BOB Morris is pretty good at fighting for what he believes in.
He fought for Australia in the Korean War and for the past decade he battled to convince the government to recognise 18 the servicemen who never returned.
Last week he learned he had won that battle.
On Wednesday March 6, the Council of the Australian War Memorial agreed to recognise all members of the Australian Defence Force who have died on operational service on the Roll of Honour.
All the names of Defence personnel currently recorded in the Remembrance Book will be added to new bronze panels to be installed on the Roll of Honour wall in the Memorial’s commemorative area.
Mr Morris and his friend Rod Coupland said it was a national disgrace that 18 young Australian servicemen who were killed had not been given the full honour they deserve.
The men’s names were not included on the honour roll because they died after the signing of the armistice, between July 27, 1953 and April 19, 1956.
“I found out on Sunday and I was over the moon to learn their names would be honoured,” Mr Morris said.
“What a wonderful outcome. I can’t believe it took 10 years. “The Register is partly to thank, you guys were there from the start.
“It takes me straight back to when Rod and I stood in his lounge room, in March 2003 and came up with the plan.
“We went and got 6000 signatures and 480 letters supporting us. I never thought it would take 10 years, but 10 years later here we are,” he said.
Just last month, as the president of the Korea War Veterans Australia Recognition Committee, Mr Morris had written a letter to the Prime Minister Julia Gillard requesting her personal intervention in the matter.
“I had no idea this was coming when I wrote that letter last month,” Mr Morris said.
“There are so many community members who have helped with this, and Shelley Hancock and Joanna Gash have been instrumental over the entire campaign,” he said.
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Warren Snowdon, applauded the decision of the council, saying it was a timely change as we move towards the Centenary of the First World War and pay special tribute to all those who have served their country.
“I am pleased the council has announced these changes. The decision reflects the views and expectations of many in the community on this important issue.
“This will ensure that those who have served our nation with distinction are properly recognised and I know that this decision will be of special significance for the families involved,” Minister Snowdon said.