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Is it true that the arny has left soldiers in Korea and told them to find their own way home?



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MEDIA RELEASE Senator Jocelyn Newman ί Ά Γ ( Y ( \ SHADOW MINISTER FOR

21 May 1992

IS IT TRUE THAT THE ARMY HAS LEFT SOLDIERS IN KOREA AND TOLD THEM TO FIND THEIR OWN WAY HOME?

A contingent of 12 soldiers from Sydney's Holsworthy based 3rd battalion - the parachute battalion 3RAR, left Sydney on the 30th of March for Korea to participate in the commemoration of the Battle of Kapyong which took place 41 years ago in

April 1951.

They flew to Korea with the RAAF, but they have not returned. Is it true that the Army can't afford to bring them home? - That's what their families have been told.

The 12 soldiers were supposed to be in Korea until early May and as far as they knew they were to fly home once the celebrations and exercises were over in the first week of May, but it appears that the Army told them they had to hitch a lift with American military aircraft on what is known to the allied military as "the milkrun". This they did and some have ended up in Tokyo and others in Hawaii. Two of the 12 arrived home this Monday, but the others are stranded who knows where?

The Army gave them no notice that this would happen, they could not gain access to their bank accounts in Korea and have had trouble elsewhere and therefore couldn't purchase a normal flight home. One Mother told me she had been expecting her son to be home for Mother's Day.

Some of them went to the Australian Embassy in Korea for assistance but were told there was nothing the Embassy could do - it appears that they have been left stranded.

" It is disgraceful that this sort of thing can happen. If these soldiers were official Australian representatives as it appears from the Army Press Release of the 30th of March then the Australian Government should take responsibility for their safe return to this country." Senator Newman said. '

Contact: Senator Newman [003] 34-1755 or Jeannie Cameron [06] 277-3660

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