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A podcast from the New Zealand Defence Force

For more than 20 years, the New Zealand Defence Force worked alongside partners in Afghanistan, making a significant contribution to regional security and the lives of the local people.

More than 3,500 Kiwi personnel served there, including 10 soldiers who tragically lost their lives.

This year marks a decade since the withdrawal of New Zealand’s provincial reconstruction team, so we’re bringing you tales of service and sacrifice from those with first-hand experience of life at the front-line.

This six-part series hosted by Defence Public Affairs includes previously unheard stories about the heat of battle, the role of the SAS, keeping the faith in times of tragedy, and the lasting impacts of this deployment on those who served and their loved ones at home.

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Episode One: Major General John Boswell

In this episode we talk to Chief of Army, Major General John Boswell, about the overall contribution of the New Zealand Army to Afghanistan, the impact of losing a soldier on operations, and leadership in a crisis.

Episode Two: Major Caleb Berry

In this episode we talk to Major Caleb Berry about his experience as a junior commander forced to step up in New Zealand’s deadliest infantry battle since Vietnam, and how that has shaped his life ever since.

Episode Three: Chaplain Class Two James Molony

In this episode we talk to Chaplain Class Two James Molony about the ongoing effects he’s seen over the last decade amongst those who deployed to Afghanistan, how a person’s faith is tested in a war zone, and the role of Chaplaincy in Defence.

Episode Four: Colonel Sean Bolton

In this episode we talk to Colonel Sean Bolton about the role of New Zealand’s Special Forces in Afghanistan, critical decision making and what it takes to be a member of the SAS.

Episode Five: Major David Foote

In this episode we talk to Major David Foote about his experience as a nurse in a war zone, trying to tend to the wounded in the heat of battle, and the role Combat Lifesaver training played in assisting wounded soldiers during a deadly firefight.

Episode Six: Staff Sergeant Tina Grant

In this episode we talk to Staff Sergeant Tina Grant about losing a loved one on the frontline, the impact of that loss on whānau back home, and her efforts to ensure greater support is available for families of the fallen.