New Zealand Embassy dinner honours “Wounded Warriors”
On March 16, 2012, the New Zealand Embassy hosted a dinner to honour dozens of U.S. service personnel, also known as “Wounded Warriors,” and their families. New Zealand Embassy staff and U.S. government counterparts joined the Wounded Warriors who travelled from the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
An emotional haka, the traditional Maori warrior challenge and welcome, performed by New Zealand Embassy staff kicked off the night’s dinner followed by remarks from New Zealand Military Attache’, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Gillard and the Defence Attaché, Air Vice Marshal Graham Lintott. Air Vice Marshal Lintott also welcomed the Wounded Warriors in both English and Maori, a language spoken by New Zealand’s indigenous population.
New Zealand Ambassador the Right Honourable Mike Moore thanked the Wounded Warriors for their sacrifice and gifted to each of the soldiers, sailors and Marines his official coin. New Zealand Embassy officials decorated the dinner tables with memorabilia from their provincial regions within New Zealand, providing an opportunity for the Wounded Warriors to learn something about New Zealand.
U.S. Army Major Kevin Conley presented the official state flag of Delaware to the New Zealand Chief of Army in honour of his fallen New Zealand colleague who he served in Afghanistan with, Lieutenant Tim O’Donnell.
Finally, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz thanked Ambassador Moore for hosting the dinner and remarked on his long-standing support of the Aleethia Foundation and the Wounded Warriors.