Whangarei RSA president D'Arcy Bailey, who has been awarded a Queen's Service Medal for community service, insists it is not his alone.
He was proud to receive the QSM as it recognised the many RSA volunteers who had given their time to look after war veterans.
"But the people of North Haven Hospice, the Cancer Society, Heart Foundation, the Blind Foundation and Guide Dog sponsors are all part of this award and I accept it on behalf of them all," he said.
Mr Bailey, 75, was born in New Plymouth, raised in the King Country and was a stock agent before an 18-year stint in the New Zealand Army which included operations in Borneo and Malaysia.
He was a warrant officer when he left the army in 1975 and worked in several occupations, retiring as a car salesman.
He is a past president of the Northland District RSA and a past member of the executive committee of the National RSA, and awarded life membership of Whangarei RSA in 1997.
Mr Bailey is also a life member of the Kamo Club, where he has held the presidency and other offices.
He is a volunteer for North Haven Hospice and Meals on Wheels and has led fundraising campaigns for the hospice, Cancer Society, Heart Foundation, Blind Foundation and guide dog sponsorship.
Mr Bailey was the Whangarei RSA Cadet Force liaison officer for more than 20 years and was involved in the Whangarei Youth Network from 2007-12.
He received a Whangarei District Council civic honour for service to the community in 2011. Life in the services prepared people to help others voluntarily, Mr Bailey said. "You get so much out of life you have to put something back," he said.
"There are hundreds of volunteers out there who feel just the same."
Mr Bailey acknowledged his partner Jan's contribution to him being awarded the QSM