Ministry of Defence
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Veterans day 2007 - More former troops now eligible for Veterans Badge
Today the second annual Veterans' Day will be marked across the country in a series of events. The events will celebrate the contribution made by our veterans of all ages in conflicts both past and present and remember those who did not return.
Large-scale events will take place in Birmingham and Greenwich to mark Veterans' Day. As part of the celebrations, Veterans Minister Derek Twigg will announce a further extension to the eligibility for the HM Armed Forces and UK Merchant Seafarers Veteran's Badges. Veterans who served up to 31 December 1994 can now apply for the free Veteran's Badge.
Mr Twigg will be visiting the events in both Birmingham and Greenwich where he will present a number of former Service personnel with their Veteran's Badges.
"I am delighted to be involved in today's Veterans' Day celebrations and to present badges to some of our many veterans who all deserve recognition for serving their country.
"Veterans are a diverse group. But what they have in common is that they have served our country with pride, they have honoured their commitment to defend its interests and they have made a major contribution to the wellbeing of our nation.
"Veterans' Day is our chance to recognise the achievements of those veterans who live amongst us in our communities."
The HM Armed Forces Veteran's Badge was launched in May 2004 and since then its availability has been gradually extended from the First and Second World War veterans, to whom it was initially issued, to successive generations of veterans so that all may be united under one badge.
The UK Merchant Seafarers Veteran's Badge was introduced, in 2006, as a special version of the HM Armed Forces Veteran's Badge to reflect their unique relationship with the Armed Forces over the years.
Veterans who served at any time up to 31 December 1994 can now apply for a Veteran's Badge from the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency.
The National Veterans' Day event is taking place in Birmingham where the city council has planned a five day programme of activities. Birmingham's bid to stage the National Veterans' Day event was chosen ahead of strong applications from other UK towns including Blackpool, Nottingham and Weymouth.
The Ministry of Defence is hosting a family event including interactive displays and entertainment at Greenwich in London. The celebrations will conclude with the "Not Forgotten" Association's concert. This will be broadcast live via screens in the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College. Household names including Englebert Humperdinck, The Drifters and Rolf Harris are all performing in the concert.
Notes to Editors
1. Veterans' Day events are taking place across the UK in the coming weeks. Details of the events can be found on the Veterans website http://www.veterans-uk.info/veteransday/index.htm
2. Interviews with Secretary of State for Defence Des Browne and Minister for Veterans Derek Twigg are available for the media between 18:30 - 19:00 at Greenwich. Veterans due to receive their badges from Mr Twigg may also be available for comment. Any media interested in attending the Greenwich event should contact the Press Office in advance.
3. Applications for the HM Armed Forces Veteran's Badge detailing, name, address, date of birth, service number, period of service and theatres of service should be sent to Veterans Services, Service Personnel and Veterans Agency (SPVA), Norcross, Blackpool, FY5 3WP.
4. Applications for the UK Merchant Seafarers Veteran's Badge detailing, name, address, date of birth, Discharge Book number, periods and theatres of service should be sent to either the Merchant Navy Association, 9 Saxon Way, Caistor, Market Rasen, LN7 6SG or Federation of Merchant Mariners, 16 Glebe Road, Brampton, Huntingdon, PE28 4PH.
5. Further information on the Veteran's Badges, along with help and advice on any issue affecting veterans' lives, can be obtained from the free national veterans helpline 0800 169 2277 or website http://www.veterans-uk.info.
7.For further information visit the website http://www.mod.uk.