Waikanae Soldier Represented New Zealand on Western Front
It was a logical decision for Corporal Amanda Mihaere to represent the New Zealand Defence Force at Anzac Day services in France and Belgium. After all, there's a history of service and sacrifice in her family.
As part of the ceremonial guard, CPL Mihaere stood firm and stoic throughout the multiple services the New Zealand contingent is taking part in in the two countries over several days.
It was on the Western Front that New Zealand made its most significant contribution to the First World War, and also where New Zealand suffered the greatest loss of life.
The former Otaki College student from Waikanae is based at Linton Military Camp and joined the army after being exposed to military life through her family.
"My grandfather, father, uncles and brother were and are in the military. And my partner is too."
The 30 year old is a supply technician in the Royal New Zealand Army Logistics Regiment
It has been an amazing experience being part of the commemorations and having the opportunity to learn about the battle that took place and the high loss of life has been very humbling.
"Standing in the places where these men stood and fought is incredible. It's been a very emotional time and experience."
"Even when you are on guard and it's freezing you know it's a small discomfort compared to what they went through."
She says the opportunity to represent New Zealand and the NZDF at the Western Front commemorations is just one of many opportunities the Defence force offers its people.
"If you want a job that is different, the military could be what you're looking for. You certainly get better work stories and this is one of them."
The contingent conducted battlefield tours to learn about the battles that took place in the region and visited several cemeteries to pay respects to the fallen, as well as taking part in the official services including Last Post ceremonies at Menin Gate.
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