chosen for the launch because it is Vietnam Veterans Day, which commemorates the 1966 Battle of Long Tan.
No Front Line: Inside stories of New Zealand’s Vietnam War has been written for the Ministry for Culture and Heritage by oral historian and documentary maker Claire Hall.
Compiled from more than 150 veteran interviews recorded by the Ministry over five years, No Front Line is told in the voices of those who were there. It is an absorbing, frank and sometimes shocking account of New Zealand’s Vietnam War.
It takes readers on operations with gunners, infantrymen, pilots and troopers to face the fear and heartbreak of devastating loss.
The book includes important reflections from non-combatant engineers, defence and civilian medics, aid workers and administrators. It profiles civilian and service personnel treating Vietnamese casualties in provincial hospitals. Back home in New Zealand, veterans’ families recall the war’s reach into the suburbs – both then and now.
It also places on record the integral role of women in Vietnam as nurses, doctors, aid workers, journalists and entertainers.
The book will be launched by the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Christopher Finlayson in the Grand Hall, Parliament House starting at 4pm. Many of the veterans interviewed for the book are attending the launch.