Episode 1078 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will take a look at how sometimes Vietnam Veterans are not treated properly regardless of their country of origin. There was a story in the National news on the Stuff website of Wellington, New Zealand titled: SAS veteran denied pension for 40 years after being told he hadn’t served in Vietnam that tells of such a case that occurred in that country way down under.
The story was submitted by Matt Shand. It told about the problem Vietnam Veteran Denny Makara encountered when his disability payments for injuries he suffered in Vietnam were abruptly terminated. The payments ceased in 1976 after his doctor was told Makara had never served in Vietnam. Despite evidence to the contrary being on hand it took Makara 15 years of fighting the system to get his disability payments restored.
What makes Makara’s experience hard to understand is the fact he served in Vietnam as a member of The New Zealand Special Air Service or better known as the NZSAS. The New Zealand Government states that NZSAS is the “premier combat unit of the New Zealand Defense Force.” It went into service on 7 July 1955 and is the special forces unit of the New Zealand Army. It was modeled after the famed British Special Air Service (SAS).
Even though the Veteran Affairs office reinstated his pension he was still not satisfied. He demanded to be compensated for payments not paid and for an apology from the Veteran Affairs office. Finally he prevailed against the government bureaucracy. His experiences leaves the reader with two conclusions. One the improper treatment of veterans happen in other countries and two, when facing similar situations with a government, never, never, never give up.
Listen to episode 1078 of the podcast to discover how New Zealand Vietnam Veteran Denny Makara beat the system.