My involvement with the Defence Force began in April 2006 when, as an elderly recruit of 42, I joined the NZ Army as a Reservist. So began 10 years of service. I was something of an oddity being a Member of Parliament and a serving soldier, though going back in history this was common. Most MPs around the time of WWII had or were still serving.
In 2008 I became the Associate Minister of Defence – a quite different involvement with Defence. While I held this warrant, I was unable to serve actively and took a leave of absence by going on to the inactive reserve. While a Minister I was invited to give many speeches which I have recorded here:
Living with Tricholomy – A Patients Story Speech to the Australian Defence Reserves Support Council Dinner 18 October 2014, Adelaide, Australia
Opening of the Burnham Gym 30 September 2009
What Price Citizenship? Speech to commemorate 60 years since the passing of the referendum on Compulsory Military Training 3 August 2009