Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Veterans' Advocate Honoured

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Veterans' Advocate Honoured

Article excerpt

Lucy Smith

lucy.smith@dailymercury.com.au

MACKAY'S Keith Payne VC has been appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Queen's Birthday honours list.

The honour is a step above the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) he received in 2006.

Mr Payne said he had been "greatly honoured and surprised" to hear the news.

"When I first heard I thought, there you go, something new happens every day in my life," he said.

He received the award for service to veterans as an ambassador, patron and advocate for veterans' health and welfare.

Mr Payne said he was often speaking to Afghanistan veterans.

"I just talk to them and let them know what they can expect in life. I have a yarn with them and they ask questions," he said.

He visited Afghanistan in 2009 and again in 2013 to speak to soldiers.

"It gives me a good insight into their type of operation and the type of country they're operating in," he said.

Mr Payne fought in the Korean and Vietnam wars, but said it hadn't been difficult returning to a war zone. …

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