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Bristol's Labour MPs welcome new tribute to Suez veterans

First ever Veterans Day set for 27 June

Labour's four MPs for Bristol - Roger Berry, Kerry McCarthy, Doug Naysmith and Dawn Primarolo today welcomed a new honour for Suez veterans as they greeted the announcement that the Veterans' Badge will be extended to those who fought in the conflict.

Defence Secretary Des Browne and Veterans Minister Tom Watson have announced that the popular Veterans' Badge will be extended to those who served in the armed forces up to 1959.

Dawn Primarolo MP said: "Hundreds of veterans in Bristol have already received a Veterans' Badge to recognise their service to our country. We're delighted that the badge is being extended, which means it will now be available to those who served during the Suez conflict of 1956".

Doug Naysmith MP said: "As we remember, on the first ever Veterans Day, the sacrifices so many made serving our country, we must continue supporting all veterans, young and old. We will be writing to local veterans' organisations to let them know about this announcement and encourage their members to apply".

Veterans Minister Tom Watson said: "The many heroic acts and sacrifices of our veterans and their families must never be forgotten. This is why we established the Veterans' Badge in the first place. More than 240,000 badges have now been issued and I will be working with Bristol's MPs to ensure that all eligible veterans in the area get their badge".

"Ultimately, we want all veterans to be eligible and to cope with demand the government is extending eligibility in stages. I am pleased that we have been able to extend eligibility for the badge again to all those who served up until the end of 1959. I hope to make an announcement on extending this even further in the near future".

Veterans wanting to apply for a badge should get in touch with their MP on the following numbers - 956 1837 (Roger Berry); 939 9901 (Kerry McCarthy); 950 2385 (Doug Naysmith); 909 0063 (Dawn Primarolo).

[19 June 2006]

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