Afghan interpreters given service medals

At a function in Hastings yesterday, the Chief of the New Zealand Army, Major General David Gawn, awarded Sayed Mohammed Ali Hussaini and Ajmal Ahmadi operational service medals along with general service medals.

The medals are given to defence force and civilian personnel providing service exceeding the normal requirements.

Mr Hussaini, who spent four years as an interpreter for New Zealand soldiers in Afghanistan’s Bamiyan province, said even as an interpreter he felt vulnerable.

“Sometimes you will be with good people, sometimes you are faced with a challenge in conflict, so you will have in both situations.

“Definitely sometimes you will be in situations that will be hard and dangerous.”

Mr Ahmadi was wounded in the same 2010 ambush that killed Lieutenant Tim O’Donnell.

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