New Zealand's most highly decorated soldier quits - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

New Zealand's most highly decorated soldier quits

Posted:
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) -

New Zealand's most highly decorated soldier is quitting the military to take a civilian job.

Corporal Willie Apiata is the only living New Zealander to hold the country's top award for battlefield gallantry, the Victoria Cross. The 40-year-old won the honor after saving the life of a severely injured soldier in Afghanistan in 2004. According to his Army citation, Apiata carried the bleeding soldier 70 meters (230 feet) through enemy fire to safety.

The New Zealand Defence Force made the announcement Wednesday. It says Apiata has asked for privacy and is not releasing details of his new job.

Apiata was a soldier for 23 years, rising to become a member of the elite Special Air Service.

He was named New Zealand's most trusted person in a 2008 Reader's Digest survey.

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