10 December 2012
New Zealanders are encouraged to send a festive message to NZ Defence Force personnel who will be serving overseas on Christmas Day.
The Defence Force website allows people to send either general or individual electronic messages to military personnel deployed overseas. The messages will be sent to each overseas mission in time for Christmas Day. While personnel will take part in some festive celebrations, Christmas Day will be a working day in most missions.
Commander Joint Forces New Zealand Major General Dave Gawn says it is important to remember those serving overseas during the festive season.
"Being away from families is never easy, especially at Christmas, and our personnel do appreciate thoughts and best wishes from the New Zealand public. Please take the time to let our people know you’re thinking about them this festive season.
"I’m proud of everything our deployed personnel have achieved this year and of the hard work our people have put in to maintaining stability and a secure environment in twelve countries throughout the world. It has been a difficult year with the tragic losses in Afghanistan, and our thoughts this Christmas will be with the families and friends of our fallen.
"This year over 240 personnel will be deployed overseas at Christmas. This is a smaller number than previous years with the recent mission drawdown in Timor-Leste. This year will also be the last Christmas that New Zealand has a large number of personnel deployed to Afghanistan."
Please submit all messages by 18 December 2012.
For further information please contact the Defence Communications Group on 021 487 980.