Kurt Bayer

Kurt Bayer is an NZME. News Service reporter

Trust set up to aid families of soldiers

The NZ Fallen Heroes Trust, established by people with strong ties to the NZDF, is loosely modelled on similar international initiatives. Photo / Supplied
The NZ Fallen Heroes Trust, established by people with strong ties to the NZDF, is loosely modelled on similar international initiatives. Photo / Supplied

A new fundraising trust has been set up to help families of New Zealand soldiers wounded or killed in Afghanistan.

The New Zealand Fallen Heroes Trust, which aims to raise $10 million over the next three years, was inspired after five recent deaths of Kiwi soldiers.

Rory Malone, Pralli Durrer, Jacinda Baker, Luke Tamatea and Richard Harris all died in the last two months while serving in Afghanistan.

Now, their comrades have pulled together to raise money for the families left behind.

At the weekend, $12,000 was raised when 140 soldiers from Burnham Military Camp - where all five slain soldiers were based in the same unit - helped move a Mitre 10 hardware store in Hornby, Christchurch to a new site.

Baden Ewart, Colonel of the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment and a trustee, said: "The NZ Army is small and close knit. Looking after our mates is paramount to what we do.

"We've all been affected by the 10 deaths in Afghanistan (since 2003), and know their families need help. We know that the soldiers who suffered serious injuries will need ongoing support. These things cost, and this is where the trust can help."

The NZ Fallen Heroes Trust, established by people with strong ties to the NZDF, is loosely modelled on similar international initiatives.

It aims to fund projects that "make a real difference" in supporting families of soldiers killed or wounded since the first New Zealand deployment to East Timor in 1999.

- APNZ

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