Former sailor awarded new medal
AT dawn Graham Husband stood proud with a new medal on his chest after 57 years of waiting to be recognised for his naval service.
Mr Husband served on the HMAS Sydney from October 16, 1953 to June 11, 1954 in the aftermath of the Korean War and this year looks forward to pinning the Australian General Service medal for Korea on his coat for the first time at an ANZAC day service.
Previous Minister for Veterans Affairs De-Anne Kelly commissioned an inquiry into recognition for the Post Armistice Korean Service chaired by Rear Admiral Ian Crawford in 2005.
The Howard Government rejected Rear Admiral Crawford’s recommendation for a new medal to be struck and a return from active service medal be issued.
Mr Husband said he lobbied the government for years and hoped that Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s pre-election promise to review the recommendation for the medal would come true.
“I have been fighting for the medal for years, and just when I thought it was lost Kevin Rudd recommended awarding the medal,” Mr Husband said.
The Queen gave her permission in February 2010 for the medal to be struck and Mr Husband received the medal on Tuesday which he had been fighting for since his naval service.
From this year everyone who served from July 28, 1953 to April 19, 1956 will finally be eligible to receive the medal.
“This medal is one we have been working at to get for the past 57 years,” Mr Husband said. “I feel a little bit of satisfaction that we have finally been recognised.”
Mr Husband is now making preparations to officially receive his Australian General Service Medal for Korea on board the HMAS Sydney, which was his home for a large period of his life.
He said the reason serviceman serving at that timeweren’t awarded the medal was due to the post armistice period they served in not being recognised as a full war zone.
Mr Husband served in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) from June 1952 to March 1959 and then continued in the RAN Reserves until March 5, 1990.
“It was good I enjoyed it, it was something I had always wanted to do from when I was very young,” Mr Husband said.
“I enjoyed the camaraderie and I got to see a lot of the world I wouldn’t have doing something else.”
He retired to Warwick 17 years ago after having a history with the region with his great-great-grandfather having married and lived in Warwick in the first years of the Rose City in 1849.
He was the second-longest-standing president at the Warwick RSL Sub-branch which he joined in 1993 and was president from 1997 to 2007.
Mr Husband will wear his badge proudly this Anzac day at the Scots PGC College dawn service today followed by Warwick’s dawn service and Killarney’s morning service on Sunday.