Medals of recognition of military service have been a long time coming for one Highlands man, but the wait is now over.
After a 65-year wait, Peter Stockel of Bowral finally received his military service medals on October 9.
Southern Highlands National Servicemen's Association president Robert Brown presented Peter with the Australian Defence Medal and the Anniversary of National Service Medal for service in the RAAF in 1956 at Point Cook and Laverton, both in Victoria.
Following his National Service stint in the RAAF, Peter went on to become a commercial airline pilot and lived overseas for 38 years based mostly in Hong Kong where he flew for Cathay Pacific.
During the Vietnam War, Peter often captained Cathay Pacific Boeing 707, Lockheed Electra and Convair 880 aircraft into South Vietnam, transporting United States and allied servicemen to and from the war zone.
Large commercial aircraft, such as those flown by Peter, were particularly vulnerable to enemy small arms and rocket fire during landing and take-off in Vietnam during the war.
Due to the long period living outside Australia Peter did not realise he was entitled to the medals.
He learned about the medals after joining the Highlands branch of the National Servicemen's Association.
Despite the long delay he was thrilled to take delivery of the special honours.
Peter and his wife Jane have lived in Bowral for the past seven years.
Jane, a keen gardener, is currently president of the Highlands Garden Society, Bowral, where she actively promotes ecological and sustainability issues in the local community.