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Willie Apiata

by Nicole from Havelock North

Willie Apiata (stuff.co.nz (Andrew Gorrie))
Willie Apiata (stuff.co.nz (Andrew Gorrie))

Willie Apiata is a daring, fearless, responsible, determined, successful ,down to earth, trustworthy person; a hero in many ways. A former soldier, who risked his life to save a comrade and was named "most trusted individual". Willie Apiata fits my definition of a hero.

Willie Apiata, also known as "the reluctant hero", was awarded the Victoria Cross on 2nd of July 2007 for his bravery on the battlefield; In 2004 Willie and some others were attacked while sleeping, Corporal D was injured, one of his main arterial was bleeding he was also coming in and out of consciousness, so Willie picked him up and ran 100 meters or so with the injured man on his back under fire; while also risking his own life.

The reason behind the name "reluctant hero"; is that Willie insisted he was an ordinary kiwi doing his job; but everybody praised him and told him he was a hero, therefore reluctant hero.

Most heroes have a sad childhood that inspired them to do what they did. However Willie's childhood was rather ordinary; he grew up in Waima then moved to Te Kaha, when he was seven he went to Te Whanau-a-Apanui school and left when he was 15. His parents split up and he has not had contact with his father for several years; despite not having a father figure in his life for many years he turned out pretty well.

Willie's military career is what he is famous for. Willie applied for the SAS in 1996 but was unsuccessful. From July 2000 to April 2001, Willie served in East Timor as a member of New Zealand's third Battalion. He then again tried to join the SAS and succeeded in 2001.

Willie Apiata is a true hero not just in my eyes but many others also. What he did took some real courage and loyalty. He could have just left that guy there to die but instead he put himself in the line of fire by saving his colleague or his mate as he refers him to; there is really nothing bad to say about him.

Many, many people look up to Willie Apiata - not just soldiers but normal people too. He has all the qualities that that normal people aspire to have; but you don't have to be a lifesaving soldier to be a hero but having courage loyalty and being trustworthy are valuable qualities that everyone desires to have. Willie Apiata is no doubt a hero.

Page created on 7/8/2013 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 7/8/2013 12:00:00 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.