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Army veteran reunited with stolen medals

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 26/09/2016

A former sailor's use of social media has helped to reunite an Afghanistan veteran with his stolen medals.

The wife of ex-RNZN Able Radar Plotter Kelly Kidd spotted the three medals in an Auckland charity shop and send him a photo.

"I saw they were very recent medals," Mr Kidd said.

"I thought, 'Why would they be in an op shop?' So I said, 'Pay for them and bring them home'."

Mr Kidd, who served in the Navy for six years in the 1980s, said he put the name and service number from the medals on Facebook and ask for help to find the rightful owner.

"It pretty much went nuts from there," he said.

In a matter of hours, he was on the phone to former Lance-Corporal Paul Chambers, who did tours of Afghanistan and now lived in Blenheim.

"He couldn't believe they had turned up," Mr Kidd said. "He was nearly in tears of joy."

Mr Chambers, 28, left the army in 2012 after serving as a signalman.

He was working in Australia in April when the burglary happened at his parents' house in Auckland.

He got a call from a man who had done basic training with him and had seen the Facebook post.

The man noted the service number was close to his own and asked Mr Chambers if the medals might be his.

Mr Chambers went on-line and discovered messages from his army mates.

He described Mr Kidd as the "the legend who started it all".

"He wouldn't know me from a bar of soap," he said.

"I'm blown away, and stoked with the response from everybody. It was very cool to see everyone tagging, helping out."

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